6 Federal AmeriCorps Grants Aim to Support Maryland Community Service Organizations

News Release, The Governor’s Office of Community Volunteerism

Annapolis, MD– The Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism today announced that six Maryland organizations received cumulative $1,499,953 million in competitiveAmeriCorps fundingfrom the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) – the federal agency responsible for AmeriCorps and other national service programs. Grant funds will be used to provide living stipends, health care, and other programmatic tools for AmeriCorps members–including ongoing coronavirus response efforts.

Every year, 75,000 AmeriCorps members serve through 21,000+ schools, nonprofits, and community and faith-based organizations across the country. These citizens have played a critical role in the recovery of communities affected by disasters and helped thousands of first-generation college students access higher education. They also tutor and mentor young people, connect veterans to jobs, care for seniors, reduce crime and revive cities, fight the opioid epidemic, and meet other critical needs.

 “We are extremely inspired by the Maryland AmeriCorps programs that successfully demonstrated effective programs models on a national platform to bring almost $1.5 million in federal funding to directly serve our communities, totaling $4.5 million in funding for Maryland AmeriCorps service,” said Governor Hogan, “AmeriCorps members lead through compassion and informed-service as the boots on the ground fostering the spirit of public service.” 

In response to COVID-19 in 2020, Civic Works Service Corps and the Community Art Collaborative AmeriCorps members have adapted their service to help meet the critical needs of the Baltimore City and Baltimore County community. This includes partnering with food banks, community-led organizations, local businesses and public schools to distribute over 20,000 pounds of food, 1,000 rolls of toilet paper, 2,500 bottles of sanitizer, and 2,500 bars of soap to 4,000 elderly in Baltimore City. Members have also engaged in innovative, responsive solutions such as donating artwork to field hospitals and utilizing online platforms to create distance learning materials.

In addition to direct funding, CNCS will provide more than $828,519 in Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards for the AmeriCorps members funded by these grants. After completing a term of service, AmeriCorps members can receive an award of more than $6,000 that they can use to pay for college or repay qualified student loans and continue their careers in public service.

AmeriCorps is funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency for volunteering and service, and recently marked its 25th anniversary. Since the program’s inception in 1994, more than 1.1 million AmeriCorps members have served the nation, providing more than 1.6 billion hours of service and earning nearly $4 billion in education awards to pay for college or pay back student loans. Those interested in joining AmeriCorps can learn more atAmeriCorps.gov/Join

The Maryland competitively-funded grantees are as follows:

  • Maryland Reading Corps – The Literacy Lab
    • Baltimore City$340,300Maryland Reading Corps AmeriCorpsmembers will provide low-income pre-Kindergarten children with daily, targeted early literacy intervention to increase school readiness in classrooms in Baltimore City.
  • HabiCorps – Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake
    • Baltimore City$224,625HabiCorps AmeriCorpsmembers will participate in on-the-job construction traineeships to build and rehabilitate homes for economically disadvantaged families in Baltimore City.
  • Civic Works Service Corps – Civic Works, Inc.
    • Baltimore City, Baltimore County$609,225Civic Works Service Corps AmeriCorpsmembers will make public land improvements, complete energy efficiency retrofits, tutor and mentor students, and help older adults age in place in Baltimore City.
  • Conquering Opioid Abuse Together (COAT) – Frostburg State University
    • Allegany, Washington, Garrett, and Frederick Counties$81,744COAT AmeriCorpsmembers will engage community members in open community forums, one-on-one meetings, hotlines, and other outreach activities to distribute information on resources to conquer opioid abuse.
  • Community Art Collaborative – Maryland Institute College of Art
    • Baltimore City$215,247Community Art Collaborative AmeriCorpsmembers facilitate after-school arts-based learning experiences athost site organizationsfor K-12 youth in Baltimore City as well as facilitating art-making opportunities for community residents, recruit and manage volunteers to gain valuable professional experience in the community arts and non-profit fields.
  • The Choice Program – University of Maryland, Baltimore County
    • Baltimore City, Baltimore, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s Counties$28,812The Choice Program AmeriCorpsmembers aim to improve academic engagement, job-readiness, and employment outcomes through community-based mentoring, intensive advocacy services, and volunteer recruitment to engage in activities and resource development.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...