The right academic path

If you would like to be a part of improving the lives of children through AmeriCorps, or know someone who would be a great fit, please contact John Spanczak by emailing or visiting our career page.

What the data shows

The achievement gap affects many low-income children for their entire academic career. Research shows that the achievement gap starts at a young age, with only half of low-income kindergartners in the Cedar Rapids Community School District being proficient in early literacy skills compared to 72% of their higher-income peers (Iowa Department of Education, 2009).

Committed to helping local families

United Way is committed to helping families with limited resources receive support they need to get students on the right academic path through Youth Achievement AmeriCorps. This program combines the power of national service with local community partners through the committed service of full-time AmeriCorps members.

Youth Achievement AmeriCorps members provide support to low-income children and families through:

  • Early literacy programming
  • Literacy tutoring and enrichment
  • Math tutoring and STEM engagement

Results from the 2014 school year include:

  • 3,735 hours of in-school tutoring and academic support
  • 92% of children tested improved their reading scores from fall to spring
  • 84% of students tested improved their math scores from 2013–14
    • 72% of these students met or exceeded their expected growth in math as opposed to only 60% of students who did not receive consistent AmeriCorps intervention
  • 87% of students who attended tutoring with AmeriCorps members grew in their specified tutoring topic (reading or math)

These results would not be possible without the committed involvement of our AmeriCorps members.