Walmart Foundation announces $100K grant to City Year Miami

By Bethany Copeland….
The Walmart Foundation recently announced a $100,000 grant to City Year Miami, which will support the work of City Year AmeriCorps members who serve in high-poverty schools throughout the entire school year, applying the power of national service to help increase student success and close the education achievement gap.

The Walmart Foundation’s $100,000 grant will fund an entire team of eight corps members at Pine Villa Elementary School in Goulds.

“Every 26 seconds a student drops out of high school in America — and middle school is often where students start falling off track,” said Saif Ishoof, City Year Miami executive director. “Young adults who are near-peers to the students they serve and highly motivated to get results can help them get back on track.

“We are deeply grateful to the Walmart Foundation for their generous investment that will continue to bring state-of-the-art techniques to help City Year AmeriCorps members have the greatest possible impact on the academic success of middle school students.”

City Year Miami corps members have served the Miami community since the fall of 2008. For the coming school year, City Year Miami members will be serving in 13 high-need schools throughout Miami-Dade County.

At City Year’s 21 locations across the country, City Year AmeriCorps members ages 17 to 24 serve in high-poverty schools throughout the entire school year. Corps members work directly with at-risk children to improve student attendance, behavior and course performance in English and math, which research confirms is a way to significantly increase the urban high school graduation pipeline in America.

As near-peers working in schools from before the first bell rings and until the last child leaves the after-school program, corps members are uniquely able to help students and schools succeed.

“With 70 percent of the nation’s eighth graders not reading at grade level proficiency, and with half of the incoming ninth graders in urban, high poverty schools reading three years or more below grade level, improving the literacy of middle school students is a national priority,” said Walmart Foundation president Margaret McKenna.

“City Year’s national corps of diverse young adults in service is ideally suited to help address this need. The Walmart Foundation is pleased to continue to partner with City Year to build upon our success in providing intensive training for their work.”

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