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While Juliana Ko was serving with Teach for America on the outskirts of a Navajo Nation Reservation, she tragically lost one of her students to suicide and knew that she had to do something for her adopted community.

The new School Turnaround AmeriCorps is an exciting initiative that will provide resources to serve disadvantaged students in underperforming schools across the nation. Today, April 2, 2013, is the deadline for applicants that wish to participate to submit a Notice of Intent to Apply for the grant program.

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and U.S. Department of Education announced a new collaborative effort today to strengthen and accelerate interventions in our nation’s lowest-performing schools. The new School Turnaround AmeriCorps program will support a dedicated unit of AmeriCorps members that will provide additional support and resources in persistently underachieving schools.

In his State of the Union address, President Obama vowed to “make high-quality preschool available to every single child in America,” and he traveled to Georgia today to discuss the need for early childhood education. Improving education is a priority at the Corporation for National and Community Service that we support through proven national service efforts that make a difference in the lives of millions of students.

AS220 Youth Studio, a Rhode Island program to help troubled youth get involved with the arts to bring positive outcomes in their lives and longstanding AmeriCorps VISTA project, was recognized as one of the nation’s 12 most outstanding arts programs for young people during a White House event hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama.

The formula to improve student achievement doesn’t start and end with the classroom -- talented teachers, committed parents, and engaged communities must also factor into the equation. Earlier this week, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and U.S. Department of Education recognized 31 organizations from across the nation for their pursuit of that goal in the Together for Tomorrow (TFT) Challenge.

You will hear the acronym STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) a lot whenever the discussion turns to improving education in the United States, and there is a good reason. Those disciplines are the cornerstones of the jobs that will keep America competitive in the near and distant future, and we have to get our students ready for that future now.

Members of the group Game Changerz, also known as Sports Wives With Purpose, were in Washington recently, and we took the opportunity to ask them to talk about their favorite children’s books and the lessons they teach.

One of the major factors that contribute to children falling behind in reading is the learning loss that occurs during summer break. Low-income students, in particular, lose two to three months in reading achievement over the summer.

Today, I was thrilled to be with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan at Memorial Middle School in Orlando, FL to announce Together for Tomorrow, a new initiative to expand community engagement and citizen service to improve low-performing schools.


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