Blackfoot Community Center has received a School Turnaround AmeriCorps Grant to help students at Snake River Junior High School.
The Blackfoot initiative is one of 13 across the nation who will share $15 million. This three-year grant is funded through the U.S. Department of Education in partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service.
"[The Blackfoot Community Center staff] will give training and oversight to AmeriCorps members," said Ashlee Howell, director of the Blackfoot Community Center.
After they are trained, the AmeriCorps members will work in the Snake River Junior High.
Snake River Junior High was the only school in this area that qualified for this AmeriCorps grant, said Howell.
"Staff will be trained to assist students during the regular school day and also facilitate after-school activities," said Howell.
Speaking about after-school activities, Howell said, "Lots of studies have been done on the impact extended school days make on education."
According to the grant, AmeriCorps members will serve as classroom facilitators for 280 seventh- and eighth-grade students from Snake River Junior High, providing tools for family and community engagement. They will help to establish a school culture and environment that improves school safety, attendance and discipline and will also address other non-academic factors that impact achievement.
AmeriCorps members do not receive a wage, said Howell. They can receive a living expense and/or an educational award.
"As an option, parents or grandparents can work in the classroom as an AmeriCorps volunteer and "gift his/her child or grandchild to further his/her education." For information on how you can become an AmeriCorp volunteer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.