Supports AmeriCorps members serving in ABLE Early Childhood Program
Congressman Brian Higgins announced a federal grant totaling $645,259 awarded to The Service Collaborative of Western New York. Funded by the American Rescue Plan and fiscal year 2022 appropriations, the AmeriCorps grant will provide support for the AmeriCorps Builds Lives through Education (ABLE) Early Childhood Program, which helps close education gaps among preschool students in Western New York.
“The Service Collaborative of Western New York plays a critical role preparing local youth for success in classroom, as well as the next generation of teachers,” Higgins said. “Increased funding from the American Rescue Plan will improve the wages of AmeriCorps teachers, and allow the program to continue meeting the needs of young students in the Western New York community.”
The Service Collaborative Executive Director Kate Sarata said, “Receiving this funding will allow us to continue the impactful work in early childhood education we began three years ago. The ABLE Early Childhood program not only impacts childhood learning for young children, but it builds a pipeline of educators for a field that needs teachers desperately.”
Higgins’ team said, “The ABLE Early Childhood Program focuses on kindergarten readiness and addresses the need for more prepared early childhood teachers serving ethnically diverse, urban populations. AmeriCorps members serve full-time beginning in the fall for up to nine months in an early childhood classroom. Working alongside teachers, they implement evidence-based math games to increase student math comprehension. The program provides the tools to help AmeriCorps members build careers in education and become more effective in preventing academic and developmental delays in children.”
Funding awarded to The Service Collaborative of Western New York will support 84 AmeriCorps members who will serve local students through the ABLE Early Childhood Program. Working with small groups of 3- to 6-year-olds in Erie and Niagara counties, members will be responsible for 80% of students reaching current math standards.
Higgins’ team added, “Studies have shown that the ABLE Early Childhood Program has made a significant difference in school readiness among children. Participants are less likely to drop out of high school, and more likely to succeed in adulthood. The program specifically selects students who are performing below development benchmarks in mathematics. They meet in small groups twice each week with the goal of helping them meet or exceed standards by the end of the year.”
This year, New York state will receive $31,602,169 in funding from AmeriCorps. The Service Collaborative is one of just 18 grantees across the state. Learn more about national service opportunities through The Service Collaborative of WNY by visiting tscwny.org.