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 Aug 25, 2009
    For almost 29 years I have volunteered at the Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, NJ. I got started when I returned from Florida after two years of "retirement." I felt restless, and had nothing to do. Before raising six boys, I worked as a dietitian in hospitals and knew I loved the hospital atmosphere.
  • Posted on Aug 25, 2009
    This was the first I’d even heard of a Duck Drop Race, so I was intrigued and wanted to participate. It was a chance to bring together community youth, families, the Chamber of Commerce who started the event, and the community watershed organization with which I work: the Shamokin Creek Restoration Alliance (SCRA).
  • Posted on Aug 25, 2009
    Two years ago, I enrolled in a mediation certificate program with University of California Extension Service called Common Ground. I will receive my certificate next month. To enrich what I learned in the courses, I also decided to volunteer for the City of Davis, California Community Mediation Services or CMS. CMS has one full time staff member and 40 volunteer mediators who work on a rotating basis serving as members of a three person panel for each mediation.
  • Posted on Aug 24, 2009
    On August 4, a group of 15 Housing and Urban Development (HUD) employees volunteered at Walter Reed – a hospital for wounded soldiers. HUD participants held a cookout and served dinner to patients, family members, veterans, and hospital employees.
  • Posted on Aug 24, 2009
    “Christmas has come in July for PS 28!” said Principal Nunez of Public School 28 after a group of volunteers spend a day revitalizing his school facility and installing new equipment. And this was a truly collaborative effort.
  • Posted on Aug 24, 2009
    Foresters in Southern California have been long time supporters of Ronald McDonald House Charities. We have spent countless hours preparing meals and cleaning and refurbishing the houses. In 2008, we looked todeepen further our relationship with the organization by lending our support to Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times®!
  • Posted on Aug 24, 2009
    This summer, Sierra Club’s Cool Cities program launched its Home Energy Ambassador Training program in partnership with United We Serve. Volunteers in more than 35 states have been trained to take common sense and low cost energy efficiency ideas into their community to spread the word about lowering energy bills and carbon footprints.
  • Posted on Aug 24, 2009
  • Posted on Aug 21, 2009
    Once a month several men from my church and I come to cook the dinner for 35-40 men, women, and children at the 8th Street Mission in West Memphis, Arkansas. We try to serve the same meal every month (spaghetti, meat sauce, French bread, green beans and bacon, salad, dessert, and lemonade). Once a week, I try to serve desert (fresh chocolate chip cookies and oranges) to the men and help with dishes.
  • Posted on Aug 21, 2009
    As a communications instructor at Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin, Tenn., I am always looking for new ways to reinvent my communication courses for first and second-year students. In September 2008, I took 10 students to National Public Lands Day at our local state park, Bledsoe Creek State Park.

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