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Louisville to benefit as state reaps nearly $6.7 million in AmeriCorps dollars

Mayor Greg Fischer talks to AmeriCorps workers in 2016. | File art by Melissa Chipman

Groups in Louisville and across the state will benefit from nearly $6.7 million in AmeriCorps funding that mainly will be used to help disadvantaged school children and others overcome challenges.

AmeriCorps is a network of national service programs and is fueled by members committing their time to address critical community needs, from increasing academic achievement to fighting poverty, according to a federal website.

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services announced the grants Thursday, noting the money would be used for a variety of programs to help strengthen communities, from Glasgow to Paintsville.

“This funding will help address critical issues across the commonwealth — like teaching and tutoring students, combating homelessness, providing drug resistance education, protecting environmental resources, serving veterans and military families, empowering victims of domestic violence and assisting low-income senior citizens,” the cabinet’s secretary, Adam Meier, said in a news release. “Service is a wonderful way to build our workforce and our community resources.”

In Louisville, those getting grants include Global Game Changers, which provides educational enrichment through expanded learning initiatives; REACH Corps School Turnaround, which gives help, such as mentoring, to children who have excessive unexcused absences; and Teach Kentucky AmeriCorps, which will help fill the need for more teachers in middle and high schools.

The Cabinet said much of the newly announced funding for Kentucky initiatives came through an annual grant competition by the Corporation for National and Community Service, which administers AmeriCorps and leads the country’s volunteer and service efforts. There also was some formula grant funding allocated to Kentucky based on state population.

Plus, AmeriCorps sponsors will contribute $10.6 million in local funding matches, money from the private sector, foundations, community partnerships and other sources, and $3.7 million in Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards will be available to members to pay for college or similar needs, according to the Cabinet.

Since 1994, more than 12,000 Kentuckians have served about 19 million hours through AmeriCorps, earning Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards totaling more than $44.3 million, according to the Cabinet.

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