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About Senior Corps 
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Hurricane Volunteer Support Fund
In the wake of the recent hurricanes, the Corporation is coordinating volunteers to assist with repair and relief efforts in areas affected by this devastating storm. Your donation will support volunteers in providing food and shelter, managing donations, helping victims get necessary assistance, and long-term rebuilding efforts.
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USA Freedom Corps Partnering to Answer the President’s Call to Service
 
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 10, 2007

CONTACT: Norris P. West
Phone: 202-606-6840
Email: [email protected]

   

New Summer of Service Campaign for Youth Aims for Early Start to Volunteering

 

Washington, DC—The Corporation for National and Community Service and 22 national nonprofit organizations today launched a campaign designed to help America’s youth take their first steps along a lifetime path of volunteering and service by serving their communities over the summer months.

Called the Summer of Service, the nationwide campaign will engage youth between the ages of 5 and 21 in high-quality volunteer activities from June through August. The drive, which puts special emphasis on involving youth from disadvantaged circumstances, recognizes the enormous potential of children to identify issues, develop projects, and provide lasting benefits to their communities through volunteer service.

Joining the agency in launching the initiative are some of the nation’s largest youth organizations including America’s Promise, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Camp Fire USA, MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership, the YMCA, Youth Service America, and 16 other nonprofits. Collectively these groups reach nearly 60 million youth. The Corporation welcomes other national and local organizations that work with youth to become part of the campaign, and more are signing on every week.

“The Summer of Service will empower youth and get them on a path of service and success,” said David Eisner, CEO of the Corporation, an independent federal agency. “Young people make a tremendous contribution to our society, and they already volunteer at higher levels than adults. But we need to do better at involving young people in service and helping providers of youth services to engage young people as assets rather than simply treating them as clients. The Summer of Service is a great time to do both, and I’m delighted so many outstanding organizations are joining in this effort.”

The Corporation is launching a website today at www.nationalservice.gov/summerofservice that provides background information on the Summer of Service, an online sign-up form for affiliates, marketing tools, and training and curriculum resources about how to incorporate service into summer activities produced in conjunction with Youth Service America and other groups.

The Summer of Service campaign is the latest step by the agency to advance its national goal of engaging three million more youth from disadvantaged circumstances in service by the year 2010. The campaign comes on the heels of a new study that found that while volunteering produces many positive benefits for teens from low-income backgrounds, there is a disturbing “class gap” in teen volunteer rates. Youth from disadvantaged circumstances have a volunteer rate of 43 percent, compared to 59 percent for other youth. The study, “Leveling the Path to Participation” highlights service as an effective and positive intervention in a young person’s life and recommends strategies for engaging more disadvantaged youth in service.

“Summer can be a difficult time for youth when they are not constructively engaged,” said Theresa Clower, Special Assistant to the Corporation’s CEO for the strategic goal of ensuring a brighter children for all of America’s youth. “This is an opportunity for children between 5 and 21 to spend part of their summer in activities that make a difference in their communities and their own lives.”

Summer of Service affiliates commit to keeping alive the idea of engaging youth in service, whether for the current year or the future. Participating organizations will be posted on the Corporation’s website as “Summer of Service National Affiliate” organizations and will be encouraged to use the logo on organizational materials indicating a commitment to engaging youth.

Children under 14 participating in Summer of Service who volunteer at least 50 hours and those 15 and over volunteering at least 100 hours will be eligible to receive the President’s Volunteer Service Award, which honors Americans who have made serving a central part of their lives. Honorees receive a pin, a personalized certificate of achievement, a note of congratulations from the President of the United States, and a letter from the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation.

At the end of the summer, the Corporation and USA Freedom Corps will present High-Five Kudos awards to the five Summer of Service projects that are the most innovative and make the greatest impact. Nominations will come from the National Affiliate organizations. The winning projects will be invited to send representatives to Washington D.C. in October to demonstrate their models and share their success.

In addition to the National Affiliates program, Summer of Service activities include:

  • NCCC Summer of Service. The NCCC Summer of Service is a federally funded, intensive service program for youth ages 14 to 17. Presented by AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC), the three-week program, which takes place July 8-28, is designed to introduce teenagers, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, to national service and to foster in them such values as teamwork, responsibility, and the ethic of serving one’s community. In 2007, the program will be held in three cities—Charleston, Denver, and New Orleans—with projects ranging from education, to environmental awareness, to Hurricane Katrina recovery. All 300 participants in the program will receive free food, lodging, and uniforms; a stipend of about $100 per week; a certificate of completion; and a President’s Volunteer Service Award.
  • Neighborhood Youth Service Clubs: Neighborhood Youth Service Clubs is a collaborative effort by the Corporation, including its State Offices and programs; State Service Commissions; and local faith and educational institutions to establish youth clubs in neighborhoods where youth are not connected to any organized summer activities. Led by AmeriCorps VISTA, with support from RSVP and Foster Grandparents, these youths will identify and carry out service projects that address the needs of their community. Youth will be recruited as members of the clubs through distribution of flyers in schools before summer vacation begins. For Summer 2007, the State Office of New Jersey and the New Jersey State Service Commission are piloting the concept in three major cities, with the goal of establishing 15 Neighborhood Youth Service Clubs. The lessons learned will help to inform a larger roll-out of the concept in 2008.

Summer of Service Participating Organizations:

Associations

  • America’s Promise
  • American Association of State Service Commissions
  • Bonner Foundation
  • Coalition of Residential Education (CORE)
  • Innovations in Civic Participation
  • MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership
  • National Association of Foster Grandparent Program Directors
  • National Collaboration for Youth
  • National Network of Youth Ministers
  • Points of Light Foundation
  • Search Institute

Programs

  • Big Brothers Big Sisters
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of America 
  • Camp Fire USA
  • Communities in Schools, Inc.
  • The Corps Network
  • Girls Inc.
  • Kids Care Clubs
  • The LEAGUE
  • YMCA of the USA
  • Youth Service America
  • Youth Venture

The Corporation for National and Community Service improves lives, strengthens communities, and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. Each year, the Corporation provides opportunities for more than two million Americans of all ages and backgrounds to serve their communities and country through Senior Corps, AmeriCorps and Learn and Serve America. For more information, visit http://www.nationalservice.gov.

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