Work that Corps! The City’s Big Plans for Three New Grants

AmeriCorps to provide $4.4 million to bolster schools and create jobs

When it comes to education, you’d think the city with the second largest school district in the nation would be able to hold its own. In fact the LAUSD needs a little outside help.

On Monday it was announced that Los Angeles has been awarded three new grants, totaling $4.4 million, from the federal Corporation for National & Community Service, aka AmeriCorps. In disbursing these grants, AmeriCorps’ goal is to enable cities to tackle big local challenges with a turnaround of a couple years. The establishment of a Promise Zone—an area with significant poverty eligible for major federal aid—in L.A. last year helped us snag the funding.

“This is a historic national service moment for Los Angeles,” Garcetti said in a press release. “Those who answer the call to serve will be doing transformative work from neighborhoods stretching from Watts to Pacoima.”

This isn’t Frank Underwood’s AmWorks, of course, but the grant money will create some new jobs—94, to be exact. The new hires will join AmeriCorps to work as tutors and advisors for elementary, middle, and high school students.

“Los Angeles is at the forefront of a new War on Poverty, and this is the sound of the cavalry coming,” said Dixon Slingerland, Executive Director of Youth Policy Institute.

See yourself or someone you know in one of those 94 jobs? Here’s what the AmeriCorps recruits will be up to under each grant.

Operation AmeriCorps — $710,811
15 AmeriCorps members will be recruited through the Mayor’s Office to work as College & Career Ambassadors at FamilySource and YouthSource centers, which provide social services like ESL classes and financial classes in low income areas. The program will help get 336 students on track for college each year.

LA Promise Corps — $1,749,210
Through the Youth Policy Institute, a nonprofit targeting anti-poverty and youth related issues, 54 AmeriCorps members will work in 19 schools in distressed communities in Pacoima and Hollywood as English and math tutors. Each year, the program will help 1,578 students advance at least one level of proficiency in English or math.

Promise Zones AmeriCorps program — $1,930,671
We share this joint grant (and a little brotherly love) with fellow Promise Zone city Philadelphia. Between the two cities, 50 full-time AmeriCorps members will serve as College & Career Ambassadors in struggling schools. The program will prepare 1,440 students for college each year.