Governor Wolf Announces More Than $17.5 Million in PennSERVE Grant Funding for Community Service Across Pennsylvania

July 12, 2022

Funding will support 1,370 AmeriCorps members in meeting community needs.

Governor ​Tom Wolf today announced the awarding of more than $17.5 million – the most in commonwealth history – to support the community-service work of 26 AmeriCorps programs. PennSERVE, housed within the Department of Labor & Industry, is Pennsylvania’s grantmaking partner of AmeriCorps, the leading federal agency for national service and volunteerism. 

“AmeriCorps programs meet real-life needs all across Pennsylvania and its members are among the very best of our youth, offering their compassion, talents and hard work to better our communities,” ​Gov. Wolf said. “I am proud of the work that PennSERVE does in prioritizing initiatives focused on education, health, economic opportunity and technology access.”

As the state’s service commission, PennSERVE develops and implements state-specific national service programs consistent with the Wolf Administration’s commitment to connecting individuals and organizations through service and volunteering to tackle the nation’s most pressing challenges. This year’s list of grant recipients includes five new AmeriCorps programs and one new planning grant.

“Through the talent and skills of their members, AmeriCorps programs make real differences in the lives of their neighbors through programs that tackle true challenges. They educate community members in digital literacy, clean up local parks, assist with COVID-19 response efforts and coordinate after-school and summer activities for underserved and low-income student populations – to name a few examples. AmeriCorps members truly bring out the best in Pennsylvania, giving their time, talents and energy to make certain help is available whenever and wherever it is needed,” Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Secretary Jennifer Berrier said.

Full-time AmeriCorps members receive a modest living allowance, health care and other benefits. At the successful completion of each service term, members earn a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award to repay qualified student loans and to pay current educational expenses at eligible institutions of higher education and training programs.

“With this funding, PennSERVE will leverage the essential skills and experience of AmeriCorps members to strengthen Pennsylvania communities,” said Maureen Eccleston, PennSERVE’s executive director. “These AmeriCorps members gain valuable professional skills while they provide tutoring and mentoring, provide job skills and financial literacy training, improve public lands and waterways, and support veterans and military families. We’re thrilled to make these opportunities available to build workforce skills of AmeriCorps members while they contribute to our commonwealth.”

The following programs will receive funding as a 2022-23 AmeriCorps grantee. New programs and planning grants are denoted with an asterisk.

AMERICORPS DIGITAL SERVICE FELLOWS — PHILADELPHIA

Launch of Philadelphia in partnership with the School District of Philadelphia will have 24 AmeriCorps members provide computer science tutoring and mentoring to address the digital-literacy skills gap among girls, students of color and low-income students, with the overall goal of increasing digital equity and economic opportunities for all.

ARTISTYEAR PA — PHILADELPHIA

ArtistYear will have 40 AmeriCorps members provide student-centered arts education to vulnerable student populations in Philadelphia schools.

*BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF WESTERN PA AMERICORPS LEAD PROGRAM – ALLEGHENY AND SOMERSET COUNTIEES

Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania (BGCWPA) will have 28 AmeriCorps members serve as literacy ambassadors through the BGCWPA AmeriCorps LEAD (Learn. Educate. Activate. Develop.) Program, championing the development of comprehensive literacy skills in up to 12 BGCWPA clubhouses across Allegheny and Somerset counties.

CARBON CORPS AMERICORPS – CARBON COUNTY

The United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley (UWGLV) will have 20 AmeriCorps members provide mentoring, social-emotional learning, and increased connection and access to resources in the five Carbon County school districts of Panther Valley, Palmerton, Lehighton, Weatherly and Jim Thorpe. 

CITY YEAR GREATER PHILADELPHIA – PHILADELPHIA

City Year Philadelphia will have 215 full-time AmeriCorps members provide full-day education services to students in 18 public schools in Philadelphia. 

COMMUNITY RESOURCE CORPS AMERICORPS –  PHILADELPHIA

The City of Philadelphia will have 27 AmeriCorps members conduct needs assessments, eligibility screenings, resource referrals, resource application support and resource confirmations in Philadelphia’s census tracts where more than 40 percent of residents live below the poverty line.

COMPASS AMERICORPS – ALLEGHENY COUNTY

Literacy Pittsburgh will have 20 AmeriCorps members provide adult education and social services to immigrants and refugees to reduce barriers to employment in Allegheny County.

CORE SUSQUEHANNA AMERICORPS – JUNIATA, MIFFLIN, MONTOUR, NORTHUMBERLAND, SNYDER AND UNION COUNTIES

CORE Susquehanna AmeriCorps will have 22 full-time and 11 quarter-time members serve through the consortium’s nonprofit partner sites (community centers, organizations, schools) and conduct at least six service projects that address local needs.

*DREXEL NONPROFIT CO-OP CORPS — PHILADELPHIA

Drexel University will have 40 AmeriCorps members serving in economic opportunity programming – focused on digital literacy, adult education, and workforce development – in Philadelphia, with an emphasis on West Philadelphia.

FAMILY SERVICE CORPS AMERICORPS – BUTLER AND LAWRENCE COUNTIES

The Family Service Corps of Butler Memorial Hospital will have 23 AmeriCorps members who focus on healthy futures and veterans and families. Members will assess and address food insecurity needs, in addition to providing an assessment, food distribution plan and/or referrals. They will serve 3,500 individuals, with 500 individuals experiencing increased long-term food security.

*FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA COURT NAVIGATOR AMERICORPS PLANNING GRANT — PHILADELPHIA

The Elder Justice & Civil Resource Center proposes to develop an AmeriCorps program focused on economic opportunity and improved access to the largest court system in the commonwealth for the elderly and all other self-represented litigants involved in civil cases who, in the majority of instances, cannot afford an attorney or are unable to secure representation from a nonprofit legal service organization.

HOMEWOOD CHILDREN’S VILLAGE AMERICORPS – ALLEGHENY COUNTY

Homewood Children’s Village (HCV) will have 17 AmeriCorps members provide in-school and out-of-school academic and social support to students in the Homewood community of Pittsburgh, serving through the Full-Service Community Schools program HCV maintains at two neighborhood public schools: Lincoln PreK-5 and Faison K-5.

*JOYFUL READERS AMERICORPS — PHILADELPHIA

Joyful Readers, Inc. will have 50 AmeriCorps members provide reading tutoring services in 20 public schools in Philadelphia.

KEYS SERVICE CORPS AMERICORPS – ALLEGHENY COUNTY

The Allegheny County Department of Human Services’ KEYS Service Corps AmeriCorps program will have 137 AmeriCorps members mentor, provide academic engagement, and implement service projects in Allegheny County.

KEYSTONE SMILES AMERICORPS – BEAVER, CLARION, ERIE, JEFFERSON, LAWRENCE, MCKEAN, MERCER AND VENANGO COUNTIES

Keystone SMILES (Service Making an Impact through Learning Experiences with Students) Community Learning Center will have 161 AmeriCorps members who provide expanded learning and service-learning activities to students in 30 schools and eight non-profits located in eight rural counties throughout Northwestern PA.

*NNCC PUBLIC HEALTH AMERICORPS – PHILADELPHIA AND LEHIGH COUNTIES

The National Nurse-Led Care Consortium will have 30 AmeriCorps members who support community-based primary healthcare in Philadelphia and Lehigh counties.

NNCC SUBSTANCE USE DISORDER MENTAL HEALTH RESPONSE – PHILADELPHIA

The National Nurse-Led Care Consortium (NNCC) will have 30 AmeriCorps members who will screen community members for substance use disorders and/or mental health diagnoses, while also helping to fill the resource gap during the COVID-19 pandemic in Philadelphia.

NEXT STEPS AMERICORPS & PROMISE CORPS — BERKS, DELAWARE, LANCASTER AND PHILADELPHIA COUNTIES

The University of Pennsylvania will implement two AmeriCorps State programs, Next Steps AmeriCorps and Promise Corps. Through these initiatives, 86 AmeriCorps members will provide near-peer coaching and mentoring to high school and college-aged low-income youth in select West Philadelphia high schools as well as seven participating institutions of higher education.

OLIVET COMMUNITY BUILDERS AMERICORPS PROGRAM – BERKS AND MONTGOMERY COUNTIES

Olivet Community Builders AmeriCorps will have 68 AmeriCorps members support the delivery of afterschool and summer academic initiatives including homework help, high-yield learning activities, reading enrichment and STEM programming for K-8 club members across 10 club locations in Reading, Robesonia, and Shillington.

PENNSYLVANIA MOUNTAIN SERVICE CORPS AMERICORPS – ARMSTRONG, BEDFORD, BLAIR, CAMBRIA, CENTRE, CLEARFIELD, FAYETTE, FRANKLIN, FULTON, GREENE, HUNTINGDON, INDIANA, SOMERSET, WASHINGTON AND WESTMORELAND COUNTIES

Appalachia Intermediate Unit 08 will have 80 AmeriCorps members provide instructional support in reading and math to K-12 students who are at risk for failure and in rural or economically distressed school districts. They will further help to construct infrastructures that support healthy ecosystems and watersheds, while providing social services that enhance the quality of life for individuals, families and communities throughout Pennsylvania’s Appalachian region.

POWERCORPSPHL — PHILADELPHIA

PowerCorpsPHL will have 148 AmeriCorps members engage in environmental stewardship while building professional skills and gaining work experience that improves their employability in Philadelphia.

*READING CLIMATE CORPS – BERKS COUNTY

EducationWorks’ Reading Climate Corps will have 10 AmeriCorps members address climate-related priorities while building professional skills and gaining experience that improves their employability in Reading and the surrounding areas of Berks County.

STEP AMERICORPS – LYCOMING, CLINTON AND TIOGA COUNTIES

The Lycoming-Clinton Counties Commission for Community Action (STEP), Inc. will have 28 AmeriCorps members support schools and local nonprofit organizations in Lycoming, Clinton and Tioga Counties by working to improve the behavior of at-risk students through mentoring and coaching as it relates to behavior intervention and modification.

TEACH FOR AMERICA — PHILADELPHIA

Teach For America – Greater Philadelphia will have 57 AmeriCorps members teach for two years in low-income and under-resourced schools in Philadelphia, tasked with increasing the academic achievement of nearly 4,000 K-12 students.

UP2US SPORTS COACH — PHILADELPHIA

The Up2Us Sports Coach Program will have 16 AmeriCorps members serve as coach-mentors to provide sports-based youth development for opportunity youth in the north, northwest, south, and west sections of Philadelphia, as well as in economically-vulnerable suburbs such as Coatesville, Chester and Pottstown.

WORKFORCE AND ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT AMERICORPS – CHESTER, DAUPHIN, LANCASTER, LEBANON AND YORK COUNTIES

Through the Workforce and Economic Empowerment AmeriCorps program, CASA will have 20 AmeriCorps members work to provide economic empowerment services in the City of York, the City of Harrisburg, the City of Lancaster, Hanover, Elizabethtown, West Chester, Lebanon, Mechanicsburg and Camp Hill.

ABOUT AMERICORPS

Nationwide, AmeriCorps members address the nation’s most pressing challenges, improving lives and communities while strengthening civic engagement. Each year, the AmeriCorps agency places more than 250,000 AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers in intensive service roles, and empowers millions more to serve as long-term, short-term, or one-time volunteers.

Pennsylvanians can learn more about AmeriCorps programs and find out how to become a member by visiting the PennSERVE website.

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