MPSHome Staff Contact
About City of Lakes AmeriCorps

 Who We Are

City of Lakes AmeriCorps specifically exists as a partnership between Minneapolis Community Education and the Multilingual Department of Minneapolis Public Schools. We strive to support the education and development of Long-Term English Learner students (LTELs) in Minneapolis Public Schools. This program is made possible by both the Corporation for National and Community Service and ServeMinnesota.


The City of Lakes AmeriCorps program started in 1994 as a partnership between the YMCA and Minneapolis Community Education. Over the years the program has continued to evolve and refine its scope. In 2000 the program was housed entirely with Community Education in the Minneapolis Public Schools, although the YMCA continues to be an important partner for specific programs and events.

Beginning in the 2011-2012 school year, the program began its focus specifically on middle school English Learner (EL) students. Each COL AmeriCorps member provides a caseload of students with literacy and language-based 1:1 or small-group tutoring throughout the school day. Members collaborate closely with content, ESL, and Reading teachers to ensure a cohesive approach in meeting students’ individual learning needs. Members also partner with Community Education to provide classes during out-of-school time (after school, Saturdays, and during the summer). These classes aim to reinforce literacy skills in unique and engaging ways.


The mission of City of Lakes AmeriCorps is to provide Long-Term English Learners access to grade-level content through dedicated and rigorous language learning support. Our mission for members is to build a learning community through service, reflection and inquiry.


Our vision is to serve, and not fix*, in order to eradicate the opportunity gap for Long-Term English Learners. 
* Based on the poem "A Fixer"


Our goal for our students is that they are engaged and empowered to achieve their full potential. Our goal for our members is that they are engaged and empowered to serve as values-driven leaders in their communities.


  1. Building relationship with students through intentional interactions and youth development best practices.
  2. Utilizing a gradual release of responsibility and tutoring strategies from  Kate Kinsella and other research-based approaches.
  3. Creating a home connection between members and students' families.
  4. Collaborating closely with teachers to form a teacher-member-student partnership.


View this infographic to learn more about CoL's 2015-16 impact and alignment with MPS's Strategic Plan: Acceleration 2020

For historical impact data, view our 2013-2014 Annual Report , which was completed in January 2015 with support of the Corporation of National and Community Service (CNCS) and Serve Minnesota.

Highlights include our cumulative totals after 20 years of service, including:

  • 533 members who have served;
  • $2,965,000 in Education Awards earned;
  • 10,205 youth tutored;
  • 4,734 youth engaged in Service Learning;
  • Over 1,270  youth mentored;
  •  15,702 youth participated in before or after school programs;
  • 1,374 additional volunteers recruited.

 2016-2017 Funding

  • $381,006 - Corporation for National & Community Service (federal)
  • $15,000 - ServeMinnesota Innovation Fund (state)
  • $287,500 - Minneapolis Public Schools
  • $52,894 - In-kind contributions (local)
  • $14,994 - Minneapolis Community Education (local)
  • $45,000 - Partner Site Fees (local, state, and federal)
  • $796,394 - Total

National AmeriCorps Research