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 Sep 22, 2009
    When I retired nearly four years ago, I never dreamed I would have so many interesting jobs and experiences. I am part of the Jefferson County SCSEP program and have been assigned to the American Red Cross Service Center in Bessemer, Alabama. My community service assignment is to act as receptionist. However, I am now a volunteer and am receiving training in "Mass Sheltering", "Community Disaster Relief," "Client Casework" and "Health and Safety". I believe this training will prepare me to make a difference in the lives of people in emergency situations.
  • Posted on Sep 22, 2009
    We have a neighbor, an older gentleman who sits on his porch and waves to the traffic.  He knows so many people in the neighborhood that we have taken to calling him the Mayor of Main Street (the actual name of the road). His wife is in and out of the hospital, and has been for a while, for a variety of health reasons.  Almost every day, my wife or I go and sit and talk to him. We might not agree on much, but we always take about a half hour or an hour to keep him company during his new-found, unexpected solitude.
  • Posted on Sep 22, 2009
    We are La Curacao, a retail department store focused to the Hispanic community. We organized a story hour for the children in the communities near our store in Los Angeles. We encouraged children to come to the summer reading program, "Alegria de Leer," via posters and radio announcements. For each of the past six summers we have hosted this 6-9 week program. Children enjoy coming to listen, learn and have fun doing a craft.
  • Posted on Sep 22, 2009
    When I first found out I’d be interning in the New York City Mayor’s Office this summer, I resigned myself to a summer of desk work, with perhaps some filing thrown in for variety.
  • Posted on Sep 22, 2009
    Mike L., a member with the American Red Cross’ AmeriCorps Together We Prepare program, has been making quite an impact on Washtenaw County in Michigan. Through his service with the county’s Red Cross chapter, Mike’s usual service has been organizing a youth service group called Youth Community Action Team (YCAT) and responding to local disasters.  But following an AmeriCorps training session, another opportunity presented itself.
  • Posted on Sep 22, 2009
    I have been fortunate to live and work in several rural communities during my 24 years working for USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). As staffing declined in the Flagler Field Office over the years, it was a challenge to accomplish all the things we wanted to do.
  • Posted on Sep 15, 2009
    Boston-based rockers Thirteen Yards to Victory couldn't help but notice the headlines in the local newspapers and the announcements on social media sites that many arts and music education programs in their area were being cut severely. The bad economy was going to mean a poor education for so many students.
  • Posted on Sep 13, 2009
    On September 11, more than a dozen Cabinet secretaries and senior administration officials commemorated the heroism of those who lost their lives on September 11th, 2001, and remembered their spirit of sacrifice by engaging in service and volunteerism as part of the first officially recognized September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance.
  • Posted on Sep 11, 2009
    I wanted to share some news with you that the First Lady and I are excited to share on this National Day of Service and Remembrance.
  • Posted on Sep 10, 2009
    Working for a company for 25 years shows loyalty—volunteering for an organization for 25 years is much more than just loyalty. It is dedication, selflessness, and passion for what one does. Wanda Allen-Yearout is one of only a few individuals with this huge accomplishment, but she is very modest about it.


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