Friday, June 26, 2009

New Report on the Dropout Crisis

On the Front Lines of Schools: Perspectives of Teachers and Principals on the High School Dropout Problem.

By: John M. Bridgeland, John J. DiIulio, Jr. and Robert Balfanz


In a follow-up to The Silent Epidemic: Perspectives of High School Dropouts (,  a report on the dropout crisis in American public education, Civic Enterprises has created a new report that includes the views of teachers and administrators, perspectives missing from its first report. This report has documented a mix of hopeful views and challenging statistics concerning how, and how well, those on the front lines of America's schools -- teachers and principals -- understand the nation's high school dropout crisis, including the ability for service-learning to be part of that solution.


Read the full report:


Have your own ideas about how service-learning can address the dropout crises or other problems facing our nation? Share them on Service-Learning = Solutions



Heather Martin, MISt


Learn and Serve America's National Service-Learning Clearinghouse

America's Resource for Service-Learning Information

Toll-free 866-245-7378, ext. 140

Fax 831-430-9471



Visit and join the NSLC Facebook Fan page at:

Can service-learning help solve the current crisis? Discuss: Service-Learning = Solutions Blog


President, First Lady and Members of Congress Participate in United We Serve Event for Military Children

Washington, DC—Today, President Obama and Mrs. Obama will join hundreds of Congressional family members and five national nonprofit organizations in a United We Serve event sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service. The project will benefit the children of military families.

The Obama Administration recognizes that at this extraordinary moment in our nation's history, Americans have a unique opportunity to come together to solve our nation's most vexing problems. In this spirit, President Obama has announced an exciting new nationwide service initiative—United We Serve—which officially began on June 22 at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service. The initiative will culminate with a National Day of Service and Remembrance on September 11. The Corporation for National and Community Service is the key coordinating federal partner for this initiative.

"America faces the greatest challenges it has seen in generations," President Obama said. "Instead of creating a new government bureaucracy or top-down programs, we need to partner and build on the extraordinary efforts taking place in communities throughout the country. Michelle and I are proud to participate in the Corporation for National and Community Service's United We Serve event today with so many Congressional families and nonprofit organizations."

All Americans are encouraged to visit  to find service opportunities near them, post their own volunteer projects, and tell their friends and neighbors what they're working on. The President's and Mrs. Obama's call to action videos can be viewed at  and  .

The Obamas and Congressional family members will fill 10,000 summer backpacks with books, healthy snacks, Frisbees, and other items for children of our servicemen and women. An additional 5,000 backpacks were previously filled by volunteers from Feeding America, AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps and soldiers serving at Fort McNair. These 15,000 backpacks will be distributed to children of military families from all military branches who will be attending Operation Purple summer camps organized by the National Military Families Association and the Sierra Club in 34 states and to children of military families attending USO events this summer at 13 military installations in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.

The service event is at 10 a.m. at Fort McNair in Washington prior to the annual Congressional picnic.

"I commend the President and Mrs. Obama as well as all of the Congressional families who are participating in today's United We Serve event," said Nicola Goren, acting CEO of the Corporation. "They remind us that we're all in this together—citizens in search of solutions and a government partnering with citizens to build a better future for all Americans."

Goren also thanked the organizations that are participating in the event. "Without the efforts of each of these organizations, this project would not be possible," she said. "It's wonderful to see so many individuals and organizations take part in an effort to benefit children of military families, under the leadership of our president. These children are in our hearts and minds while their parents are helping to keep our nation and our world safe"

In addition to the National Military Family Association, the Sierra Club and the USO, participating organizations include Feeding America and First Book. First Book is providing two age-appropriate books for each backpack. Feeding America is contributing the bags and a variety of snacks. The Sierra Club is providing Frisbees and covering shipping costs. The Corporation is supplying trading cards with images of Bo, the Obamas' dog, and book marks. The backpacks will also include a letter signed by President and Mrs. Obama thanking children of military families and their parents for the sacrifices they make on behalf of our country.

The National Military Family Association works to educate military families concerning their rights, benefits and services available to them, and to inform them regarding the issues that affect their lives and promotes and protects the interests of military families by influencing the development and implementation of legislation and policies affecting them.

The USO is a private, nonprofit organization whose mission is to support the troops by providing morale, welfare and recreation-type services to our men and women in uniform.

Feeding America is the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity with a mission of feeding America's hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engaging our country in the fight to end hunger.

First Book provides new books to children in need addressing one of the most important factors affecting literacy—access to books.

The Sierra Club is America's oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization. Inspired by nature, the Club's 1.3 million members are working together to protect our communities and the planet.

The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that each year engages four million Americans of all ages and backgrounds through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps and Learn and Serve America programs. For more information, visit

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Service Learning Approach Supports President Obama's Goals of Youth Service and Meets Technology Needs of Teachers and Non-Profit Leaders

SAN FRANCISCO, June 23 /PRNewswire/ -- The Corporation for National and Community Service today announced a collaborative initiative with Microsoft Corp.'s U.S. Partners in Learning to design and establish a new national, student-driven virtual helpdesk for K-12 teachers and non-profits. Over the next three years, Microsoft and CNCS will create a program which aligns a student service opportunity with President Obama's United We Serve initiative. It will focus on giving students real-world learning experiences as they support non-profits and teachers who are using technology in the classroom.


"Our collaboration with Microsoft will help provide 21st century service opportunities for students and give educators and non-profit leaders tools they need to better fulfill their mission," said Nicola Goren, Acting CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. "We are excited to work with Microsoft to develop this collaboration that marries the power of technology with compassion of young people to strengthen teaching and learning in our nation."


Speaking today at the 2009 National Conference on Volunteering and Service, Goren and Anthony Salcito, general manager of U.S. Education at Microsoft Corp., will showcase the vision for how this real world service experience will help students gain 21st century skills such as problem solving, critical thinking, trouble shooting, communication, and teamwork. Through the experience, students will provide assistance to teachers who are working through technology problems that could be impeding innovative teaching and learning.


"Teachers tell us they need more technology support in the classroom, and students tell us they want meaningful and productive service opportunities. This partnership gives us the opportunity to work together with the Corporation for National and Community Service to create a program that helps solve both of these needs," said Salcito. "Supporting the work of the Obama Administration and the Corporation is part of Microsoft's work to help students, teachers and businesses realize their full potential."


The helpdesk will be designed with a 40-member advisory group comprised of youth development, education, and non-profit leaders throughout the country. The group envisions that the virtual helpdesk, which is expected to launch in January 2010, will extend the reach of existing programs in which students will support teachers and non-profit leaders using online, phone and onsite approaches.


The Corporation and Microsoft are committed to creating new public-private social initiatives that are innovative and focused on improving the quality of life for all. The joint effort was born from a shared long-standing goal of supporting more students and educators through resources, tools, and training. Both are focused on extending service-learning by extending the power of 21st century tools and pedagogy.


Teachers Can Benefit from Technical Support

According to an eSchool News survey, 65% of K-12 schools do not have enough staff to integrate tech into classes, and two-thirds do not have enough staff to pay for new technology. Moreover, more than half do not have enough staff to maintain their technology applications and nearly half of educators surveyed by the National Education Association said insufficient support impacted their use of technology.

Service-learning is a method of teaching and learning that connects classroom lessons with meaningful service to the community. By combining the technology and process expertise at a company like Microsoft with the service-learning expertise of the Corporation and its Learn and Serve America program, the student-driven helpdesk can assist students as they build academic skills while communities are strengthened through the service.


About the Corporation for National and Community Service

The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that improves lives, strengthens communities, and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. Each year, the Corporation engages four million Americans of all ages and backgrounds through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America programs. For more information, visit

Learn and Serve America, supports and encourages service-learning throughout the United States, and enables over one million students to make meaningful contributions to their community while building their academic and civic skills.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Service Opportunity to Keep Hayward Clean & Green Cleanup event THIS SATURDAY June 27






Saturday June 27, 8am-12 noon @ Mervyn's parking lot –

22301 Foothill Boulevard
Contact: Florine Banks 510-886-9386

eWaste will also be collected at this site.

Qualify for community service hours.


CLICK HERE  for more registration forms, flyers, calendar of future events

and more information on our website.


If you would like to assist HEF with the collection of eWaste, please

contact MAKIKO  510-881-0890


Participants receive a FREE green grocery bag and keep your gloves.


ALSO – June 27 only - everyone who participates in this cleanup event

will receive a special coupon for a FREE BBQ Burger meal at

Hayward 100% Hand Carwash at Jackson and Soto.

The owner, Tivo Echevarria, wants to thank all who are making our city

clean and green.


Hayward 100 percent Hand Carwash.jpg

Hayward 100 percent Hand Carwash MAP.jpg



Your servant,

Chuck Horner



California SAGE team heads to Brazil but needs your help!

Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship—SAGE—is an international network that links teams of secondary school students to nearby university students, business leaders and civic leaders. SAGE's mission is: to help create the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders whose innovations and social enterprises address the major unmet needs of our global community.   More about SAGE here:

    June, 2009

    Dear Friend of SAGE:


    We are the Benicia High School SAGE (Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship) team and the 2009 California State SAGE Champions. It is also our honor to announce that at the SAGE National Championship on May 15, Benicia High SAGE placed in the top two and has been invited to represent the United States at the SAGE World Competition in Brasilia, Brazil, August 9-12.  For a team of students from a high school of only 1700 students, in a town of just 28,000 people, this is an incredible honor and privilege for Benicia High and for California.   But we can't get there without you!


    Benicia High has had a SAGE team since 2002 and we have consistently been one of the top teams in the state, but this is our first opportunity to represent the United States at a World Cup.  As a SAGE team, we have created a number of real businesses and conducted numerous environmental, social and civic projects in our community.  Perhaps our greatest accomplishment has been working with the City of Benicia to address the dangerous traffic conditions in front of our high school.  Thanks to the 3-year campaign by our SAGE team, construction is to begin this summer on lane and curb changes and a new stop light which will greatly enhance the safety of students and drivers on Military West.  This year we helped develop the City's Climate Action Plan and our continuing business of home energy audits has been written into the Plan.  Our new business this year was the sale of aluminum, BPA-free water bottles with 80% of our profit used to grant micro-loans to third worth entrepreneurs through  We have already loaned over $1000 to four different entrepreneurs in Ghana and Peru.  It has been our privilege to help our community and in our small way, the world.


    Now, however, we are asking for your help.  As you can imagine, the cost to send our six-member team and advisor to Brazil for this event is quite high.  Our current estimate is that it will cost $14,000 to send the team to compete and we only have six weeks to raise the needed funds.  Would you be willing to help sponsor our team?  Your contribution would be greatly appreciated and will help ensure that Brazil and the rest of the world know that California's SAGE teams are passionate about entrepreneurship and creating a better world. 


    Tax deductible contributions may be sent to Benicia High School SAGE, c/o BUSD, 350 East K Street, Benicia, CA  94510.   Our tax id # is 94-6002197.  If you have questions or would like more information about our team, please call us at 707-745-1831.


    Thank you so much for your help,


    Benicia High SAGE

    Lauren Bronson, Ryan Kuenzi, Kristen Osterholt, Johnny Nunes, Emmalyn Tringali, Adam Sass

    Polly Farina, Advisor






Video of Michelle Obama's Kenote available

Michelle Obama delivered the keynote address to the National Conference on Volunteering and Service yesterday in San Francisco. Michelle Obama's message highlighted the importance of each of us doing our part- a message she carried in words and in deeds. For those who claim to be too busy to serve, the 1st family acts as an example- today, Michelle Obama helped build a playground in San Francisco before speaking at the conference... earlier this year, she helped plant a garden at the Whitehouse with students from a DC middle school (the harvests are donated to local food pantries)

Video of Michelle Obama's speech is available on the 2009 NCVS youtube channel. In my two favorite sections, Michelle Obama discusses her choice, and her husband's choice to serve:

Nate Ivy
Region 4 Service-Learning Lead
Alameda County Office of Education

Shinnyo-en Foundation names UC Berkeley chancellor and Maria Shriver its 2009 'Pathfinders to Peace'

University of California, Berkeley, Chancellor Robert Birgeneau is one of three recipients of the Shinnyo-en Foundation's 2009 Pathfinders to Peace Prize, issued today by the Shinnyo-en Foundation during ceremonies in San Francisco.

Chancellor 			      Robert 			      BirgeneauChancellor Robert Birgeneau

Birgeneau, California's First Lady Maria Shriver, and Minnesota public school teacher Nan Peterson were honored for their contributions to bringing about a more peaceful world. The awards are part of the Shinnyo-en Foundation's "Six Billion Paths to Peace" project, which encourages individuals to become more aware of how their daily actions can contribute to peace.

In an awards announcement, the foundation singled out Birgeneau for his "commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and to the integration of public service as an essential component of the academic experience." UC Berkeley is home to the largest number of Peace Corps volunteers since the program began in 1961, and the campus's Cal Corps Public Service Center supports and coordinates student public service opportunities. Today, UC Berkeley students have made global poverty their most popular minor field of study.

The announcement from the Shinnyo-en Foundation noted that UC Berkeley's ninth chancellor, who also is a physics professor, has "worked tirelessly to instill in young people the importance of serving the greater good through volunteerism and service learning in all challenges facing the world."

"Education enables us to rise above misunderstandings, intolerance, hatred, violence," Birgeneau said in accepting the award. "Education empowers unique, diverse, and inspiring thought and ensures dynamic global dialogue and action. That is my path to peace."

The 2009 awards were presented at the Civic Energy Awards Luncheon, hosted by the foundation and organized by the Points of Light Institute and Corporation for National and Community Service. The program also featured the first Medals for Service Award, issued by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Shriver in conjunction with the National Conference on Volunteering and Service, taking place in San Francisco through Wednesday (June 24).

The Shinnyo-en Foundation praised Shriver — whose father, Sargent Shriver, was a driving force behind the development of the Peace Corps — for raising awareness of the contributions of women to the state of California, working to end poverty and encouraging community service. Teacher Nan Peterson received the Pathfinders to Peace Prize for incorporating the principles of Shinnyo-en's "Six Billion Paths to Peace" Project into her classroom curriculum.           

Back in the summer of 1965, Birgeneau joined six of his fellow students at Yale University to teach at the Southern Teachers Program at Benedict College in South Carolina and to perform civil rights work there, and he has continued on that path.
Since assuming leadership of UC Berkeley, recognized as the nation's leading public research and teaching university, Birgeneau has established a vice chancellor's office for equity and inclusion and has supported proposals to increase financial aid for financially disadvantaged students. He also has been a strong advocate for the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, proposed federal legislation to help young undocumented, immigrant students pursue higher education.           

The Shinnyo-en Foundation, founded in 1994, is the secular and philanthropic arm of Shinnyo-en, an international Buddhist order whose members strive to live with the utmost sincerity and respect for others. The foundation supports educational programs that engage and inspire young people in meaningful acts of service, and teach children the value of helping others in the spirit of goodwill and without regard to faith or background.

"Rather than viewing peace as something we hope to bring about some day, we see it as something that can be lived each day," explained Haru Inouye, chief executive officer of the Shinnyo-en Foundation.

For more information about the awards, contact the Shinnyo-en Foundation at (415) 661-4343.

Video from Michelle Obama's Keynote at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service

Michelle Obama delivered the keynote address to the National Conference on Volunteering and Service yesterday in San Francisco. Michelle Obama's message highlighted the importance of each of us doing our part- a message she carried in words and in deeds. For those who claim to be too busy to serve, the 1st family acts as an example- today, Michelle Obama helped build a playground in San Francisco before speaking at the conference... earlier this year, she helped plant a garden at the Whitehouse with students from a DC middle school (the harvests are donated to local food pantries)

Video of Michelle Obama's speech is available on the 2009 NCVS youtube channel. In my two favorite sections, Michelle Obama discusses her choice, and her husband's choice to serve:

Nate Ivy Region 4 Service-Learning Lead Alameda County Office of Education

Monday, June 22, 2009

First Lady Michelle Obama, Cabinet Members Kick Off United We Serve

First Lady Michelle Obama, Cabinet Members Kick Off United We Serve
Foundations, Nonprofits, Entertainment Leaders Support President's Call



(San Francisco) – First Lady Michelle Obama and Cabinet secretaries are fanning out across the country today to participate in community service projects as part of the launch of United We Serve, a national call to service by President Obama.


Mrs. Obama will kick off United We Serve by joining California First Lady Maria Shriver and volunteers in helping build a public playground at an elementary school in San Francisco.  Later in the day, she will make a call to action to more than 4,500 nonprofit, volunteer, and service leaders at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service.


United We Serve is an extended call to service challenging all Americans to help lay a new foundation for growth by engaging in sustained, meaningful community service.  The Corporation for National and Community Service is leading the initiative, which kicks off today and runs for 81 days through a new National Day of Service and Remembrance on September 11. 


In a video message released today, Mrs. Obama stressed the importance of service in her own life and urged Americans to go to to find local volunteer opportunities.  "This summer, the President and I are asking you to make time and do your part…Wherever your interests lie - whether it's working with young people or caring for the sick and elderly in our hospitals, or helping to make the homes in your neighborhood more energy efficient - or any other issue, the most important thing is for you to get involved."


More than a dozen Cabinet members are participating in projects and reinforcing the President's call to service.  HUD Secretary Donovan will join AmeriCorps members in rebuilding a New Orleans home destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.  Interior Secretary Salazar will help remove exotic plants from Shenandoah National Park.  Commerce Secretary Locke will read to homeless children and feed them lunch at a homeless shelter in Mesa Arizona.  In Los Angeles, Labor Secretary Solis will help construct energy-efficient housing for low-income individuals. (For a full list, click here)


The high level of involvement by members of the President's cabinet underscores the importance the Administration places on engaging Americans in service to tackle tough national challenges.  In his Inaugural Address, the President called for a "new era of responsibility," and his policy agenda calls for increasing investments in national service, social innovation, and other efforts that engage citizens in solving local problems.  The President renewed his Inaugural call to service in a United We Serve video message released on June 16.


"The President and Mrs. Obama both know first-hand the power of service to transform lives and communities," said Corporation Board Chair Alan Solomont.  "Through United We Serve, they are asking all Americans to join in our country's economic and social renewal."


The Corporation is working with hundreds of national and local organizations to encourage participation in the effort and launched the website to make it easy for Americans to get involved.  Visitors to can type in their zip code to find local volunteer opportunities, recruit volunteers by posting their organization's projects, or get ideas for creating their own projects with friends, families, and neighbors.   


The initiative will get a big boost today from a number of high-profile leaders who are speaking at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, California First Lady Maria Shriver, and Jon Bon Jovi and Matthew McConaughey, who are representing the Entertainment Industry Foundation.  


The conference will also feature several major announcements of new plans to support the United We Serve initiative.  The Entertainment Industry Foundation will share plans for a new multi-year campaign to make service a national priority.  Starting on October 19, the broadcast networks will use America's favorite TV shows and personalities to shine a spotlight on the power of service. Sterling Speirn, the President and CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, will announce that the foundation will give $1.6 million to support activities related to United We Serve.  Levi Strauss and Company, Symantec, Motorola Foundation, and eBay have also provided support for the Corporation's leadership of the United We Serve initiative.


The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that improves lives, strengthens communities, and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. Each year, the Corporation engages four million Americans of all ages and backgrounds through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America programs. For more information, visit


Friday, June 19, 2009

First Lady Michelle Obama in San Francisco to Keynote National Conference on Volunteering and Service

SAN FRANCISCO, June 17, 2009 – Highlighting her commitment to community service, First Lady Michelle Obama will give the keynote address at the 2009 National Conference on Volunteering and Service in San Francisco next Monday, June 22.  


The conference, co-hosted by the Corporation for National and Community Service and the Points of Light Institute, will bring together more than 4,000 volunteer and service leaders from across the nation and globe at a time of strong momentum for service and civic engagement.  This conference takes place from June 22-24 at the Moscone Center West in San Francisco.  The First Lady is keynoting the opening plenary session and is expected to speak around 5:00 PM.


Earlier in the day the First Lady will join California's First Lady Maria Shriver to work on a community playground service project with volunteers at Bret Harte Elementary School in San Francisco.


The First Lady's appearance launches United We Serve, an extended call to service challenging all Americans to help lay a new foundation for growth by engaging in sustained, meaningful community service.  In a video message released on May 16, President Obama called on all Americans to help in our nation's recovery by volunteering in their communities this summer and beyond.  The United We Serve summer initiative begins on June 22nd and runs through the National Day of Service and Remembrance on September 11th.


"The First Lady has made service and volunteering a life calling, and her leadership is helping to inspire a whole new generation of Americans who are making service a part of their daily lives," said Nicola Goren, Acting CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service.  "Her participation demonstrates the high priority the White House has placed on service as a way to help in our nation's recovery." 


"First Lady Michelle Obama knows first-hand the power of service to transform lives and communities," said Michelle Nunn, CEO of the Points of Light Institute and co-founder of HandsOn Network.  "We are thrilled that she chose our national conference as the platform to launch United We Serve. She has made service a centerpiece of her agenda, and her appearance will add a burst of excitement and a new significance to this gathering of service leaders as well as our larger efforts to usher in a new era of service."


The growing momentum for service has resulted in record attendance and interest in the annual conference.  Organizers announced several entertainment and political leaders who will be attending: 


·         Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, a longtime champion of service who recently worked to pass the landmark Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, will speak at the opening plenary


·         Lisa Paulsen - President & CEO of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), Hollywood's leading charity, is in attendance to share plans for EIF's new multi-year campaign to help make service and volunteerism a national priority.   EIF has received wide-spread support from the entertainment industry, and later this year will launch an unprecedented campaign beginning October 19th.  


·         Kerry Washington - Showing her support for our nation's call for service, the actress and L'OrĂ©al Paris spokesperson will be in attendance to support the company's annual "Women of Worth" grassroots program, which recognizes and supports incredible women from across the country who are volunteering and making a beautiful difference in their communities.


·         Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the acclaimed international ambassadors of American dance culture, will perform at the "Cheers to YOU" celebration sponsored by Target at Fort Mason.


·         Clifford The Big Red Dog® will be on hand to welcome conference participants and showcase Scholastic's BE BIG™ initiative ( -- a national campaign to support civic engagement by inviting everyone, big and small, to raise awareness for how Clifford's Big Ideas can make the world a better place.


Major corporate sponsors of the event are Target, Shinnyo-en Foundation, Coca Cola, The Home Depot and UPS. Additionally, the Entertainment Industry Foundation has provided special support.


About the National Conference on Volunteering and Service

The National Conference on Volunteering and Service is the world's largest gathering of volunteer and service leaders from the nonprofit, government and corporate sectors. Co-convened by Points of Light Institute and the Corporation for National and Community Service, the annual event provides attendees with an opportunity to learn, connect and be inspired through a wide range of exciting and informative plenary sessions, workshops, special events, service projects, exhibits, specialized corporate tracks and more. More than 4,000 attendees are expected to attend the 2009 conference, taking place June 22-24 in San Francisco.  For more information, visit


About the Corporation for National and Community Service

The Corporation for National and Community Service improves lives, strengthens communities, and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. Each year the Corporation engages more than four million Americans of all ages and backgrounds in service to meet local needs through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America programs. For more information, visit


About Points of Light Institute

Points of Light Institute inspires, equips and mobilizes people to take action that changes the world. The Institute has a global focus to redefine volunteerism and civic engagement for the 21st century, putting people at the center of community problem solving. We are organized to innovate, incubate and activate new ideas that help people act upon their power to make a difference. Points of Light Institute operates three dynamic business units that share our mission: HandsOn Network, MissionFish and the Civic Incubator. For more information, visit

About HandsOn Network

HandsOn Network, the volunteer-focused arm of Points of Light Institute, is the largest volunteer network in the nation and includes more than 250 HandsOn Action Centers that reach more than 83% of the nation's population and extend to ten countries.  HandsOn includes a powerful network of more than 70,000 corporate, faith and nonprofit organizations that are answering the call to serve and creating scaled impact. In 2008, the network delivered approximately 30 million hours of volunteer service valued at $615 million. For more information, visit


India west - Article- Exemplary youth civic engagement


From: Indiawest news article []
Sent: Thursday, June 18, 2009 9:39 PM
To: Nate Ivy
Subject: India west - Article


Teen Candidate Makes Bid for Fremont City Council
By SUNITA SOHRABJI June 18, 2009 02:52:00 PM  

SAN LEANDRO, Calif., - Seventeen-year-old Ishan Shah, perhaps the youngest candidate ever to run for office in the nation, has announced his bid for the 2010 Fremont, Calif., city council race.

The Mission San Jose high school student — running against Fremont's vice mayor Anu Natarajan and council member Bill Harrison — declared his candidacy May 29 at a local coffee house and got a spontaneous standing ovation from the assembled crowd of patrons, many of whom he'd never met before.

Natarajan has served two terms on the city council since 2004, and Harrison has served one term. Both are past members of the Fremont Planning Commission.

In a recent interview at India-West headquarters, an ardent and affable Shah said he had "enormous respect" for Natarajan and Harrison, but conceded Fremont was ready for a change from the old guard.

"Fremont is a great place to live, but we can do better," said Shah, whose campaign slogan is "A Path to a Better Tomorrow."

"The next generation is ready to shoulder it for ourselves," said Shah, sporting the innate exuberance of youth.

The son of businessman Mihir Shah of Baroda and Sonali Shah of Mumbai noted that the city is facing a $13 million deficit, with very little planned to close the fiscal gap. He was critical of Fremont's new Aqua Adventures waterpark, which opened this May to record crowds.

"The water park was not smart development," said Shah, noting that the park is geared towards the tweens set, rather than teenagers with higher disposable incomes and their own transportation. Aqua Adventures has an admission price of $14.99 for adults, and $10.99 for children under 48 inches. The nearby Silliman Center in Newark has a similar set-up, with three indoor pools and water slides, but charges $4 for children and $5 for adults.

Natarajan told India-West the response to the new Aqua Adventures has "far exceeded the city's expectations."

"Just look at all the people coming to it," she said, adding, "A lot of kids that are Ishan's age have come up and thanked us for building it."

Shah instead wants the city to build a movie complex to attract the flush adolescent crowd, who must now go to neighboring Milpitas, or further to the BayFair shopping center to watch movies.

"The film industry is the one industry that is still going strong despite the recession," said Shah, noting that he has spent more than $300 in the past semester to see movies at the Great Mall in Milpitas. "The key is to get people here," he said, expounding on a concept he recently learned in psychology class.

"Once people spend a certain amount of money to get in, they're going to spend more once they're in. Think of the tax revenue," he said.

Shah interned with Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif., last year and credits the experience with inspiring him to run for office. He said the congressman has told him he will not endorse his city council bid. Stark's Washington office declined to comment on Shah's candidacy.

Shah said there was no "lightbulb" moment in which he decided to run. The decision came about more progressively, as he looked at the shabbiness of his high-achieving high school and the city's recent decision to decline the Oakland A's offer to build a new stadium in Fremont.

The latter, said Shah, initially proposed for a non-residential area of town, would have created an "attraction," to bring jobs, revenue and affordable housing to Fremont.

The young candidate's campaign has been compared to the grassroots campaign of President Barack Obama by national media pundits. Shah has a Facebook page, which has quickly amassed more than 400 fans, and has raised a total of $100, but notes that Obama too, started out with virtually zero dollars in his campaign warchest.

The initial skepticism of supporters – including his parents – has died down, said Shah, adding that people now come up to him all the time to discuss the city's issues.

"I'm amazed that people care about what I think," said the adolescent, nattily attired for the interview in a pinstriped blue shirt with khaki slacks and tie.

The high-school senior, who plans to apply to UC Berkeley next fall, will major in political science. He eventually plans to go to medical school.

Natarajan told India-West she does not view Shah as a threat to her impending candidacy, which she will announce next March. "Lots of people are going to be running, and Ishan is just one of them," she said.

Shah will be 18 at the time of the elections in November 2010.

click here for link

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Thoughs on United We Serve from Nelda Brown

We've received initial feedback from colleagues concerned that
service-learning and the role of youth as active contributors (and not
just passive recipients of service) has not received enough attention. I
share these concerns. We are actively working with White House and CNCS
staff to explore the ways we can remedy this. We know service-learning
can take place over the summer in community-based programs as well as
summer school learning opportunities. We're doing our best to make the
case...we'll keep you in the loop about any progress made.

In the meantime, please send me a quick message if your
organization/affiliates are contributing to this initiative. It's very
helpful to know how our field is leveraging this opportunity to expand
opportunities for youth to engage in service-learning.



Nelda Brown
Executive Director
National Service-Learning Partnership
at the Academy for Educational Development
1825 Connecticut Avenue, NW - Suite 800
Washington, DC 20009-5721
Phone: (202) 884-8595
Mobile: (703) 593-2145
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President Announces United We Serve

As you know, the Corporation for National and Community Service has been preparing for the launch of an exciting new summer service initiative in partnership with the White House. Today, in a video message, President Obama will officially announce the initiative, United We Serve, encouraging Americans to create meaningful change in their communities by engaging in service


United We Serve will kick off on June 22 at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service and will run through the new National Day of Service and Remembrance on September 11.  All the tools for participating in this initiative can be found on the Corporation's website,  Please go there today, if you haven't already, to post your own volunteer projects. 


In addition, we encourage you to spread the word about United We Serve by:


·         Sending a message about United We Serve, including a link to the President's video, to your distribution lists.

·         Putting a link on your homepage to – banners and logos are available at

·         Issuing a press release about your participation in United We Serve – a sample release is available here:

·         Sharing stories about how your volunteers are making a difference at We will highlight examples of exemplary service throughout this summer.


Capacity is strained in community organizations across the country, so today we are also calling on Americans to take a leadership role in recruiting and organizing their friends, family, and neighbors to develop their own service projects that address pressing community needs in partnership with local organizations.  To assist you, features toolkits for developing projects in education, health, energy and the environment, and community renewal.


To encourage participation in service this summer and beyond, the website features a volunteer matching platform called All For Good that allows people to search for volunteer opportunities based on location and interests.  The site also allows users to sign in with their primary social network and includes social media tools to share volunteer opportunities with friends and see what activities they are participating in.   


This will be a very exciting 81 days.  But, of course, the call to service will not end on September 11.  We hope that Americans who serve this summer will stay engaged in the ongoing work of strengthening our communities. America's new foundation will be built through an ethic of service and the personal commitment of individuals willing to give of themselves to create a better future. 


In Service,



Nicola Goren

Acting CEO




Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The 2010 National Service-Learning Conference in San Jose, California

Have you ever wanted to recommend a workshop topic?  Entertainers?  Service-Learning Project Ideas?  Be part of the planning team for the 21st Annual National Service-Learning Conference: Inspire. Imagine. Innovate!  The conference will take place March 24-27, 2010 in San Jose, California. 


You are invited to the conference kick-off event.  Please join us to:


*Share Ideas

*Volunteer for Committees




June 25th

4:00-6:00 p.m.

San Jose Convention Center

408 Almaden Boulevard – San Jose


Sound interesting?  If you are able to attend the June 25th meeting, please RSVP to by Friday, June 19.  More information regarding the event, including the specific details regarding the location, will be forwarded to you as the event nears.


If you cannot make it on the 25th you will still have an opportunity to be part of the conference planning.  Join us on July 7th at 1:00 p.m. Central Time for a conference kick-off call.  RSVP by July 1 at  More info about the call will be sent prior to the event.


If you are unable to attend either kick-off event, but you are interested in hearing more about how to get involved, please contact us and we'll tell you more about The National Service-Learning Conference.  You may reach us at or (800) 366-6952. 



Heather Gordon
Conference and Events Coordinator

National Youth Leadership Council
Celebrating 25 Years of Service-Learning
PH (651) 999-7360
FX (651) 631-2955

Don't miss The 21st Annual National Service-Learning Conference March 24-27, 2010, San Jose, Cal.

Visit to learn more!


Apply for a Project Ignition grant and receive up to $2,000 for your school to complete a teen driver safety campaign! For more info visit or ~ Applications are due June 30, 2009.


Monday, June 15, 2009

Great article about why & how we do what we do

In the middle of the busyness of our daily work, it gets all too easy to forget why we do what we do. If you're in that place, take a look at this inspiring story of a rich, muli-faceted and transforming project in the post-Katrina Gulf Coast:


After the Storm: Communication and Service Learning:


Of course, I'm especially impressed with the way the story makes it easy to understand that much of the impact of the project is possible because of Learn and Serve America. I don't think we can underestimate the importance of telling that story _every_ time we talk about our work.


NSLC, along with CNCS's Office of Public Affairs and Learn and Serve America, will soon be releasing new print and web-based tools for getting this message out there, so keep your eyes peeled for that too. And if you see or have similiar stories, photos, or a/v images of service-learning success, please share them here


(Note, I am especially on the hunt for photos depicting service-learning in action where the Learn and Serve America logo is visible).





Liberty Smith, Ph.D.

Program Manager

Learn and Serve America's National Service-Learning Clearinghouse

America's Resource for Service-Learning Information

Toll-free 866-245-7378, ext. 139

Fax 831-430-9471


Save the Date! - 25th Anniversary of Coastal Cleanup Day

Dear Volunteers:


The City of Fremont Environmental Services Division will be hosting cleanup events in honor of Coastal Cleanup Day on Saturday, September 19, 2009 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.


Last year, on September 20, there were 73,461 volunteers that removed 1,658,819 pounds of debris in California alone.  With over 225 volunteers participating in Fremont last year, they have removed just under 3,000 pounds of material along 4.9 miles of creeks.  This was our best cleanup in the history of Coastal Cleanup Day in Fremont.  We are planning to make it BIGGER this year.


September 19 will mark the 25th Anniversary of Coastal Cleanup Day.  Not only is this event a local, state and nation event, but it is an international event as well.  Join the millions of volunteers internationally that participate on this special day in honor of protecting the waters and oceans of the world.  So get to your calendars and mark the date, September 19 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.


Pre-registration is required.  More information will follow at a future date that will include cleanup site locations.


Thank you for all that you do for the environment.



Val Blakely
Environmental Specialist & Enforcement Officer
City of Fremont
510-494-4577 ~ 510-494-4571 fax

P Save the environment. Please don't print this email unless you really need to.ü

Friday, June 12, 2009

Take action today to support civic education

Last night, President Obama's Office of Science and Technology Policy posted an important message on its blog ( The office asks for citizen input into "what government can and should be doing to support civil society – non-profits, faith-based organizations, professional associations, and neighborhood schools – in helping to educate and prepare the public to engage with critical public issues and play a more effective role in new, open public policymaking processes."

The message continues:
As we seek to identify immediate policy changes that will promote greater civic participation, we need to know from you:

   1. What is the appropriate and most effective role for the government to play in fostering greater civic participation? Should the government develop content, fund the work of organizations that teach civic education, establish platforms to connect communities to each other and to government?
   2. Do you know of best practices, whether from local, state or foreign governments, or foundations that foster and support civic participation?  What are the most effective tools to get people to participate?
   3. What skills and subject areas are the most important for civic literacy today? How do we promote the kind of civic education necessary to enable people to make greater use of government data, like the information available on, or participate in online commenting processes, like this one or

I urge you to visit today and leave a comment. Your comment might be the remark that makes the difference.

Summer Service Initiative Update

We expect President Obama to announce our exciting new summer initiative in the next week or so. Stay tuned!


As you all know, the President and First Lady have made civic engagement and community service a hallmark of their administration. They recognize, as do we, that getting involved on a local level is not simply a nice thing to do, it is absolutely critical to the ongoing work of restoring our nation, especially in times of great need.


From June 22 to September 11, the summer initiative will engage people in service to their communities and focus their efforts on national priority issue areas like education, health care, energy and the environment, community renewal, supporting veterans and military families, and preparing for disasters. This summer will be the beginning of a collaborative, sustained effort to strengthen communities by making service a way of life for all Americans.


We anticipate a surge in traffic to our website,, as Americans - young and old, from every background, all across the country - respond to the President's call to participate in our nation's recovery and renewal. We want to make sure as many service opportunities as possible are posted on prior to the public announcement. We are asking organizations to post by Friday, June 12.


There are multiple ways to post service opportunities:


(1) If you are already feeding your service opportunities to an aggregator, you do not need to resubmit your projects to us at this time.


(2) Organizations with just a few summer service opportunities can post their projects directly on


(3) Organizations with multiple project submissions can use the attached Excel spreadsheet and follow these simple steps: 


a. Complete the "Create Organization Account" form [see first tab at the bottom of the document].

b. Complete the "Opportunities Form" [see second tab at the bottom of the document].

c. Send your completed spreadsheet back to and we will upload your projects for you.  


(4) Or, you can automatically link to with an XML feed. If your organization has the technical and staff capacity to create an XML feed, contact us at with the subject line "XML Feed" and we will assist you with next steps.  


This summer, in addition to connecting people with existing service opportunities at, we want to encourage and empower people to develop their own service projects with friends and neighbors to meet pressing needs in their own communities. Look for do-it-yourself toolkits at soon!


Our full summer team arrived at CNCS headquarters on June 1. We have been busy reaching out to partner organizations, meeting with CNCS program directors, and laying the foundation for a successful summer. We will be sending out regular email updates to all CNCS staff and grantees to keep you informed of our plans and our progress. In the meantime, if you have questions please feel free to contact us (contact list is attached).


Thanks again for your participation and your continued commitment to service.


In Solidarity,


The Summer Initiative Team



About Me

The CalServe Network posts news and updates of interest to the service-learning field in California. News and updates are drawn from the CalServe List Serve and the National K-12 Service-Learning List Serve and various other sources.