AUGUSTA — Three hundred and sixty-seven AmeriCorps positions were funded to serve communities in all of Maine’s 16 counties representing an increase in both positions and funding over the previous year, according to a news release from the Maine Commission for Community Service.

In addition to the $2.3 million in federal money, these initiatives will be bolstered by an additional $2.24 million in local funds and in-kind contributions. The Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency supporting national service programs, and the Maine Commission for Community Service recently awarded 11 Maine AmeriCorps programs with a total of $2.3 million. These funds will support AmeriCorps members serving communities to address opioid misuse, enhance K-12 education for underserved populations and at-risk youth, improve access and conserve the environment, increase digital literacy in rural areas, and augment job skills and job readiness, among other outcomes.

The 11 Maine AmeriCorps Programs include:

• Brunswick School Department, Brunswick; $73,798/five members;

• Trekkers Inc., Thomaston; $29,864/two members;

• Midcoast Conservancy, Edgecomb; $53,673/four members;

• Colby College, Waterville; $29,828/two members;

• Eastern Maine Development Corp., Bangor; $116,796/38 members;

• RSU 14, Windham; $151,741/22 members;

• Axiom Education & Training, Machias; $233,168/16 members;

Earlier this year, the commission recommended four applications to the Federal AmeriCorps competition for funding consideration by CNCS. These four organizations were successful in this two-tiered grant competition: University of Southern Maine/Maine Campus Compact, LearningWorks, Healthy Acadia, and the Maine Department of Agriculture/Maine Conservation Corps.;

• University of Southern Maine/Maine Campus Compact, Portland; $177,893/38 members ;

• Learning Works, Portland; $497,646/101 members;

• Healthy Acadia, Ellsworth; $283,768/30 members; and

• Maine Department of Agriculture/Maine Conservation Corps, Augusta; $660,224/109 members.

The commission approved funding for seven programs, four of which applied for funds through the Maine Rural State AmeriCorps Grant Initiative. This new grant design allows for smaller organizations in rural states, such as Maine, that do not have the internal capacity to apply for a traditional full size AmeriCorps grant to downsize their programs and host two to five members instead. The four organizations to successfully receive Rural State Grants are Brunswick School Department, Trekkers Inc., Midcoast Conservancy and Colby College. The commission also awarded funds to three larger programs, Eastern Maine Development Corporation, RSU 14 and Axiom Education and Training, according to the release.

For more information on current Maine AmeriCorps programs, visit maineservicecommission.gov.

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