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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 within Community Education in the Minneapolis Public Schools.

Beginning in the 2011-2012 school year, the program began its focus specifically on middle school English Learner (EL) students. Full-time CoL Academic Coach members provide a caseload of students with academic language and coaching support throughout the school day. Members collaborate closely with content and ESL teachers to ensure a cohesive approach in meeting students’ individual learning needs. Part-time Youth Worker members partner with Community Education Coordinators to provide classes during out-of-school time (before and/or after school and during the summer). These classes aim to explore identity and interests in unique and hands-on ways, and to ultimately increase student engagement in school.


The mission of City of Lakes AmeriCorps is to foster in youth the ability to advocate for themselves and to use education as a means to reach their goals.   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 and other underserved student populations. 
* 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 relationships 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. Engaging families as partners in their child's education.
  4. Collaborating closely with teachers in order to provide rigorous academic support.
  5. Utilizing out-of-school opportunities to increase student engagement and identity development.


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.

 2017-2018 Funding

  • $379,038 - Corporation for National & Community Service (federal)
  • $15,000 - ServeMinnesota Innovation Fund (state)
  • $297,844 - Minneapolis Public Schools
  • $47,125 - In-kind contributions (local)
  • $15,000 - Minneapolis Community Education (local)
  • $48,000 - Partner Site Fees (local, state, and federal)
    $802,007 - Total Budget

National AmeriCorps Research