From: National Service Press Office
Sent: Wednesday, July 29, 2009 5:55 PM
Subject: United We Serve Marks Education Week
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Sandy Scott
July 29, 2009 202/606-6724; email@example.com
United We Serve Marks Education Week
Each issue week shines a spotlight on service projects taking place across the country and features stories of ordinary people who make a difference in their communities.
“Volunteers play a critical role in promoting literacy, preventing dropouts, opening the doors to college, and helping students succeed in school and in life,” said Nicola Goren, Acting CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which is leading the Administration’s United We Serve initiative. “During Education Week, we hope to inspire more Americans to join in critical work of giving our nation’s students the best education possible.”
One key focus is preventing summer learning loss. The achievement gaps that continue to exist for many disadvantaged students result not from students falling behind during the school year, but from losing out on chances to learn over the summer. Research shows reading just five books over the summer can prevent a decline in reading achievement scores. Further, the most successful way to improve reading scores for low-income children is to increase access to print materials and support local libraries.
Some of the activities taking place during Education Week include:
· On Monday, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan was joined by Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki and his wife, Patricia Shinseki, for the Department of Education’s summer reading initiative, “Read to the Top!” The three read to more than 100 children in grades pre-K through 4 at the U.S. Department of Education’s Plaza. (click here for more info)
· Target, Inc., is marshalling its Target Property Development team members in the design phase for its School Library Makeover program. The national program unites the company’s commitment to education, volunteerism, and pro bono service, bringing new school libraries to 16 schools and thousands of students across the country. (click here for more info)
· New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Corporation for National and Community Service Acting CEO Nicola Goren will swear in nearly 200 AmeriCorps VISTA members on July 28. Serving through the NYC Civic Corps, the VISTAs will be matched with local public, nonprofit, and educational organizations to recruit and manage volunteers and build sustainable programs to combat poverty. (click here for more info)
· The Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa, FL, is sponsoring a
· Higher Achievement’s Olympics of the Mind on July 31 will bring together 500 Higher Achievement scholars from the DC area at
· The Corporation for National and Community Service will announce $20 million in Learn and Serve America grants that will go to schools, higher education, and community groups to engage students across the nation in service-learning projects that promote community service while enhancing students’ academic and civic skills.
· The Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System is conducting a “Children’s Letter-Writing Campaign—Support Military Children.”
· The Greater Lewisville Family YMCA Camp Yipiyuk Teens in Flower Mound, TX, will be going green and planting trees for some much needed shade as part of their summer service initiative. A Tree Ceremony is scheduled for 9:30 a.m., July 31, with local author Penelope Kysiak reading from her book, Be Cool, Follow Earth’s Rule. (click here for more info)
· Harlem RBI, a youth development program in East Harlem, and REAL Kids are sponsoring an on-field baseball clinic for 30 middle school students at Citi Field led by Mets star center fielder Carlos Beltran, who is a Harlem RBI commissioner. (click here for more info)
In addition to these events, United We Serve will highlight stories of education on its blog at Serve.gov all week. Organizations participating in United We serve are encouraged to sponsor education-oriented activities and projects and highlight them to the public and media as a way to recruit additional volunteers.
The other United We Serve issue weeks are Energy and Environment (August 3-9); Health (August 10-17); and Safety and Security (August 24-30). The final week (August 31-September 6) will focus on service by people of faith and faith-based organizations. The first issue week, Community Renewal, was July 20-26.
United We Serve is President Obama's call to service challenging all Americans to engage in sustained, meaningful community service. United We Serve initially runs from June 22 through a new National Day of Service on September 11, but will grow into a sustained, collaborative and focused effort to promote service as a way of life for all Americans. United We Serve is led by the Corporation for National and Community Service. For more information, visit Serve.gov.
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 NationalService.gov.