The Families, Parks & Recreation Department serves thousands of children at recreation centers, schools, and non-profit partner locations. Since 2006, FPR has systematically enhanced its children's programs, largely via grant funding, in order to reduce juvenile crime and improve academic performance at City schools. Grants are specifically being leveraged to: 1) engage older youth residing in high crime/low-income neighborhoods in evidence-based crime prevention programs; and 2) provide intensive academic support/counseling and workforce development training to the large number of academically-struggling older youth who attend our programs or reside in these neighborhoods.
To support this work, FPR has been awarded a two-year Operation AmeriCorps grant by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) via Volunteer Florida. Part of the grant will provide funding for the City to hire sixty-five (65) full-time AmeriCorps members who will create an academic advocacy and counseling program targeted at high school juniors and seniors residing in Orlando’s lowest income neighborhoods. Members will primarily serve at five high schools (Jones, Edgewater, Boone, Colonial and Lake Nona) and several City of Orlando recreation centers. They will be responsible for helping 2,000 11th and 12th grade students graduate from high school and transition to one of five post-secondary tracks (post-secondary education, technical school, military enlistment, AmeriCorps or employment).
The grant will also provide funding for the City to hire a Full Time (Contract) Program Program Manager and a Full Time (Contract) Academic Coordinator.
Another part of the grant will fund 5 AmeriCorps VISTAs (Volunteers in Service to America) and a team of AmerCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC). Since the Corporation for National and Community Service manages VISTA and NCCC as separate programs, they are not included in this Agreement. Instead, they are expected to be the subject of a future Agreement between the City and the Corporation for National and Community Service.
The program budget is $1,198,880 per year, for a total of $2,397,760 over the two-year project lifespan. Of this amount, the grant will provide $892,301 per year, the City will contribute $201,948 as in-kind match (largely the value of office space, existing supplies/software/equipment, and existing budgeted staff salaries), and $104,631 per year in cash match which is included in the FPR budget. This is a two year grant, renewable each year.