For Immediate Release
August 11, 2022
Contact: Hannah McDowell, Iowa Afterschool Alliance, Network Lead
Phone: (515) 450-0574
The funding will allow for the development of new or expansion of existing AmeriCorps programs that provide afterschool opportunities for students.
Des Moines, IA — One of the key ways AmeriCorps programs and their members serve local communities is by providing supplemental educational opportunities, like afterschool programs. This has perhaps never been more important than now, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that has exacerbated longstanding inequities and education gaps in US schools.
A longtime supporter of afterschool programming, America’s Service Commissions (ASC) recently announced that the Iowa Afterschool Alliance and Volunteer Iowa are among the five organizational partnerships selected to receive two-year grants to support the expansion or creation of afterschool programs in their respective states. Funding for these grants — a total of $340,000 — is made possible by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, which is committed to supporting efforts that promote a just, equitable, and sustainable society.
“We are grateful to the Mott Foundation for their support of afterschool programming,” said Kaira Esgate, CEO of ASC. “We know the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, inflation, and the workforce shortage continue to strain the financial resources of many nonprofits, including afterschool programs. These grant funds will provide some relief to afterschool programs and enable them to leverage national service to expand critical educational programming for young people.”
“We are honored to have been selected for this important afterschool initiative,” said Adam Lounsbury, Volunteer Iowa Executive Director. “With support from ASC and the Mott Foundation, we are confident that we can make a real difference for a lot of young people in Iowa through AmeriCorps and national service programming.”
Each grant is awarded to a collaborative partnership between a statewide afterschool network and a state service commission. The grant recipients, along with a summary of how each will use the funds, are listed below.
Alaska: Alaska Afterschool Network and Serve Alaska
The Alaska Afterschool Network will use its grant funding to launch a new AmeriCorps program that will place AmeriCorps members at existing afterschool programs in rural Alaska to engage more students, increase the number of girls engaged in STEM, and address ongoing afterschool workforce shortages.
Iowa: Iowa Afterschool Alliance and Volunteer Iowa
The Iowa Afterschool Alliance plans to use its grant funds to support afterschool initiatives, including programs serving high populations of low-income students, small programs, and underfunded programs — particularly those that have an emphasis on STEM education and creating access to high-quality STEM for all Iowa students.
Michigan: Michigan Afterschool Partnership and the Michigan Community Service Commission
The Michigan Afterschool Partnership will engage AmeriCorps VISTA members to provide capacity support in the areas of professional development, communication, and research for afterschool providers across the state. In addition, they are exploring applying for a team of AmeriCorps NCCC members to support summer learning efforts at a local afterschool program.
Utah: Utah Afterschool Network and UServeUtah
The Utah Afterschool Network will use its grant funds to support 10 afterschool programs located in Salt Lake County that serve neighborhoods and schools with high social vulnerability indexes and low STEM engagement.
Wyoming: Serve Wyoming and Wyoming Afterschool Alliance
Serve Wyoming is using the funds to support three afterschool programs focused on service-learning and STEM. They will engage AmeriCorps State and AmeriCorps VISTA members, AmeriCorps Seniors RSVP volunteers, and the Volunteer Generation Fund Service-Learning Initiative.
For more information, visit statecommissions.org/afterschool.
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About America’s Service Commissions
America’s Service Commissions (ASC) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan association representing and promoting the 52 state service commissions across the United States and territories with the mission to lead and elevate the state service network. State service commissions are governor-appointed public agencies or nonprofit organizations made up of more than 1,000 commissioners, private citizens leading the nation’s service movement and administering more than 75 percent of the federal AmeriCorps funds to address pressing community needs. Learn more at statecommissions.org.
About the Iowa Afterschool Alliance
The Iowa Afterschool Alliance was formally created in 2003. The IAA works to promote afterschool as a solution to issues surrounding child care, workforce development, academic performance, and student behavior. The IAA does this through developing partnerships and policy proposals, supporting local programs looking to improve their quality, and communicating critical data on the need and impact or afterschool programming. More information is available at https://www.iowaafterschoolalliance.org/.
About Volunteer Iowa
Volunteer Iowa and its partner agencies work with organizations and individuals on three main fronts. The first is to help agencies develop quality programs that use service as a strategy to fulfill their missions and address Iowa’s greatest areas of need. The second is to help engage Iowans in their communities by promoting service and expanding the volunteer base. Finally, the third area of work is to connect individuals with appropriate service opportunities by building the volunteer infrastructure. More information is available at volunteeriowa.org.