U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, R-Missouri, paid a visit to the Ewing Marion Kauffman School Monday to check in on the AmeriCorps members serving with City Year at the charter school.
City Year Kansas City representatives presented Blunt with the Voices for National Service Congressional Award for the work he's done to keep AmeriCorps and other national service programs alive.
"These are programs that are working," Blunt said Monday after the tour.
Last month, Blunt and Congress rejected President Trump's call to eliminate AmeriCorps and the Corporation for National and Community Service. AmeriCorps funding is safe for the rest of the 2018 fiscal year, but Trump's 2019 budget proposal, effective October 1, calls again for its elimination.
"It's been a lot of back and forth," said City Year Kansas City Development Director Jeff Shafer.
That was part of the reason they invited Senator Blunt to tour the Kauffman School.
"We understand Senator Blunt is feeling pressure and has to make difficult decisions," Shafer said. "We want to make sure he continues to understand the value of this for Missouri."
City Year, which places mentors aged 18-24 in urban schools of "high need," came to Kansas City in 2015, kicking off at the Kauffman School. Since then, City Year Kansas City has accumulated more than 70 volunteers and staff, and serves 3,300 students at six area schools, the other five middle and high schools are in the Kansas City Public School District.
Blunt has been a persistent supporter of AmeriCorps because, he said, he believes it creates future community leaders.
"I was in Puerto Rico the other day, trying to look at their power situation, and the first people I saw when I walked into the crisis center, were people from AmeriCorps. Joplin tornado? AmeriCorps," Blunt said.