Delta State University’s Center for Community and Economic Development recently confirmed it would be one of 11 Mississippi organizations receiving grant funding from a $3.3 million AmeriCorps campaign to support nonprofit and educational organizations across the state.
The grant will support the new the Delta Reads Plus (DRP) project, which will be housed at the CCED on campus. DRP has received $263,761 thanks to the grant.
Through DRP, 50 AmeriCorps members will tutor students one-on-one in grades K-8 five days a week for the 2016-17 academic term in school districts in Bolivar, Coahoma, Leflore, Washington and Sunflower counties.
The program will help reach 400 economically disadvantaged students. Focus areas will include reading and math. The AmeriCorps tutors will guide the students to program completion by participating in 30 or more tutoring sessions.
“Delta Reads Plus is great news for both DSU and the local schools because some schools in the Mississippi Delta are facing low student achievement due to a perpetual lack of support and the economic disadvantages persistent in the area,” said David Tanner with the CCED. “Having AmeriCorps serve as tutors in these areas is a great way of leveraging resources and enhancing student achievement. DSU has a longstanding partnership with K-12 schools throughout the Mississippi Delta region and is committed to helping those schools succeed.”
According to Robin Boyles, director of the Office of Institutional Grants at Delta State, DRP is currently seeking school districts interested in receiving certified tutoring services within the five target counties.
“Delta State, through its Center for Community and Economic Development, has a long history of partnering with the Mississippi Commission on Volunteer Service and the Corporation for National and Community Service, to provide programming that addresses the needs of the Mississippi Delta region,” said Boyles. “Through the Delta Reads Plus project, we are furthering our commitment to addressing the region’s educational outcomes by focusing on increasing student achievement in reading and math.”
Interested districts are encouraged to contact Tanner at contact Tanner at 662-846-4808 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Statewide, the federal investment of the 11 grants totaling $3.3 million will support 546 AmeriCorps members. Through these grants, AmeriCorps members will support youth development and education programs serving Mississippi students in grades K-12, and help expand economic opportunities in all 82 Mississippi counties.
The Corporation for National and Community Service will also provide up to $1.6 million in education scholarships for the AmeriCorps members funded by these grants to help pay for college, vocational training, or repay student loans. The federal investment is projected to generate an additional $2.2 million in local support to increase community impact and return on federal investment.
“AmeriCorps members make a powerful impact on the toughest challenges facing our nation,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the CNCS. “Building on Mississippi’s strong tradition of neighbor helping neighbor, AmeriCorps members will improve lives and strengthen communities across the hospitality state. While they serve others, AmeriCorps members will also expand opportunity for themselves — gaining skills and experience to jumpstart their careers. I salute AmeriCorps members for their dedication, and thank our outstanding partners who make their service possible.”
Learn more about Delta State’s CCED at https://www.deltastate.edu/academics/graduate-and-continuing-studies/center-for-community-economic-development/.