Wednesday, June 30, 2010


The Ohio Community Service Council has announced that Council on Rural Services has been awarded $50,000 in an AmeriCorps Planning Grant for 2010-2011. The planning grant will be used to develop a new program to fill a service gap for rural Darke, Miami and Shelby County students. The program will target students that are at-risk of dropping out of school and continuing in generational poverty.

Because education is a prerequisite to success, we need to expand learning opportunities. In this planning grant Council on Rural Services will hire an AmeriCorps project coordinator to develop a full “Entrepreneurial Success” education program. The program will include youth education, employment skills, and providing on-going support towards job readiness for young adults; in addition to providing services to strengthen community and program linkages.

The program will include junior and senior high school components that will work in conjunction with Gateway Youth Program, ACES (Achievement Center for Educational Success), Miami and Shelby County schools, and AmeriCorps volunteers to involve students in the development of a social enterprise business model. The students will obtain hands-on experience in business, academic instruction, and a volunteer support program that features career counseling, support mentoring, and tutoring. Also included is a family advocate to strengthen family involvement and provide social service links.

Local programs design AmeriCorps service activities for volunteers that serve full- or part-time for up to one year. Over 20,000 Ohioans have been involved in AmeriCorps and have pledged to get things done… serving more than 34 million hours in local communities.

“Service is a key solution to many of the challenges facing this nation; we need to focus on volunteering as a way to develop opportunities for our community to collaborate effectively and find answers to help young people,” said Shirley Hathaway, executive director of Council on Rural Services. “We need to work together and commit to ensuring a better future for youth and our community, and this can be done through volunteering.”

President Obama has placed a high priority on citizen service as a strategy to help meet national challenges. These AmeriCorps grants are the first ones made under the new Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act. Ohio received a 40% increase in its AmeriCorps funding allocation in 2010 as part of the Serve America Act expansion.

The Corporation for National and Community Service, of which AmeriCorps is part, plays a vital role in supporting the American culture of citizenship, service and responsibility. They are a catalyst for change and champion for the idea that every American has skills and talents to give. The Corporation is the nation’s largest grant maker supporting service and volunteering to help meet critical community needs in education, public safety, health, and the environment.

Council on Rural Services provides education, support, and volunteer services through Gateway Youth Programs, ACES, Kids Learning Place™, Head Start, Early Head Start, and HandsOn West Central Ohio in their nine county service area. For more information you can call 937-778-5220 or check the Web site at Also become a fan of Council on Rural Services and see all the wonderful things that are happening at the agency, by going to

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