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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 Feb 28, 2014
    By Tayler Stuger


    Last year I served as a City Year AmeriCorps member at DC Scholars Stanton Elementary School in Southeast Washington, DC. In my role, I tutored and mentored the students at Stanton, and worked with teachers and administrators to help turn around one of the District’s lowest performing schools. I’m proud to be part of Stanton’s turnaround success story. This year I lead a team of 18 City Year AmeriCorps members, all serving through the School Turnaround AmeriCorps grant.
  • Posted on Feb 28, 2014
    By Dana Forde


    Lacking significant support from family, then-high school student Amanda Parris didn’t believe college was an option. But her enrollment in a dropout prevention program led to night classes at a local community college and awakened a desire to give back to others.
  • Posted on Feb 28, 2014
    By Michael Brown and Jim Balfanz


    At many low-performing, high-poverty schools across the country, graduating from high school is a 50-50 proposition. Because of the scale of the challenges faced by students and teachers, extra help is needed to ensure students receive additional personalized support
  • Posted on Feb 28, 2014
    By Scott Cowen


    When I get invited to speak at conferences and events, people typically want to hear about the rebirth of Tulane, the story of how Tulane came back stronger and better after the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. How did we manage to increase retention and graduation rates, raise student selectivity and invigorate Tulane's national reputation only a few years after the storm? While a number of decisions and people contributed to these successes, I never fail to highlight the single most important factor: our profound commitment to public service and civic engagement.
  • Posted on Feb 27, 2014
    By Wendy Spencer


    During your life’s journey, I am sure that you can remember times when your path was made clearer or your baggage lighter because of someone who helped along the way. These thoughts came to mind today as President Obama outlined his plan to expand opportunity for boys and young men of color through the My Brother’s Keeper initiative and a new federal task force on which I am honored to serve.
  • Posted on Feb 27, 2014
    By Dana Forde


    Before becoming an AmeriCorps member, John Laderer yearned for a clear direction. “I was somebody who was just floating by in high school,” he said. “I really wasn’t learning…and my reading, writing, and math scores reflected that.”
  • Posted on Feb 26, 2014
    By CNCS Staff


    March has been designated Healthy Futures Month for the AmeriCorps 20th Anniversary celebration. So, what does Healthy Futures mean?...
  • Posted on Feb 25, 2014
    By Michael Smith


    In 2009, President Obama created the Social Innovation Fund (SIF) with a simple goal: Find solutions that work and provide the resources and spotlight needed so they can work for more people. Nearly five years later, the Social Innovation Fund represents more than a half billion dollars in public and private funds that are evaluating, expanding, and igniting innovative community solutions nationwide.
  • Posted on Feb 24, 2014
    By Robert Bisi


    AmeriCorps members’ contribution to American education doesn’t end when our students leave for college. By expanding the role of higher education in communities across the United States through service and volunteering, our programs have a huge footprint in higher education, serving at more than 157 institutions across the United States.
  • Posted on Feb 24, 2014
    By CNCS Staff


    Corporation for National and Community Service CEO Wendy Spencer participated in a Twitter chat to answer questions about national service and education as part of the AmeriCorps 20th anniversary celebration. We have made the transcript available on Storify, in case you missed it.


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