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National Service Blog

  • Posted on Aug 20, 2015

    How well or poorly a child reads in the third grade is a good predictor of his or her future success. Social Innovation Fund (SIF) grantee Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF) is helping catalyze action and investment in pre-K-3 education to better prepare San Mateo County third-graders for reading and continued achievement.

    The eight-year-old, Mountain View, CA-based SVCF is the largest community foundation in the United States, with more than $6 billion in assets under management. It serves San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties, focusing on solving the most challenging problems, improving quality of life, and inspiring greater civic participation.

    Although it’s home to the prosperous high-tech hub of Silicon Valley, the region faces stark income inequality and the socioeconomic challenges that result from it. Forty-three percent of San Mateo County’s third-grade students are not reading at grade level, rising to over 60 percent for Latino, African-American, and Pacific Islander third-graders.

    Recognizing the importance of reading proficiency to closing the achievement gap, in 2012 SVCF helped convene a group of county leaders and community-...

  • Posted on Jul 28, 2009
    In January 2009, I began my year of Americorps service through Hands On Gulf Coast. As an Art Outreach Specialist with the Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art, I have worked with hundreds of children in three counties along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
  • Posted on Jul 28, 2009
    I have recently been volunteering at a local nursing home. It is the one my husband stayed in prior to his death last year. I find that I have enjoyed being with and socializing with the seniors there, as i am a senior myself.
  • Posted on Jul 27, 2009
    I shall never forget a little girl named Sabrina. Her hair was fly-away dish-water blonde and framed her narrow face, thin lips, pointy chin and blue eyes. Thin and gangly, she made a perfect target for numerous taunts and teasing from other children. She was also very disruptive in class. She was defiant of the teacher, aggressive to other children and rude. It seemed she didn’t want to learn. She needed help!
  • Posted on Jul 27, 2009
    Darius was born with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), a genetic disorder that claimed the life of his older brother. Knowing the rest of his life would be spent in a wheelchair, at 15 Darius left his home for the first time on a cross-country road trip. Darius and his best friends drove from small-town Georgia to California, hoping to convince MTV to “pimp his ride,” his wheelchair that is.
  • Posted on Jul 27, 2009
    Armed with fierce determination and dozens of canoes and kayaks, volunteers continued the massive effort to eradicate the aquatic invasive plant water chestnut from Mill Pond at the Oyster Bay National Wildlife Refuge, New York on Wednesday, July 8th 2009.
  • Posted on Jul 27, 2009
    In February of 2007, my concept of the Red Cross was forever changed. I am a small town worker from Richland Center, Wisconsin. I had just finished removing the last tray of spice cookies from the oven when I realized that the smell of smoke was overcoming the sweet scent of cinnamon and nutmeg. I soon discovered the laundry room was billowing with dense black smoke. By the time I had picked up my essential belongings and rushed out the door, the flames were visible from the road.
  • Posted on Jul 27, 2009
    Grand County, Utah is in Rural South East Utah with a population of nearly 9000. Grand County relies heavily on the tourism trade, which means some parents have to work two or three jobs to support their families.This scenario has been the case for many, many years. But now with the weak economy and people not traveling or eating out as much, and as withmany of the other industries hurt by theeconomy, Grand County has many more peoplestruggling to make ends meet.
  • Posted on Jul 24, 2009
    Growing up the “son of a preacher man” I was always a part of church and always surrounded by people that helped me grow into the man that I am today. My love for serving others started when I was in third grade with a community recycling program and has grown into a passion and longing for loving others.
  • Posted on Jul 24, 2009
    On June 14, 2009 groups of volunteers emerged to “Go Beyond” and help clean and restore the baseball field and park surrounding the Roller and Recreation Facility in St. Louis, Missouri.
  • Posted on Jul 24, 2009
    The state of Oklahoma knows too well the devastation that disasters can cause. Whatever type of disaster, such as tornadoes, flooding, or terrorist attacks (such as the bombing of the Murrah Building) the physical, emotional and financial harm to people and property can be enormous.


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