Rend Lake College AmeriCorps students will continue to make a difference in the district this year, thanks to the renewal of the AmeriCorps grant. Valued at $445,500, the grant helps train the students and provides for educational awards for participants to continue on with their higher education.
Megan Rounds, AmeriCorps Director, said RLC completes the grant application annually for the program for submission to the Serve Illinois Commission, a directive on volunteerism and community service through the Illinois Department of Public Health. The needs of the grant are tailored to the need in the upcoming year.
“This year, AmeriCorps has been awarded competitive grant money, which is great because it opens up the possibilities for more programs in the state to receive funding. It’s a good thing to have more funding coming our way,” said Rounds. “Part of our initiative this year is to get word out about AmeriCorps and let people know all the good work it does in local communities.”
RLC AmeriCorps supports education, economic opportunity, and environmental stewardship for 14 counties in Southern Illinois, including Alexander, Clinton, Franklin, Hamilton, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Marion, Massac, Perry, Pulaski, Washington, Williamson, and Union. The grant will help approximately 60 members with training and educational awards during the 2017-18 academic year.
Specifically, the grant provides for a monthly living allowance; funding for CPR certifications, background checks, and fingerprinting; and a four-day, three-night training at the beginning of the academic year to get AmeriCorps members geared up for a year of service.
In December, RLC will be searching for students to get involved with the AmeriCorps program for the 2018-19 academic year. Throughout the year, members will provide literacy tutoring for pre-K through grade 8 students in local schools.
RLC’s grant is just one of dozens totaling $17.5 million for nearly 40 programs across Illinois. Since 1994, approximately 39,000 people have served 55 million hours in Illinois through AmeriCorps. Those hours equal more than $1.4 billion in community impact. AmeriCorps members have also earned $131.7 million in education awards.
“This is the largest AmeriCorps award that Illinois has seen in the 24 year history of the program,” said Serve Illinois Executive Director Scott McFarland in a news release. “Last year, AmeriCorps Illinois served nearly 300,000 Illinoisans, including more than 180,000 disadvantaged youth; nearly 40,000 veterans, active military, and military family members; and more than 13,000 people impacted by disasters.”
Across the state, AmeriCorps members dedicate one year to help communities meet unmet economic, education, health, public safety, and environmental needs. For information about AmeriCorps or to complete an application, contact Megan Rounds at 618-437-5321, Ext. 1351 or [email protected].