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Volunteer Tennessee Board announces $5.3 Million in AmeriCorps Grants to 18 Tennessee organizations

1,008 AmeriCorps members to meet state and local needs

NASHVILLE, TN – Volunteer Tennessee, Tennessee’s governor-appointed commission on volunteerism and service, today announced that Tennessee has received over $5.3 million in AmeriCorps funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). These grants will support 1,008 AmeriCorps members across the state to serve with 18 organizations. AmeriCorps members will tackle critical challenges in Tennessee, including tutoring and mentoring children, supporting veterans and military families, providing health services, restoring the environment, increasing economic opportunities, and recruiting and managing volunteers.

“National service is an essential part of the solution to many of the toughest problems facing our state,” said Tina Hodges, Board Chair of Volunteer Tennessee. “These AmeriCorps members will meet pressing local needs and strengthen communities as they develop civic and leadership skills to last a lifetime. I congratulate these outstanding organizations and thank all those who serve their communities through AmeriCorps.”

Of the $560 million awarded nationally, over $5.3 million will be granted to Volunteer Tennessee, which in turn will award grants to nonprofit organizations and public agencies across the state. The law creating AmeriCorps gave a key role to states in determining how national service resources are used and in promoting service and volunteering to meet community needs.

AmeriCorps’ unique model means that the grants announced today will leverage an additional $17.8 million from the private sector, foundations, and other sources – further increasing the return on the federal investment.

CNCS will make available over $5.2 million in Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards for the AmeriCorps members funded by these grants. After completing a full term of service, AmeriCorps members receive an award of approximately $6,000 that they can use to pay for college or to pay off student loans.

Every year, 75,000 AmeriCorps members serve through more than 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.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of AmeriCorps. Since the program’s inception in 1994, more than 1 million Americans have served, providing more than 1.5 billion hours of service and earned more than $3.6 billion in education scholarships, more than $1 billion of which has been used to pay back student debt. In Tennessee, more than 14,000 AmeriCorps members have served more than 27 million hours and earned more than $51.5 million in education scholarships. Those interested in joining AmeriCorps can learn more at

Below is a listing of 2019 AmeriCorps grants in Tennessee:

• AmeriCorps*Building Futures – AIM Center
Funding Awarded: $42,257
Total Members: 3
AIM Center AmeriCorps members will help address the stigma of mental illness while serving at the AIM Center. Members will holistically address the basic human needs for meaningful relationships, self-sufficiency and community reintegration for people in the greater Chattanooga area with a psychiatric diagnosis.
Contact: Rhonda Jacks Moore, (423) 702-8012

• Project Inspire – Public Education Foundation
Funding Awarded: $383,874
Total Members: 26
Project Inspire is a teacher residency that attracts and prepares aspiring teachers through a year-long, real-world experience in the classroom. Members will serve 5 days a week throughout the entire school year at select host sites, and members will also earn a graduate degree (M.A.T.) through the 14-month program at Lee University.
Contact: Mark Neal, (423) 668-2425,

• Teach For America: Nashville-Chattanooga
Funding Awarded: $145,000
Total Members: 145
Teach For America believes that all children deserve the opportunity to attain an excellent education. They recruit, train and place outstanding teacher leaders into classrooms serving low-income children throughout Davidson and Hamilton County.
Contact: Kenya Payne, (615) 242-6263 x40132,

• Appalachian Regional Coalition on Homelessness
Funding Awarded: $173,952
Total Members: 19
Appalachian Regional Coalition on Homelessness (ARCH) AmeriCorps members aim to reduce homelessness by providing a combination of housing and social services in the Appalachia region of east Tennessee.
Contact: Anne Cooper, (423) 218-4090,

• CAC AmeriCorps – Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee
Funding Awarded: $599,750
Total Members: 50
CAC AmeriCorps is Tennessee’s only environmental corps. CAC AmeriCorps members serve to improve public lands, streams, and greenways; educate the public; meet immediate human needs through disaster response; and build the volunteer capacity of partner organizations.
Contact: Jason Scott, (865) 546-3500,

T.E.A.M. – Emerald Youth Foundation
Funding Awarded: $202,124
Total Members: 58
T.E.A.M. AmeriCorps members serve urban young people by leading structured afterschool and summer day camp activities (academic, enrichment, leadership, health activities, and mentoring) alongside the staff of a faith-based organization. The goal is to see young people become contributing leaders and live a full life.
Contact: Rachel Davis, (865) 637-3227 x112,

• Artesian (SECHS) Talent Search – Artesian Schools, Inc.
Funding Awarded: $303,840
Total Members: 20
Artesian Schools, Inc. is a charter management organization focused on filling gaps in K-12 education to ensure postsecondary success. Its newest school, Southwest Early College High School, enables students in Memphis to graduate with a diploma and an associate degree. AmeriCorps members serve as tutors and mentors as a part of SECHS's comprehensive student support program. This program, modeled after Talent Search, provides students from disadvantaged backgrounds additional aid in academic, career, and financial counseling. Contact: Ashley Smith, 901-333-5681,

• Alder Graduate School of Education
Funding Awarded: $10,400
Total Members: 13
Alder Graduate School of Education is a teacher residency program in which AmeriCorps members co-teach in K-8 classrooms in underserved public schools in Memphis. Adler Graduate School provides a rigorous and supportive teacher training program that recruits and trains individuals of all ages and backgrounds to become highly-effective teachers. Alder’s mission is to create opportunity and cultivate success for every student by recruiting and educating excellent teachers and leaders who reflect their school communities.
Contact: Brianna Harrington, (901) 492-1446,

• Bridge Builders Expansion – BRIDGES USA, Inc.
Funding Awarded: $166,623
Total Members: 38
BRIDGES' mission is to unite and inspire diverse youth to become confident and courageous leaders committed to community transformation. Bridge Builders Expansion addresses key needs facing Memphis area youth in grades 6-12 through experiential learning and the facilitation of the Bridge Builders curriculum that targets low academic performance and graduation rates, low rates of cultural competency, and low rates of opportunity for meaningful civic engagement.
Contact: Tosca Nance-Jones, (901) 260-3790,

• City Year Memphis – City Year, Inc.
Funding Awarded: $605,000
Total Members: 50
City Year Memphis works to bridge the gap in high-poverty communities between the support that students actually need and what their schools are designed and resourced to provide. In doing so, the program aims to increase graduation rates and change the lives of their students. City Year Memphis AmeriCorps members will be responsible for providing whole school services to approximately 1,500 students and individualized services to 420 students in five Memphis public schools.
Contact: Hannah Perrin, (310) 266-3280,

• Generations – Porter-Leath
Funding Awarded: $ 303,840
Total Members: 20
Generations AmeriCorps members will increase school readiness by providing educational enrichment activities for Porter-Leath Early Childhood students in the agency's Head Start centers in Memphis and Shelby County. The AmeriCorps members will also leverage over 120 additional volunteers that will be engaged in literacy initiatives in the same centers.
Contact: Judy Rautine, (901) 577-2500 x1128,

• Memphis Teacher Residency
Funding Awarded: $656,500
Total Members: 50
Memphis Teacher Residency (MTR) recruits outstanding leaders as co-teachers for Memphis' most academically-challenged public schools. MTR’s mission is to positively impact student achievement in Memphis urban schools by recruiting, training and supporting outstanding teachers. All AmeriCorps members are placed in Memphis' Title I schools that have an enrollment that is more than 50% Free or Reduced Price Lunch assisted.
Contact: Suzanne Oates, (901) 937-4683,

• Teach for America: Memphis
Funding Awarded: $240,000
Total Members: 240
Teach For America believes that all children deserve the opportunity to attain an excellent education. They recruit, train and place outstanding teacher leaders into classrooms serving low-income children throughout Memphis and Shelby County.
Contact: Andrea Kukoff, (319) 321-2509,

• The Relay New Teacher Pathway – Relay Graduate School of Education
Funding Awarded: $33,600
Total Members: 112
AmeriCorps members participate in the innovative teacher preparation program, the Relay New Teacher Pathway (RNTP), in Nashville and Memphis. At the end of the first program year, the AmeriCorps members will be prepared and certified to serve as full-time teachers of record, and the approximately 2,400 economically disadvantaged K-12 students they teach will demonstrate improved academic performance, better attitudes about school, and improved behavior and classroom engagement.
Contact: Allison Moore, (646) 604-9515,

Community Cares – Tennessee’s Community Assistance Corporation
Funding Awarded: $190,246
Total Members: 15
Community Cares AmeriCorps members assist frail seniors and persons with disabilities through direct, in-home assistance so that the residents can remain living independently in their own homes for as long as possible.
Contact: Rebecca Basenfelder, (423) 586-7636 x307,

• Making Veterans Priority (MVP) – Tennessee’s Community Assistance Corporation
Funding Awarded: $89,447
Total Members: 10
MVP AmeriCorps members provide a wide array of services for veterans and their families that are homeless or on the verge of becoming homeless due to lack of income, physical and/or mental health issues, disabilities, trauma, substance abuse, and weak social networks. The goal is to allow them to improve their quality of life, while giving them the resources, respect and encouragement they deserve to live a more productive and fulfilling life.
Contact: Rebecca Basenfelder, (423) 586-7636 x307,

• Hands On Nashville
Funding Awarded: $288,648
Total Members: 19
Hands On Nashville builds capacity for individuals and agencies to meet needs through volunteerism. Its AmeriCorps program honors that work by engaging members in yearlong terms of service with HON and its environmental community partners. Member activities include stream restoration, environmental education, volunteer project management, urban canopy care, and community outreach.
Contact: Jann Seymour, (615) 298-1108 ext. 409,

• THRIVE – Martha O’Bryan Centerv Funding Awarded: $ 258,094
Total Members: 21
AmeriCorps members serve at Martha O'Bryan Center in the youth development program, THRIVE. Members will help young people change their futures by mentoring youth in local schools, assisting the youth to succeed. AmeriCorps members also participate in after school tutorials, generate excitement about learning and community service, and encourage parent participation. Members also serve with adult GED students.
Contact: Donna Anderson, (615) 254-1791,

• Appalachia CARES – Clinch-Powell Resource Conservation & Development Council
Funding Awarded: $692,338
Total Members: 99
The Appalachia CARES program is a community-based service-learning program.
AmeriCorps members provide direct service to local communities through primary focus areas of energy efficiency, conservation, and housing services throughout Tennessee. As a secondary focus, they also expand the organizational capacity of participating agencies by expanding services, increasing outreach, and recruiting and/or managing community volunteers.
Contact: Trenna Brown, (423) 620-3456,

Volunteer Tennessee is the Governor’s commission on volunteerism and service. Its mission is to encourage volunteerism and community service. Annually, Volunteer Tennessee provides more than $4.5 million in AmeriCorps grants and volunteer center grants to local agencies throughout the state so they can engage volunteers to meet community needs in education, environment, public safety, human needs, and homeland security. The commission consists of a 25-member, bi-partisan volunteer citizen board appointed by the Governor and eleven State Government ex-officio positions.

More than 5,200 people of all ages and backgrounds are helping meet local needs, strengthen communities, and increase civic engagement at more than 800 national service locations across Tennessee. For more information, visit, on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and Instagram.

AmeriCorps is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that engages millions of Americans in service through its AmeriCorps and Senior Corps programs and leads the nation's volunteering and service efforts. For more information, visit

Published July 5, 2019 USA, LLC

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