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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 Jul 16, 2009
    My musical group, Taylor Made Jazz, have been performing for troops for 30 years. I started performing at bases around my area and then on bases up and down the east coast at the end of the Vietnam War. I did not serve in the war but have maintained my commitment to the troops. I performed professionally for many years, and currently continue my music by entertaining our troops through the Department of Defense’s Armed Forces Entertainment and through various Morale Welfare and Recreation units when called upon.
  • Posted on Jul 16, 2009
    I am the day to day manager of a nonprofit farmers' market that was founded in February, 2008 with the mission of growing and sustaining a local food economy in and around Pass Christian, Mississippi. We provide a venue for small farmers and other producers to be entrepreneurs and sell their products directly to the public. We educate the public about the importance of supporting local farmers and sustainable farming practices. We take part in the USDA Farmers Market Nutrition Program and we are active in local food drives.
  • Posted on Jul 16, 2009
    I am going into the 8th grade at Andrew Jackson Middle School in Titusville, FL. This summer I am a part of a week-long camp improving Jackson's Learn and Serve team. Learn and Serve is a club at my school and we do service projects that benefit both the recipient and the giver. We help the community and learn at the same time.
  • Posted on Jul 15, 2009
    Nearly 50% of residents of Lansing Michigan are living at or near poverty levels. In an effort to help residents stretch their financial resources and improve their access to nutritious, locally grown foods, the Old Town Commercial Association is sponsoring the first ever Community Garden project.
  • Posted on Jul 15, 2009
    The greenest building is the one that already exists." The US Forest Service has hosted a volunteer historic preservation program called "Passport in Time" since 1989. Volunteers work with professional archaeologists and preservationists to restore historic buildings for continued use. Not only does this save buildings, it engages communities and fosters civic pride in their history.
  • Posted on Jul 15, 2009
    This month, with the help of Literacy Volunteers of Essex/Franklin Counties, 10 inmates at the Adirondack Correctional Facility will be trained and certified as volunteer literacy tutors. All of these men have high school diplomas or GEDs and also hold facility jobs for which they are paid a nominal stipend ($.24/hour, 30 hours/week). Here is what they would like to say:
  • Posted on Jul 15, 2009
    I serve by being a Senior Companion in San Bernardino, CA. As a Senior Companion, I visit with local seniors to be a listening ear and helping hand. My experience volunteering has been full of stories to share but there is one woman has touched my heart. She is a new client of mine. At 87-years-old, she has just returned from the hospital, suffers from dementia, hypertension and heart disease. She lives with her bedbound husband and adult son. She had not responded in any way to anyone at home.
  • Posted on Jul 15, 2009
    In early January of this year, I got an idea after watching a news story about our Community Food Bank. The food bank was struggling to meet the demands placed on it by a shrinking economy and an ever-expanding unemployment rate. I thought, “If every neighbor in Tucson—nearly one million of them—donated one can of food a week, we could eliminate hunger in our city.”
  • Posted on Jul 14, 2009
    Welcome to the United We Serve "Stories of Service" blog! In this blog we’ll be featuring news, updates, and some of the remarkable stories of service we’ve been getting from Americans across the country who are answering President Obama’s call to service.
  • Posted on Jul 14, 2009
    To kick off United We Serve, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates visited wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Medical Center. The Secretary said that meeting with the soldiers, “lifted him up.” Speaking about the soliders, Gates said, “their grit, resilience and indomitable spirit amaze and inspire me every time."


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