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Higgins: $173,000 in American Rescue Plan Funding for The Service Collaborative of Western New York


Tue, Oct 26th 2021 12:35 pm

Funding supports ABLE early childhood program

Congressman Brian Higgins on Tuesday announced a federal grant totaling $173,001 awarded to The Service Collaborative of WNY.

His team said, “Funded by the American Rescue Plan, AmeriCorps is providing relief to organizations and communities disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, it will help stabilize and expand programs, making services more accessible and inclusive.” The grant funding will support the AmeriCorps Builds Lives through Education (ABLE) early childhood program, which is run through the organization.

“Community service is crucial, especially as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Higgins said. “This funding, provided by the American Rescue Plan, will allow AmeriCorps members to continue gaining valuable training and experience while serving children and families in need across Western New York.”

The American Rescue Plan funding will be used to support living allowances for AmeriCorps members serving with the ABLE early childhood program. In addition to early childhood programming, this funding also extends AmeriCorps service to K-12 classrooms, focusing on math intervention for elementary students facing learning challenges after 18 months of remote education.

The funding will also help offset the matching requirement costs for program partners, which will allow community organizations and schools that might not typically have access to utilize AmeriCorps members to support programs.

The Service Collaborative of WNY Executive Director Kate Sarata said the community need for education support is great, and members are ready to hit the ground running. “We are excited to be able to have AmeriCorps members serving in person this program year. The past year-and-a-half has been completely virtual.”

Higgins’ team noted, “The ABLE early childhood program is an AmeriCorps program that focuses on school readiness. It addresses the need for better prepared early childhood teachers serving ethnically disadvantaged, diverse urban populations. Through the ABLE early childhood program, AmeriCorps members serve alongside teachers, receiving daily hands-on service learning, in addition to foundational early childhood educator training through the Childcare Resource Network. The service period extends for more than seven months beginning in the fall in classrooms where they implement lessons that increase students’ mathematic comprehension. During their service, members receive a biweekly living allowance, an education award, health insurance, child care, regular early-childhood educator training, additional professional development, and an assigned mentor.”

The program is currently recruiting for positions in early childhood and K-12 settings.

The Service Collaborative of WNY is a nonprofit organization that oversees national service programs operating in Western New York, such as AmeriCorps state programs, an AmeriCorps VISTA program, and a U.S. Department of Labor YouthBuild Program. To learn more about serving or partnering with The Service Collaborative of WNY, visit www.tscwny.org.

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