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Flint schools will get a boost from Americorps

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

More than 80 Americorps members will spend part of the next few years helping Flint school children. 

The national service program named Flint as one of ten communities nationwide that will participate in its Operation Americorps. Similar grants have already been announced in New York,  Tucson, Arizona and Pawtucket, Rhode Island. The program combines three different parts of Americorps. 

In Flint, Americorps members will provide after-school and summer programs at three schools. They will offer tutoring and health education.

Wendy Spencer is the CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. CNCS oversees the Americorps program.

Credit Americorps
Corporation for National and Community Service CEO Wendy Spencer

She says in Flint, Americorps' mission will be to boost school attendance and academic performance.

“If they are not in school they can’t learn. Got to make sure they are in school,” says Spencer. “If they don’t have extra support, sometimes they fall behind.”

Isaiah Oliver is the president of the Flint school board. He calls the collaboration “a win-win.”

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling is a former Americorps volunteer. 

“This is a proud moment,” says Walling. “I know the extraordinary potential that service has to transform the lives of those served and those who serve.”

Local foundations came up with $366,000 in matching funds. 

Gerald Myers is CEO of the Crim Foundation. He says the hope is to build on the Americorps initiative.

“We’re expecting the community education initiative to be available and active in all Flint public schools within the next few years,” says Myers.

Myers says that will require more volunteers and money.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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