Reading, PA- Olivet Boys & Girls Club of Reading and Berks County has been chosen for an AmeriCorps grant totaling nearly $215,000.

This is the second consecutive year the organization has received the grant.

Last year the Olivet Community Builders AmeriCorps program trained 65 volunteers between ages 17 and 24, said Ana Cepeda, AmeriCorps program director for the club.

The organization hopes to repeat that success.

Program members perform service to support 500 elementary- and middle school-age children through academic enrichment, character building and community service, she said.

Members take part in academic assistance, mentoring and service projects. The program gives the members an opportunity to make a difference in the community while learning skills and earning a scholarship for college or trade school.

Members are expected to perform a service term of 450 hours, during which they receive a stipend. Upon completion of their terms, they receive an educational award of $1,500.

Several AmeriCorps members secured permanent full-time employment with the Olivet Boys & Girls Club because of the experience they gained while serving as AmeriCorps members, Cepeda said.

Some hope to return for another term in the program, she said, while others have gone on to trade schools and colleges or secured employment elsewhere.

The club is recruiting people between 17 and 24 for the 2016-17 year program, targeting Reading and Berks County residents.

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