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 13, 2009
    Leadership Morgan Hill is a community based leadership program that is open to citizens residing and/or working in Morgan Hill, CA. The purpose of the organization is to develop future community leaders by engaging and introducing "students" to the inner workings of the city government and the community in general.
  • Posted on Aug 13, 2009
    Every day is a gift for Gary Klinker, a Cisco employee who suffered cardiac arrest and was saved by members of Cisco’s Emergency Response Team (ERT) program.
  • Posted on Aug 12, 2009
    Right To Play, an international humanitarian organization that uses sport and play programs to improve health, develop life skills, and foster peace for children and communities in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the world. It recently organized an international exchange between Jordanians and Americans, supported by the U
  • Posted on Aug 12, 2009
    I am the Volunteer Coordinator for the Reading Is Power! program at the post-dispositional New Beginnings Program in The Northern Virginia Juvenile Detention Home (NVJDH) in Alexandria, Virginia. Reading Is Power! uses the Read Naturally Program, a nationally known and research-based reading program that assists youth in developing a strong foundation of phonemic awareness to develop fluency and become independent and confident readers.
  • Posted on Aug 12, 2009
    On Saturday, August 1st Rebuilding Together Orange County, the nonprofit I'm serving my AmeriCorps term with, held one of their rebuild projects at the Veterans First transitional living facility. Veterans First is the only nonprofit in Orange County, CA offering veterans a wide range of services: case management, counseling, substance abuse programs, job training and placement and homeless shelter.
  • Posted on Aug 12, 2009
    When I received an email from US Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack regarding the President and first Lady’s summer of service initiative, United We Serve, I thought, “Oh no, now what?” As I read about the goals of the program, I wasn’t sure if I would have either the time or the energy to do anything. But, as I thought about how lucky I am at this time to have a job, a roof over my head and a reliable vehicle, it seemed very little to ask me to give up one afternoon. Little did I know how much value I would find in giving up one afternoon of my time.
  • Posted on Aug 12, 2009
    Among the many difficulties facing the Appalachian communities of Southwest Virginia is the quality of education. With limited funding, many primary and high schools struggle to meet the Standards of Learning (SOL), set forth by the state of Virginia in accordance with the No Child Left Behind Act. In recent years, the rural elementary schools of Russell County have sought to incorporate an environmental education aspect in their curriculum. They’ve experienced difficulty in implementing the project due to lack of resources and few qualified instructors.
  • Posted on Aug 11, 2009
  • Posted on Aug 11, 2009
    Parts of the 30th Street Industrial Corridor in the heart of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, recently got a bit of a face lift. Nearly 40 volunteers donned gloves, grabbed shovels and rakes, and hauled trash bag after trash bag to dumpsters in an effort to clean up streets, alleys, and abandoned properties in the area.
  • Posted on Aug 11, 2009
    The North Riverside Public Library, the heart of the Village of North Riverside, IL, had a huge project that needed to be completed as quickly as possible in order to make its DVD collection available to the patrons with the least amount of interruption and inconvenience. The time consuming project consisted of transferring over 1300 DVDs from old CD cases to new, more durable security-lined cases. How could this project be accomplished with the small staff working on the project only during slivers of time between their other projects?

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