|April 30 , 2009
||Your Monthly Source of Community Service-Learning News
||VOL. 6, NO. 7
“ JusticeCorps gives you the confidence to see yourself as more than just a student. You see yourself as a leader in your community.”
– Henry A. Fields, CSUDH student and JusticeCorps member
CSU Students Opt for Alternative Spring Breaks
Each year, more CSU students are opting for alternative spring breaks. Campuses and organizations are offering creative programs to serve communities in need and students are seeing, first hand, how serving and learning can go hand-in-hand.
Honoring the Life of César E. Chávez
Throughout the state, CSU campuses celebrated
César Chávez Day through a variety of events recognizing the life and work of the Central Valley leader who pushed for social change. Full Story
The AmeriCorps Program, begun at CSU Dominguez Hills in 1998, has become the Family Tutoring Program, collaborating with the America Reads federal work-study program, utilizing college students as tutors for K-12 children. Daily Breeze Article
Cal State San Bernardino Kinesiology professor Aaron Moffett received a 2009 Community Champion Award from Molina Healthcare of California for his work with the DisAbility Sports Festival. Each award recipient receives a $1,000 check to be donated toward a cause, and Professor Moffett’s check will be donated to the DisAbility Sports Festival. Full Story
Save the Date: AmeriCorps Week is Coming!
The third annual AmeriCorps Week is taking place May 9-16, 2009. Whether you’re an AmeriCorps member, program, state commission, alumni, sponsor, or friend, you can help shine a spotlight on the great work being done by AmeriCorps members across the country. More Information
National Service Statistics
California Statistics for National Service in 2007-2008
- More than 340,000 people of all ages and backgrounds helped meet local needs, strengthened communities and increased civic engagement through 678 national service projects across California.
- CNCS provided $83,700,000 to support California communities through 3 national service initiatives: Senior Corps; AmeriCorps and Learn and Serve America
Source: California Volunteers website.
A Portrait of CSU Students National and Community Service Experiences
On April 21st, 2009, President Obama signed the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act into law. The Act charges the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and its partners to dramatically expand opportunities for Americans to serve, to focus on critical national issues, to be a catalyst for social innovation, and to support the nonprofit sector.The law both expands existing programs and creates new initiatives to increase service opportunities and strengthen CNCS’ civic infrastructure.
This month’s issue of CSU Impact celebrates and recognizes the 5,300 CSU students who have participated in national service programs since 1998, receiving AmeriCorps education awards of $6.6 million. It also portrays the many ways CSU students are engaged with their communities during spring break and
César Chávez Day. We hope you enjoy these personal stories of triumph and growth and of community collaboration.
Summary of the Kennedy Serve America Act
Central Coast Volunteer Corps
The Central Coast Volunteer Corps (CCVC) is an AmeriCorps National Service Program that operates out of the Community CENTER at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. CCVC is administered by California Volunteers and sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service. CCVC AmeriCorps members serve at local nonprofit and community agencies helping to expand their capacity and participate in multi-agency, collaborative service projects. The CCVC is distinctive because the members work with agency supervisors to assess current infrastructure needs. Partners include agencies addressing community needs in youth services, low-income support services, senior services, environmental issues and public safety. In 2008 CCVC members recruited more than 17,000 volunteers who logged 95,000-plus hours of community service in San Luis Obispo County. Members also acquired $450,000 in direct and in-kind resources for nonprofits. The CCVC is currently in its third year and has 35 members who service 25 nonprofit agencies. The members are living and serving by the AmeriCorps motto, “Get Things Done!”
CSU Long Beach began working with JusticeCorps in the summer of 2006. Students help litigants with court paperwork preparation, referrals or through individual aid at legal information workshops. The program requires a one-year commitment of 300 service hours and is funded through an AmeriCorps grant. Among the 36 CSU Long Beach students who participated in JusticeCorps during the past three years, Erin Adams exemplifies the spirit of the program. Initially, Erin sought to help those in need and receive experience in the legal field. Through her increasingly deepening engagement with JusticeCorps as a member, university representative and fellow, Erin gained valuable insight. Next year she will attend law school at the University of Washington and will pursue a joint degree program to become a legal advocate for the voiceless and mentor future generations of lawyers.
Jumpstart for Young Children
Jumpstart is a national program that engages preschool children from low-income communities in an intensive early education program to improve their cognitive and emotional development. Jumpstart recruits and hires college students to work in one-to-one, year-long relationships with the children. The Jumpstart for Young Children program at CSU Northridge recently hosted a Jumpstart for Day Literacy Fair at El Caminito Preschool in Sun Valley, solidifying one of the most important goals of Jumpstart, which is to provide service not only to the children but to the families and community as well. The literacy fair was led by students, and offered various booths that were designed around a circus theme, using familiar books as sources for inspiration. One booth chose a book about a circus obstacle course and created their own course for the families to enjoy using tricycles and hula hoops. There were other activities for the children, such as face painting and a “make your own” clown costume. Throughout the year Jumpstart also hosts library nights, where families are invited to hear stories together and are introduced to Jumpstart songs.
Educational Participation in Communities
CSU Los Angeles’ community service learning program, E.P.I.C (Educational Participation in Communities), helped create a dynamic partnership with a handful of community agencies that utilize the AmeriCorps program and university volunteers to teach parents the importance of literacy and how to start building their own libraries at home for their children. Sponsored by Reading is Fundamental (RIF) of Southern California and implemented at a Women, Infants and Children (WIC) site in East Los Angeles, this bilingual program has CSULA senior Yasmin Ayala, an AmeriCorps member, coordinating and conducting classes for parents and activities for their children that promote the development of family literacy. Yasmin is an excellent example of the kind of leadership that AmeriCorps members can bring to their work in the community. In collaboration with the Bonner Foundation and California Campus Compact, E.P.I.C recruits CSU Los Angeles students to participate as AmeriCorps members. These students help coordinate a wide range of community engagement activities to serve the community, while receiving invaluable experience and earning a part-time education award.
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