Western Illinois University-Quad Cities and WQPT are the recipient of a $207,000 grant from the Serve Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service targeting school readiness and K-12 success through their AmeriCorps Program.

The grant will support 40 AmeriCorps volunteers who will provide tutoring and mentoring to at-risk youth at the following locations:

Skip-A-Long Day Care

Spring Forward Learning Center

Martin Luther King Center

Broadway Church

Butterworth Center and Deere-Wiman House

Boys and Girls Clubs

Two Rivers Y

There will also be a program at the Esperanza Center where volunteers will work with children to improve literacy skills.

“Our partner agencies made us aware of the need for a bigger, more robust AmeriCorps program that could serve the diverse educational needs of children in the Illinois Quad Cities,” said Michael Carton, WQPT’s Director of Education and Outreach.  “WQPT is thrilled to be able to help our partners meet those needs by administering this AmeriCorps program.”

Three years ago, when the WQPT Early Childhood Literacy Project began, there were 12 AmeriCorps members serving the Illinois Quad Cities area. The original goal was to improve literacy skills in the classrooms they serve by 15 percent. After completing a pre-test and post-test based on Illinois Early Learning Standards, the results showed an improvement of 49 percent. The following year, the students served by AmeriCorps members continued to show improvement.

AmeriCorp members dedicate a year to helping communities meet their most pressing needs. They receive a modest living allowance, student loan deferment and training.  Members who successfully complete their service receive an educational award. Anyone interested in applying to AmeriCorps can email Scott Brouette at

WQPT is a public media service of WIU.

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