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Ole Miss College Corps awarded federal funds

Students will continue to benefit from more one-on-one instruction in school and in after-school programs, thanks to federal grants.

The Corporation for National and Community Service is awarding $5 million to five programs in Mississippi, including $2.26 million in state competitive funding and $1.19 million in Segal AmeriCorps Education Award funding. Another $1.5 million was approved for Volunteer Mississippi, the state’s service commission, to support AmeriCorps education programs.

Locally, the University of Mississippi College Corps will receive $168,000 to support academic assistance for disadvantaged preschool to fourth-grade students in Oxford and surrounding communities.

Started in 2010 by Hildreth Davis, an AmeriCorps VISTA in the College of Liberal Arts, UM College Corps is a national service program that addresses problems related to education and opportunity in Lafayette County.

College Corps annually provides approximately 120 AmeriCorps members who volunteer at about six local host sites that include local schools, Leap Frog and the Barksdale Boys & Girls Club of Oxford.

All members are placed in sites where they vow to offer 300 hours of consistent service throughout a year-long term.

Leap Frog benefits

Teresa Adams, executive director of the Leap Frog in Oxford, said the volunteers from UM College Corps and the AmeriCorps program are invaluable.

“The students serve up to 12 hours a week at Leap Frog helping to make sure the site is ready, tutoring, supervising and creating relationships with our elementary students,” Adams said. “The students that have served at Leap Frog have left lasting marks on the students’ lives they worked with, and have gained much from their experience serving with our program. So much so, that many go on to serve with Teach For America and other similar programs after graduating.”

Once a member completes their 300 hours, they are awarded an AmeriCorps Segal Education Award.

“Mississippi’s strong support for volunteerism and service is one part of what makes the state a great place to live and work,” Wicker said.  “AmeriCorps volunteers have a proven record of improving the lives of citizens and creating lasting change in their communities.  I am excited for the educational opportunities these grants will provide for Mississippi’s students.”

Launched in 1994, AmeriCorps is administered by CNCS and has a National Civilian Community Corps campus in Vicksburg.

This federal funding is being matched by $1.8 million in various local and private-sector resources.

Other grants awarded:

•$1.67 million for the America Reads–Mississippi program administered by the Mississippi Institutes of Higher Learning to support kindergarten to third-grade reading tutorials statewide

•$568,406 for the COOL Education Project sponsored by Scientific Research to support K-12 one-on-one tutoring in Hinds, Madison and Scott counties

•$540,142 for the Campus Link AmeriCorps program sponsored by the University of Southern Mississippi Center for Community and Civil Engagement to support in-school and after-school tutoring to students in South Mississippi

•$512,840 for the Grenada School District AmeriCorps Program sponsored by the Grenada School District to support a K-8 tutor program