Pingree Announces $3.5 Million for Maine Volunteer Programs Aimed at Boosting Climate Resilience, Strengthening Education
Washington, May 9, 2023
Tags: Fighting Climate Change
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) today announced $3,457,812 in AmeriCorps funding for environmental stewardship and child development programs in Maine. The State and National grants and education awards will support approximately 226 AmeriCorps members who will collaborate with Maine organizations’ mission to boost climate resilience, protect and conserve public lands, and improve school readiness for disadvantaged children. Awards include funds from both Fiscal Year 2023 Appropriations and the American Rescue Plan, which was used to increase the AmeriCorps minimum living allowance and to stabilize and expand AmeriCorps programs in Maine.
“Thanks to the American Rescue Plan and funding I helped secure in the FY2023 Appropriations bill, our communities in Maine and across the country are getting the tools they need to not only recover and rebuild from the pandemic, but also prepare for and help mitigate the impacts of climate change,” said Pingree. “Through these significant, targeted investments, more AmeriCorps members will be united by a mission to support our great state as we tackle climate change, support our children, and recover from the pandemic.”
Programs awarded grant funding are as follows:
Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry ($891,020): The Maine Conservation Corps will support 81 AmeriCorps members who will accrue marketable skills and experiences, while completing vital environmental stewardship and capacity building activities. Team based placements will focus on trail rehabilitation and construction as well as habitat restoration; individual placement members will be engaged in host site specific objectives, such as ecological monitoring, environmental education, community engagement, and expanding volunteer management practice. AmeriCorps members will be responsible for treating or constructing 200 miles of trail and providing capacity building services to 15 host site agencies. AmeriCorps members will leverage 600 community volunteers who will be engaged in skill development activities to perpetuate the stewardship efforts of members. This program will concentrate on the AmeriCorps focus area of Environmental Stewardship and Capacity Building.
Greater Portland Council of Governments ($276,000): The Greater Portland Council of Governments will support 12 AmeriCorps members who will increase the capacity and impact of municipalities and agencies throughout Cumberland and York Counties via systems development, project implementation, data collection, planning, outreach, and community engagement. AmeriCorps Members will be responsible for increased municipal and regional capacity for community and environmental resilience, with specific focus on climate change adaptation and mitigation. AmeriCorps Members will also support environmental stewardship by providing education, outreach, and training to residents in Cumberland and York Counties.
Kennebec Valley Community Action Program ($279,191): Kennebec Valley Community Action Program and Educare Central Maine, in partnership with the Maine Department of Education's Child Development Services division, will support 25 AmeriCorps members who will directly support children in Head Start/Early Head Start/Child Development Services classrooms as they develop foundational social-emotional skills necessary for school readiness. AmeriCorps members will implement programs to support improvement in children's pre- and post-assessments in the School Readiness Goals benchmarks, particularly in the social-emotional domain, using the child development assessment tools. AmeriCorps members will leverage 12 community volunteers who will be engaged in adding diverse skills and experience to the programs. This program will concentrate on the AmeriCorps focus area of Education, specifically improved school readiness for disadvantaged young children.
Campus Compact ($1,089,982): Campus Compact's Campus Climate Action Corps will support 108 AmeriCorps members at 9 service sites across three regions: Midwest, Northeast, and Southeast. AmeriCorps members will host 36 Community Environmental Education Events, conduct 540 basic home energy assessments, including 225 home energy assistance referrals, and implement a total of 450 low-tech home energy interventions. These activities will advance knowledge and motivation to increase energy conservation and reduce carbon emissions. Members will implement 9 climate action plans, including 9 community projects that enhance ecosystem health. In addition, members will leverage 360 volunteers who will support these environmental stewardship activities. This program will concentrate on the AmeriCorps focus area of Environmental Stewardship.
These AmeriCorps State and National grants and new AmeriCorps members will join the more than 1.1 million AmeriCorps members who have served since the program’s inception in 1994, earning nearly $4 billion in education awards.
The funding includes up to $761,695 million in education awards for AmeriCorps members. After a full-service term, members can receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award of approximately $6,500 towards tuition at eligible schools and at certain GI Bill-approved educational programs for veterans, or student loan repayment.
Volunteer Maine, the state service commission, will also receive $921,619 in formula funding, which will in turn be awarded to state organizations to support additional AmeriCorps members in the coming months.
AmeriCorps, the federal agency for volunteerism and national service, provides opportunities for Americans to serve their country domestically, address the nation’s most pressing challenges, improve lives and communities, and strengthen civic engagement. Each year, the agency places more than 200,000 AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers in intensive service roles; and empowers millions more to serve as long-term, short-term, or one-time volunteers.