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By Mona Shand, Public News Service - MO
Proposed cuts to federally supported volunteer programs would hit home for communities across Missouri, according to supporters of the programs.
Wendy Spencer heads the Corporation for National and Community Service, which operates AmeriCorps, the Senior Corps and other community-building volunteer initiatives. Whether it’s helping out in overcrowded classrooms or understaffed health clinics, or rebuilding cities such as Joplin after natural disasters, Spencer said, participants in these programs gain as much as they give.
“We know now from research that when you volunteer, it actually helps you get a job,” she said. “So those people who are committing a year of their life to service, they’re gaining skills, both soft and hard skills. They’re learning about needs in the community.”
Congress has proposed cutting $500 million from the corporation’s budget, which would cut the number of available spots for AmeriCorps volunteers by nearly 40,000, or roughly half. The Republican-led proposal is part of the battle over how to respond to the return of automatic spending cuts known as sequestration.
Spencer argued that programs such as AmeriCorps save communities money, citing the disaster relief work in Joplin as an example.
“Hundreds of AmeriCorps members were able to serve and provide the leadership to receive volunteers, to receive donations, and make sure that those volunteers were deployed to the right type of activity, and engaged,” she said, “and those donations were used at the highest and best use.”
Today, close to 6,600 AmeriCorps volunteers are serving in Missouri.
By Mona Shand, Public News Service - MO
Proposed cuts to federally supported volunteer programs would hit home for communities across Missouri, according to supporters of the programs....
Georgia on Our Minds
Corporation for National and Community Service CEO Wendy Spencer visited the Youth Villages AmeriCorps program in Douglasville, GA, to meet national service members and review the program. She also met with Douglasville Mayor Harvey Persons during the visit.
The 24 Youth Villages AmeriCorps members will offer tutoring, life skills, GED preparation, after-school programming, and service learning to a vulnerable population of students ages 5 to 21 with special and exceptional needs at a residential treatment facility.
Sen. John McCain: ‘There are many avenues of service’
In a recent Yahoo news article, U.S. Sen. John McCain expressed confidence about our country’s future, noting that his cynicism vanishes he visits young Americans serving in the military overseas. Then he added this remark about serving our country:
“(I)t’s not just the military. We have the Teach for America program. We have AmeriCorps. There are many avenues of service, and there is nothing nobler than serving a cause greater than your own interest.”
We thank Sen. McCain for this endorsement of service.
The Corporation for National and Community Service is proud to help thousands of Americans serve their country each year through AmeriCorps and Teach For America.
Read the Yahoo news story
Learn more about AmeriCorps
President Obama Talks National Service on The Daily Show
President Obama visited The Daily Show with Jon Stewart last night and said this about national service and AmeriCorps:
“We have to give (young people) pathways to get them involved. And so we’ve tried to expand things like AmeriCorps as much as possible. Part of what we want to do is hopefully tie it more to getting a lower-cost college education, so that they get scholarships in return for the work they do. I think that would be a good place for us to start.”
Watch the clip here
Watch The Daily Show extended interview on YouTube
Update on Budget Cuts and Syracuse Foster Grandparents
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer voiced his support for national service and the Syracuse Foster Grandparents program during a visit to the city yesterday.
Sen. Schumer said the following about the program in an official press release:
“Cutting federal support for programs like the Foster Grandparent program in Syracuse, which helps supplement our teachers’ efforts in the classroom, is akin to putting these school districts and children in detention for doing nothing wrong. Our teachers and school administrators have the incredibly important task of educating our children and providing them with the knowledge they need to be successful – but this proposal would punish hundreds of Central New York students and teachers, as well as the senior citizens who want to volunteer out of the goodness of their hearts, for absolutely no reason.
“The federal government can make no better investment than in the education and development of our children, so I am dead set against any proposal that slashes this funding and will fight tooth and nail to preserve it.”
Video courtesy CNY Central News
From Our CEO | Wendy Spencer
By Mona Shand, Public News Service - MOProposed cuts to federally supported volunteer programs would hit home for communities across Missouri,...
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