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Governor Announces AmeriCorps Grants to Engage Iowans in Intensive Service

NOTE TO COMMISSIONS: Below is a sample press release announcing a Fiscal 2011 AmeriCorps grant or grants for your state

For more information contact:                       


Adam Lounsbury, Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service



Governor Branstad Announces AmeriCorps Grants to Engage 530 Iowans in Intensive Service to Meet Local Needs


DES MOINES, Iowa (June 14, 2011) – Governor Terry Branstad announced today that the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service (ICVS) has voted to award more than $4.7 million in AmeriCorps State grants and education awards to support the placement of approximately 530 AmeriCorps members in community-based organizations across Iowa. ICVS also aims to fund up to another 150 members during a second round of supplemental funding potentially available this fall.


“These AmeriCorps members are stewards of our state and our country,” stated Governor Branstad. “Their commitment to serve others will have a tremendous positive impact on lives and communities for years to come.”


This year’s AmeriCorps grant cycle was highly competitive, due to the strong and growing demand by organizations seeking AmeriCorps resources.  Nationally, organizations requested nearly twice the number of grant dollars and AmeriCorps positions than could be funded.


Since 1994, more than 6,900 Iowa residents have provided more than 9 million hours of service to local communities through AmeriCorps. This federally funded national service program, administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, enables Americans of any age to serve their community, state, and country through local schools, governments, or nonprofits. The Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service oversees AmeriCorps and other volunteer and service programs for the state.


AmeriCorps members can serve on a full- or part-time basis. Full-time members receive a modest living allowance and all members receive an education award of up to $5,550, which can be used for higher education tuition or loan repayment after completing a full year of service. Certain AmeriCorps grants are matched locally.


Iowa has expanded its AmeriCorps operations largely through improved performance in the National AmeriCorps State Grant Competition, in which states submit top programs to compete on a national level, as well as increased levels of local funding for programs. Each state commission also receives a population-based block grant to make additional awards. Additionally, Iowa has 240 members serving at the North Central AmeriCorps NCCC campus in Vinton, Iowa and hundreds of AmeriCorps VISTA members serving with local organizations. A total of more than 1,200 AmeriCorps members are expected to serve in Iowa in 2011-2012.


Iowans interested in serving in AmeriCorps can search positions at The following chart details the grants made today by the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service. See the attached document for brief descriptions of these programs.





2011-2012 Funding Levels



Funding Award

Members (Est.)

Education Award Value

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Mississippi Valley

 $         130,000


 $       58,164.00

Boys & Girls Club of Central Iowa, Inc.

 $         216,468


 $     102,675.00

City of Davenport

 $         135,000


 $       55,500.00

City of Dubuque

 $         132,980


 $       55,500.00

Community Corrections Improvement Association

 $         199,140


 $       83,250.00

Des Moines Public Schools

 $         105,720


 $       44,400.00

Graceland University

 $         145,612


 $       61,993.50

Habitat for Humanity of Iowa, Inc.

 $         274,576


 $     127,150.50

Iowa Campus Compact

 $           22,640


 $     157,065.00

Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence

 $         110,050


 $       55,500.00

Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources - Keepers of the Land

 $         506,727


 $     255,522.00

Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources - Veterans program

 $         290,000


 $     111,000.00

iJAG (Iowa Jobs for America's Graduates)

 $           27,000


 $       11,100.00

Iowa Legal Aid

 $           67,000


 $       27,750.00

Iowa Public Health Association

 $           67,000


 $       27,750.00

Iowa State Univ. Extension

 $         234,000


 $       99,900.00

Prevent Child Abuse Iowa

 $         127,500


 $       55,500.00

United Way of East Central Iowa

 $         133,345


 $       55,500.00

Univ. of Northern Iowa (CEEE)

 $         260,000


 $     111,000.00






 $     3,184,758


 $       1,556,220




The Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service (ICVS) is a state entity that serves to improve lives, strengthen communities and foster civic engagement through service and learning. ICVS promotes service and develops collaborative approaches that have helped Iowa become a national leader in service and volunteerism.


AmeriCorps is a national service program administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service that engages Americans of all ages and backgrounds in service to meet critical needs. Members tutor and mentor youth, expand health services, build affordable housing, run after-school programs, support veterans, help communities respond to disasters, and recruit and train volunteers.   Interested individuals can learn about available opportunities and apply online by visiting






AmeriCorps Programs Funded in Iowa, 2011-2012:


·         Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Mississippi Valley – to recruit and support volunteers to mentor disadvantaged youth at risk to leave school without a diploma. The mentoring will result in improved academic achievement among these youth. The program will serve students in 58 counties in Eastern Iowa.

·         Boys & Girls Club of Central Iowa Inc. – to provide after school homework help, healthy choices programming and case management support to increase positive attendance patterns in schools. The program will serve students in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, Council Bluffs, Carter Lake, Sioux City, Adair, and Davenport, Iowa.

·         City of Davenport – to coordinate community resources within the school district, reduce dropout rates, and engage youth in the community. Members will engage at-risk students in city revitalization to connect them to the greater community, build their job skills, and provide them with an education award towards their post-secondary education.

·         City of Dubuque – to improve academic performance and engagement of families. Members will serve in schools and community organizations to provide in-school, afterschool, and summer programming focused on creating safe learning environments and engaging families to support their children.

·         Community Corrections Improvement Association – to reduce crime and improve community well-being. Members will work with at-risk youth to prevent them from entering the criminal justice system, strengthen neighborhoods and community services to reduce the likelihood that residents turn to crime, and help those exiting the criminal justice system to start afresh.

·         Des Moines Public Schools – to serve in classrooms with students K-3rd grade to implement a curriculum-based literacy tutoring program in targeted elementary schools to improve academic and social achievement. Underachieving kindergarten through third grade students will receive tutoring services vital to their future academic success and develop positive relationships with adults.

·         Graceland University – to provide positive youth development services such as mentoring, recreational activities and after-school assistance. The program will serve youth in the six-county region (Clarke, Decatur, Lucas, Ringgold, Union and Wayne) of South Central Iowa.

·         Habitat for Humanity of Iowa, Inc. – to recruit and support volunteers to build low income housing units to eliminate substandard, unaffordable housing in the state of Iowa. The program will serve low-income families in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Quad Cities, Des Moines, K Knoxville, Mason City, Marshalltown, Council Bluffs, Sioux City, Webster/Humboldt, and Greene/Boone counties of Iowa.

·         Iowa Campus Compact – to engage college students as AmeriCorps members to combat Iowa's brain drain by improving students’ success in college and engaging them in their communities to increase their likelihood of remaining in Iowa following graduation.

·         Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence – to engage victims of domestic violence with criminal records as members themselves.  Members’ service experiences will help them build their own employment skills as they serve their community by providing assistance and education that prevents others from being abused.

·         iJAG (Iowa Jobs for America’s Graduates) – to high school students with barriers to post-graduate success explore their career options and build employment skills for the future.  Members will expand and complement iJAG’s work with students in Title I schools across the state of Iowa.

·         Iowa Legal Aid – to assist with outreach, education, and representation of low-income clients in civil legal matters.  Members will help expand the services that ILA offices provide to economically vulnerable individuals and families in every county of the state.

·         Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources Keepers of the Land Program – to provide wildlife habitat restoration and trail improvement to reduce water quality decline. The program will serve all residents, particularly in rural communities, throughout the state of Iowa.

·         Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources Veterans Program – to provide service opportunities to Iowa's military veterans in an effort to help them overcome substantial barriers to employment and an often difficult reentry to civilian life.  Members will provide energy conservation education and weatherizing the homes of veterans, their families, and low-income Iowans, as well doing disaster recovery and environmental stewardship activities in state parks.

·         Iowa State University Extension – to provide the opportunity to small youth-serving programs across Iowa to host AmeriCorps members who coordinate youth development projects and programs. The program will focus on meeting the Five Promises for youth, including: (1) Caring Adults; (2) Safe Places; (3) Healthy Start; (4) Effective Education; and (5) Opportunities to Serve.

·         Prevent Child Abuse Iowa – to provide a better safety net for families and children and also offer direct services to reduce family stressors.  Member activities will include engaging community members in efforts to reduce child abuse.

·         United Way of East Central Iowa – to provide early literacy activities and tutoring during out-of-school time to children, and provide outreach services for families of children with disabilities. Members will serve in Eastern Iowa.

·         University of Northern Iowa Center for Energy and Environmental Education – to meet the energy efficiency needs of Iowa communities and low-income homeowners.  Members will provide outreach and educational programs on energy conservation and efficiency, weatherize homes and public buildings, and recruit and train volunteers to perform weatherization. 



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