LearningWorks in Portland has received a $2.2 million federal grant as one of 13 organizations nationwide to participate in the new School Turnaround AmeriCorps program.

The social service agency that runs education programs for at-risk students, immigrants and low-income families will use the grant to place AmeriCorps members in persistently underachieving schools in four regions of the state.

The goal is to increase student achievement, improve graduation rates and increase college readiness.

In all, the AmeriCorps members will work with about 1,805 elementary and high school students in Maine.

Across the nation, the new program will provide $15 million over three years to the 13 organizations, placing more than 650 AmeriCorps members in schools.

“This program is a great opportunity to give students better access to the resources and mentoring they need to succeed. I think AmeriCorps volunteers will make a wonderful addition to our schools and I’m so glad our state can benefit from their service,” U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, said in a statement.

In Portland, AmeriCorps members will be placed at Riverton and East End elementary schools.

The AmeriCorps members’ “valuable work will have a significant and positive impact on both our children and our communities for years to come,” Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, said in a statement.

The federal School Turnaround AmeriCorps program was launched in February.


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