West Seneca, NY—Today, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) announced $808,242 in a federal grant for AmeriCorps Builds Lives through Education (ABLE) of the West Seneca Youth Bureau. The funding will be used for members who tutor children in schools and after-school programs, and for recruitment of volunteers to participate in service-learning projects targeting literacy, community needs and homeland security.
“The West Seneca Youth Bureau has a proven record of outstanding community service, from Earth Day projects including the beautification of the Charles E. Burchfield Nature & Art Center in West Seneca and the clean-up of Gallagher Beach at the Outer Harbor, to mentoring students, shoveling people out of their homes and assisting flood victims,” said Congressman Higgins. “The work AmeriCorps members do is admirable, and the impact it has on the communities throughout Erie County is immeasurable.”
The West Seneca Youth Bureau hosts seven AmeriCorps programs including the Standard Bearers America’s Promise tutoring program, VISTA, Youth Build, Erie County Youth Conservation Corps, Urban Revival Corps, Service Action Corps & the Governors Violence Prevention Program. AmeriCorps members in Western New York are teaching students to read, making neighborhoods safer, training volunteers, mentoring at-risk children, cleaning up rivers, streams and vacant lots and meeting other community needs. Since AmeriCorps was established at the West Seneca Youth Bureau in 1993, members of the seven programs have shoveled more than 500,000 pounds of snow, delivered 6 million pounds of food to area food banks, tutored more than 18,000 students, cleaned 150 nature trails, refurbished countless parks and playgrounds and cleared hundreds of vacant lots.
The funding for the West Seneca Youth Bureau’s ABLE program comes from the 2005 AmeriCorps State Competitive Continuation Grant by the Corporation for National and Community Service. In exchange for their service, AmeriCorps members earn an education award ($4,725 for full time service) to pay for college or to pay off qualified student loans.
In New York State there are more than 59,000 people of all ages and backgrounds helping to strengthen communities through 188 national service projects operating across the state.