Friday, December 18, 2009

Watershed Service-Learning in the News

Students from Kennedy High School in Fremont, CA were featured in a recent CBS 5 news report for their participation in a shoreline service-learning restoration project with Save the Bay.  Kennedy has established a Green Tech Career Pathway and the project represented an opportunity for students to gain hands on experience working environmental restoration.  Kennedy also included a class of English Learners in the service-learning project to provide a contextualized opportunity for students to learn and practice language skills.


Save the Bay hosted the service-learning project at Eden Landing in Hayward California as part of their initiative to reclaim and restore former salt ponds back to productive wetland habitats.  (More about Save the Bay’s Restoration opportunities here:



Thursday, December 17, 2009

Change the Game with the Souper Bowl of Caring! (January 17-Feb 7, 2010)

The Souper Bowl of Caring is a national movement started by one youth
group responding to a call to make a difference! They believed they
could use the energy around our nation's biggest sporting event to
inspire Americans to give and serve, while remembering our neighbors in
need. After 20 years, the movement has grown to include over 13,500
groups and has raised over $60 million to help fight hunger and poverty
in local communities. You can be a part of it!

REGISTER your school online to receive your free Starter Kit.
LEARN about hunger and homelessness in your local community and our
country. Find out what organizations in your area are working to help
provide services to those in need and choose one to donate to.
COLLECT money and/or canned goods anytime January 17 - February 7, 2010.
REPORT the amount of your collection to the Souper Bowl of Caring.
DONATE 100% of your collection to the charity of your choice.

It's that easy!

Sign up today at and make a difference!

For more information contact:
Sheree Muse
Director of School Relations
Souper Bowl of Caring

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Report highlights critical youth civic engagement gap

An October 2009 report from PACE (Philanthropy for Civic Engagement) entitled An Inequitable Invitation to Citizenship: Non-College-Bound Youth and Civic Engagement shows that "Increases in voting, volunteering, and other forms of civic engagement are driven disproportionately by young people from higher-income families and communities, as well as youth who are college bound or already enrolled in secondary institutions. In contrast, low-income and non-college-bound youth are lagging far behind in their levels of civic participation—a gap that threatens the health of a democracy that depends on the full participation of

everyone, not just some." The report examines factors that influence civic participation among non-college bound youth and highlights strategies to expand civic participation for all.


Schools are encouraged to, “Form stronger connections with service-providing community organizations, especially in neighborhoods with more NCBY (non-college bound youth), to create more diverse and enriching ‘real world’ experiences through which NCBY can practice civic skills that address issues affecting their lives. These connections to civic organizations could also serve as important resources for NCBY— including information, jobs, contacts, networks—as they transition from students to adults who may then be more inclined to participate in these kinds of community institutions later in life.”


Read the full report here:

Lexus Eco Challenge


Deadline: January 19, 2010 - is offering up to $30,000 to winning middle and high

school students participating in an environmental contest.


The Lexus Eco Challenge is a nationwide environmental education program

and contest that empowers teens to create a better world. Through the

program, middle and high school students can participate in two initial

environmental challenges: land & water and air & climate. The challenges

call for teams of 5-10 students and one teacher-advisor to define an

issue, make a plan to address the issue, implement the plan, and report

the results online. Finalists from these challenges will receive $10,000

and be eligible to participate in the final challenge, in which they can

receive up to $30,000. Each challenge has a separate entry deadline:

November 6, 2009 (land and water), January 19, 2010 (air and climate),

and March 12, 2010 (final).



Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Momentum is Building for the 2010 Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service

Dear Colleagues:


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said "Life's most urgent and persistent question is: What are you doing for others?"  He devoted his life to advancing equality, social justice, and opportunity for all and taught us that everyone has a role to play in making America what it ought to be. 


The upcoming Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, taking place on January 18, 2010, provides an ideal opportunity to answer Dr. King's challenge.  By making King Day "a day on, not a day off," and using the holiday as a springboard for service throughout the year, we can help realize Dr. King's dream and renew our communities and country. 


As leaders in the service and volunteering field, I hope that you are planning to participate, either by organizing your own project or joining with an existing effort.   Service on the King Holiday is not just an appropriate way to honor Dr. King, it is an important opportunity to bring in new volunteers, partners, and funders that can provide resources to support your organization's work throughout the year. 


The 15-year effort to transform the King Holiday into a national day of service took an exponential leap forward last year, when then President-elect Obama asked Americans to serve and made the King Day of Service a centerpiece of his Inauguration.  This year's King Day of Service, part of the United We Serve initiative, is a key opportunity to build on last year's success and encourage compassion and generosity at a time of continuing economic and social need.


Planning for the 2010 King Day of Service began last summer and the momentum is building.  With the support of our lead partner the King Center, the leadership of our national King Day of Service grantees, and the organizing efforts of nonprofit, national service, corporate, education, faith-based, and community groups across the country, the 2010 King Day is shaping up to be the strongest ever.  To maximize participation, we want to engage the entire national service network, and encourage organizations new to King Day to get involved.


To help you, we have assembled a comprehensive set of resources at This site has everything you need to plan a King Day project - including tips on getting started, building partnerships, organizing the day, fundraising, and MLK Day mobilization resources. You'll also find a service-learning guide for schools and organizations, project examples, and marketing tools to help promote your project.


To make it easy to register or find a King Day project, we are using the All for Good volunteer search tool that is on  This tool collects and displays volunteer opportunities submitted by other volunteer search engines and other organizations, and we have launched a specific King Day search tool at  When posting your MLK Day volunteer opportunity with one of the partner web sites that feed All for Good, please make sure to tag your opportunity with one of the following keywords: MLK, MLK Day of Service, MLK Day 2010, or Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.  Click here for more details.


In short, we hope you will take three steps:


1.       Plan or connect with a King Day of Service project in your community

2.       Register your project on the website; and

3.       Encourage your friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors to join your project or get involved.


As the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service, the King Day of Service has enormous potential to grow.  It is a reminder that America is made stronger when citizens come together and that service is integral to meeting national challenges.  With your help, we can mobilize more Americans to serve their communities and move us closer to Dr. King's dream.


If you have questions or need help, please e-mail or call Rhonda Taylor at 202-606-6721. I look forward to hearing of your accomplishments on King Day and beyond.



Nicola Goren

Acting Chief Executive Officer

Corporation for National and Community Service

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Give a Day. Get a Disney Day.

Friends of Points of Light and HandsOn Network,
We've had a landmark year with the passage of the Serve America Act and the Presidential launch of United We Serve to inspire Americans to create change in our local communities. And in the spirit of inspiring service, HandsOn Network is partnering with Disney Parks to celebrate volunteerism like never before.
We want to share with you this tremendous opportunity to celebrate the good things people do in their communities. In 2010, we want to inspire one million more people to volunteer a day of service through the Give A Day. Get A Disney Day. program, where volunteers will receive one-day admission to a Disney park for free.
Through the program, you'll recognize your existing volunteers, inspire new volunteers to serve and celebrate that service in a big way. Here's how you can get involved:

There's never been a better time than now to celebrate the spirit and power of volunteerism. We look forward to celebrating with you through Give A Day. Get A Disney Day.
Thank You!




Service-Learning opportunities through Federal Agencies

Here is a sampling of some federal initiatives that have service-learning elements or are well-developed service-learning projects.  Links to the agency are included to help interested folks make contacts at both the federal and local levels.  Project people at local units of these agencies would be glad to hear from anyone in a school setting who would like explore partnership ideas.


Department of Agriculture

US Forest Service (USFS)

Here’s an example of a USDA Forest Service “More Kids in the Woods” project:


The USFS also has a program called “Passport in Time,” a volunteer archaeology and historic preservation program.  Here is the link:


Interior Department

The Interior Department houses the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the National Trail System (among other bureaus)

The National Park Service’s “Teaching with Historic Places” program provides a service-learning resource on its website.  Sites range from Andersonville and Bryce Canyon to Monmouth Cave and President Taft’s boyhood home.


In the spring semester of 2009, Harpers Ferry National Military Park partnered with Harpers Ferry Middle School, the Journey through Hallowed Ground Partnership, and the federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation in a service-learning project that invited students to create “vodcasts” about John Brown’s raid.  The Park now includes the student-created materials in its interpretation of the events of October 1859.


The Park Service works to protect public lands through a teacher professional development program called “A Forest for Every Classroom.”  Find out more about the partners they work with and the content of the training at:


A replicable service-learning project that originated with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy is “A Trail to Every Classroom,” which is described here:


The National Trails System lists local contacts for every scenic and historic trail in the network:


In the summer of 2009 the Bureau of Land Management helped organize a Preserve America Youth Summit in Colorado, which engaged students in activities such as raising awareness of Colorado’s heritage sites, exploring how archaeology supports preservation, and promoting culturally-sensitive heritage tourism.


National Wildlife Refuges have historic and cultural resources that can be preserved and interpreted by students.  One example is the Cathlapotle Plankhouse in Clark County, Washington, which is managed by a partnership among Portland State University, the Chinook Tribe, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.




Scott Richardson

K-12 Program Coordinator

Learn and Serve America

Corporation for National and Community Service

1201 New York Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20525





Friday, December 4, 2009

Urban Youth Take Up the Cause of Healthy Eating

FACT: Half of U.S. teens are overweight or obese.

“When it comes to healthy eating, options are often limited for urban youth,” says MarĂ­a Elena Torre, director of the Public Science Project at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City. "All youth, including those in poor and working class areas, must be involved in unpacking the consequences of our becoming a ‘fast-food’ nation."

We couldn't agree more. This month, WKCD showcases youth and their adult allies for whom healthy eating has become a mantra.

In "Urban Youth Take Up the Cause of Healthy Eating"--the first story in this three-part series--students at a charter school in Oakland, as part of a service-learning project with the National Council of La Raza, take turns interviewing each other about their daily diet, and videotape the results.

In "Rethinking School Lunch," students in Chicago master the challenge of making a school lunch that kids WILL eat--one that involves only six steps, exceeds federal nutrition standards, includes a locally grown vegetable, and costs only a dollar.

In "Schoolyard Gardeners Nourish New Ideas," we learn about schools where students are replacing asphalt with raised beds and seeds, growing their own food and sharing the surplus with neighbors. "I can already smell the broccoli," says seventh-grader Tyler. "We're helping the planet," Lisa adds.

All three pieces include lots of resources and links for folks who want to know more, as well as history and statistics.

This month's edition of WKCD.ORG also features young journalists at Y-Press reporting on youth and social justice, and high school students in Somerville, MA who have created a living, green roof atop an affordable housing project.

As always, your interest means the world to these young people and the adults who guide them. Read their stories--and forward to friends!

With good wishes,

Barbara Cervone, Ed.D., President

WKCD ( brings youth voices to bear on important issues in our schools and society. Check out our other sites, too:; and Help us spread the word!

2010 Opportuntiy with HandsOn Network and Disney Parks

In 2010, HandsOn Network has set our sites on celebrating the spirit and power of volunteerism. We are partnering with Disney Parks to connect families to volunteer activities that are friendly to the unique dynamics of youth activism.


We want to share this chance to thank your existing volunteers, inspire new volunteers to serve and celebrate that service in a big way. Through the Give A Day. Get A Disney Day. program, we’re inspiring one million more people to volunteer a day of service, and say “thanks” by giving them a one-day admission to a Disney park for free.


Thousands of organizations – including schools, healthcare organizations, animal shelters, parks & recreation facilities and more - will participate in this program by making their existing volunteer activities eligible for the program.


Just a few of the kinds of projects available to family volunteers include: making kudzu wreaths for senior centers or schools to address environmental hazards in a fun way; crafting doggie bandanas to help animal shelters adopt out more homeless pets; conducting canned food drives to fill food bank pantries; and filling backpacks with nutritious snacks for kids living in homeless shelters. These are just a handful of the thousands of creative volunteer activities that will be available through beginning Jan. 1.


To make your volunteer events part of Give A Day. Get A Disney Day. sign up today with HandsOn Network at


For frequently asked questions about the program, go to If you still have questions, submit a request to the customer support team at and we will contact you.


There’s never been a better time than now, when there are so many needs in our communities, for young people and families to get involved in service. We look forward to celebrating this time with you!


Kathy Saulits

Vice President, Youth & Family Engagement

Youth HandsOn Network

975 Boston Post Road

Darien, Connecticut 06820

Ksaulitis at HandsOnNetwork dot org



Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Solutions to the Dropout Crisis

Then National Dropout Prevention Center features service-learning as a key strategy for keeping students engaged in school, community and life.  Check out these free online webcasts to learn more:

The next free radio webcast for Solutions to the Dropout Crisis will focus on service-learning. Here is your special invitation to participate on Thursday, December 3rd, at 3:30 EST.


And on Thursday, December 3rd, listen live to this webcast with noted service-learning author and trainer, Cathryn Berger Kaye.

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.