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AmeriCorps Grant Funds Afterschool Program

For more information contact:

Joanne Haas, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823 or cell (608) 669-5606

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 8/2/2006

Issued By: County Executive
View only releases from County Executive
Twenty-five AmeriCorps members will be added to a countywide afterschool program dedicated to academics, jobs and community service thanks to a recently approved federal grant to Dane County.

The $311,241 grant will come to the County through the State of Wisconsin National Community Service Board (Serve Wisconsin). The grant, renewable for two years, is for use in the Partners for AfterSchool Success (PASS) – a 14-organization program where the top priority is tutoring middle school students.

“Programs like PASS are crucial to keeping our children on the path to success in school, in the workforce and in the community,” Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk said.

Under the terms of the grant, matching funds of $121,821 from the community-based agencies are required. Participating agencies will provide $5,000 each in matching funds for the grant.

Participants in PASS who will be receiving AmeriCorps members include: The Atwood Community Center, Centro Hispano, Commonwealth Development, Dane County 4-H, Deerfield Community Center, Girl Scouts of Blackhawk Council, Greater Elver Park Community Programs at Wisconsin Youth and Family Center, Kennedy Heights Community Center, Madison School Community Recreation, the Mount Horeb and Oregon Youth Centers, the Urban League of Greater Madison and the Vera Court and Wexford Ridge Neighborhood Centers.

PASS expects the AmeriCorps members to provide safe places and activities for at least 1,000 youths.

“As we work ahead on a tight budget for 2007, these grant monies help us continue the work we’ve already been doing to support our youth programs in Dane County,” Falk said.

This marks the second time Dane County has received an AmeriCorps grant to support the PASS program. During the 2004-2005 funding year, a grant allowed the placement of 20 AmeriCorps members in 17 host sites in the county. Those members worked with more than 2,000 middle school students. Examples of successes that year included:

· Creation of the first tutoring club offered at the Mount Horeb Youth Center. The club helped 41 students.
· Operation Stewart Lake, a project coordinated by an AmeriCorps member and six students who recruited 45 other volunteers to assist with trash cleanup and marking 13 storm drains around the lake near Mount Horeb.
· Starting an evening teen program and Saturday morning boys group at the Vera Court Neighborhood Center. The two new programs helped the center’s volunteer efforts grow by 30 kids.

“With additional funds and AmeriCorps members, we expect to be able to help even more youths, start more great programs and make our communities even stronger places for our young people to grow and succeed,” Falk said.

The PASS collaboration was developed through the efforts of the Dane County Youth Resource Network, a consortium of more than 150 individuals and organizations serving county youth. The network, created by the Dane County Youth Commission in 1998, was established to promote planning and coordination of after-school youth services.

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