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 2, 2009
    As the program director for the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, I work with community volunteers in 3 New York City neighborhoods on a Community Supported Agriculture Project.
  • Posted on Sep 2, 2009
    I came into volunteer on the Monday morning before the 4th of July, excited for the three days ahead of me and the upcoming holiday. This was my third week as a camp counselor for Discovery Camp, the National Ability Center's day camp for children and teens with disabilities. By now I was beginning to feel like I knew what I was doing, and I was eager to take on more responsibility.
  • Posted on Sep 2, 2009
    I am an AmeriCorps VISTA member working in Port Charlotte, FL at Facilitator for Good Friends, a free reading and literacy program for second and third graders.
  • Posted on Sep 2, 2009
    My name is Carolyn and I am a volunteer at the Piney Creek Watershed Association (PCWA). I am so grateful that I was introduced to PCWA because it is a wonderful group of people who have a passion for the community, access to clean water and protecting the environment.
  • Posted on Sep 2, 2009
    I spent my high school years at a Jesuit school in Portland, Oregon. Our school motto was “Age Quod Agis,” a Latin proverb that means, “Do well whatever you do.” Throughout high school, this concept was constantly emphasized by teachers, coaches, and priests. “Study your hardest; you only get to take this test once.” “Leave it all on the field; there are no points for second place.” “God doesn’t care if you have a bad voice; sing loudly with the voice He gave you."
  • Posted on Sep 2, 2009
    The Military Buildup Community Forum is a service-learning project coordinated by Guam Community College’s Criminal Justice and Social Sciences students. This year-long endeavor started when Fall 2008 students surveyed the public to find what they considered major concerns facing our island community. The impending military buildup in reference to the relocation of U.S. Marines from Okinawa to Guam ranked number one.
  • Posted on Sep 2, 2009
    I have been trying to "find the time" to volunteer for years at our local nursing home and finally decided to take the first step and began doing pet therapy with my Golden Retriever, "Kramer". I go once a week after an exhausting week of teaching school, on Friday afternoons.
  • Posted on Sep 2, 2009
    We had in mind an organizational tool for kids making the transition from elementary school to the upper grades. It is a classic problem that these students don't know how to schedule their time and homework. Together we (the developers) have about 50 years of experience in planning and logical processes, and we think we have succeeded in adapting professional planning methods for upper school students. We think we have come up with something that doesn't really exist for kids (at least we couldn't find it).
  • Posted on Sep 2, 2009
    During Safety and Security Week the Somebody Cares organization took part in their fourth week of Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training hosted by the Harris County Citizen Corps. The fourth week of the eight week program taught them about Emergency Medical Operations.
  • Posted on Aug 31, 2009
    As a tornado touched down just a few city blocks away, a humble group gathered in the safest place it could be, deep in the basement of a church, hardly aware of the storm outside. We were caught up in trying to make a difference, volunteering at Groveland Foodshelf, which serves the neighborhood just south of downtown Minneapolis.


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