Lifting Up Service and Communities

By CNCS Staff


National Service News Week In Review

When our national service members and volunteers connect residents to healthier food, tutor students in math and science, or link veterans and their families to workforce resources, they are transforming the country — one community at a time.

This week, we launched a new national service partnership that will enable AmeriCorps VISTA members to continue fighting poverty in low-income communities across the country. Also, an Arkansas mayor made members of an AmeriCorps NCCC team honorary citizens of his city. And new grant funding announced this week will support a record number of AmeriCorps members who serve in Native American communities. 

Finally, in recognition of Mandela Day today (celebrated annually on his birthday), read about how two AmeriCorps members were inspired to serve by the late, great Nelson Mandela.

Read on to find out more.


Making a Record Investment: This week, we announced $3 million in tribal AmeriCorps grants—the largest number of grants and AmeriCorps members supported through tribal grants in the past decade.  This funding will increase the number of AmeriCorps members serving Native American communities by 41 percent. 

AmeriCorps members will address a range of challenges, including tutoring and mentoring Native American youth, teaching nutrition and physical activity, and preserving language and cultural heritage.  Read Wendy’s White House blog and our press release and help us share the good news! 

Shriver AmeriCorps Fellows and LIFT AmeriCorps members with CEO Wendy Spencer, AmeriCorps VISTA Director Paul Monteiro, Bank of America Charitable Foundation President Kerry Sullivan, Dixie Noonan of the Shriver Report, and LIFT CEO Kirsten Lodal at the launch of Shriver Corps on July 17, 2014. Photo courtesy of LIFT.

Fighting the War on Poverty: Every day, our national service members use financial education, consumer counseling, and tax preparation services to lead low-income communities along the path of economic empowerment.  Shriver Corps, an exciting new AmeriCorps initiative launched this week, builds on this mission. 

AmeriCorps VISTA members serving through Shriver Corps will help LIFT, a national non-profit, become more efficient and more connected to the families and communities it serves.

CNCS is investing $1 million in this new initiative, which is inspired by Sargent Shriver who helped create the AmeriCorps VISTA program and was the leader of President Johnson’s War on Poverty initiatives.


Expanding Service in Classrooms: Senior Corps volunteers who serve through our Senior Companions, RSVP, and Foster Grandparents programs act as role models and give one-on-one attention to children and students across the nation. 

A school board in Syracuse, NY, is expanding the reach of Senior Corps volunteers.  The board recently approved a plan that will place a Foster Grandparent in every first and second-grade classroom in the district.  That’s 167 classrooms!


Little Rock, Big Impact: Our AmeriCorps NCCC members help communities rebuild after disaster strikes, improve the environment through stewardship projects, and support programs that promote healthy living.  This week, an AmeriCorps NCCC team was recognized by Mayor Mark Stodola of Little Rock, AR for their service supporting the city’s “Love Your School” childhood obesity initiative. The team created a successful walking program for local students.

National Service News


Taking a Gap Year to Change the World and Yourself
The Huffington Post (NY), July 14, 2014
There are several organizations out there that will help coordinate a year of service, also known as national service. However, the primary resource is AmeriCorps, which engages more than 80,000 Americans in intensive service each year at nonprofits, schools, public agencies, and community and faith-based groups across the country. AmeriCorps places thousands of young adults into intensive service positions where they learn valuable work skills, earn money for education, and develop an appreciation for being a good citizen.

AmeriCorps NCCC

AmeriCorps volunteers helping construct new trail at Mt. Jefferson
Jefferson Post - Online (NC), July 15, 2014
Thanks to volunteer efforts from the National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC), an AmeriCorps program, a new trail will be constructed at the Mt. Jefferson State Natural Area, leading from the park office at the base of the mountain to where the current trails exist.

AmeriCorps VISTA

Williamson ARH given $4.3 million in expansion funding
Williamson Daily News - Online (WV), July 14, 2014
The Kentucky Highlands is one of the first five Promise Zones designated by President Obama in January 2014. An additional 15 Promise Zones will be designated over the next three years. Earlier this week, the Corporation for National and Community Service announced a $1 million investment to engage 52 full-time AmeriCorps VISTA members in Eastern Kentucky.

Social Innovation Fund

Social Innovation Fund Pay for Success Competition FAQs, July 18, 2014
As we get closer to the application deadline of July 31, we are writing to ensure you have taken the opportunity to review our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on our website before you submit your application. 

Senior Corps

Community Education spotlight: Kindergarten Academy
Faribault Daily News- Online (MN), July 11, 2014
Two licensed teachers, Dahl and Nancy VonWald, lead the groups with help from Minnesota Senior Corps “foster grandparents,” and Spanish and Somali speaking program assistants are on hand to interpret. “It’s important that families feel comfortable trusting us with their children,” Hoysler said.

National Service Blog

From Navy SEAL to AmeriCorps Member, July 17, 2014
Many Americans are born with an inherent desire to serve others. I certainly felt this way when I joined the Navy in 1985. I wanted to be a difference maker, and so I applied for Navy SEAL training.

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