In 1983, the Washington state legislature established the Washington Service Corps (WSC) to promote community service and support youth employment around the state. The WSC was the first program of its kind in the nation. A decade later, the federal government created the AmeriCorps national service program, looking at WSC as one of the models for that program’s design.
Since 1994, we have been a part of the federal AmeriCorps program, with primary funding coming from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) through an annual grant application process.
For 20 years, we have run an AmeriCorps*State program in which members are placed individually, in small groups and large teams with organizations across the state. Initially a program with 300 members, our WSC AmeriCorps program has now almost doubled in size.
In 1998, our Washington Reading Corps program was created through a collaboration between the Governor’s office, the Washington State Commission for National and Community Service, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, and the WSC. This program solely focuses on improving literacy in children and students, placing AmeriCorps members in schools and early learning centers who provide tutoring to struggling readers.
With both programs combined, today we have approximately 720 AmeriCorps members serving statewide.