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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 22, 2009
    “Will you marry me?” were the last words I expected to hear on my first day of volunteering with Kids Enjoy Exercise Now (KEEN). Yet within one hour of meeting Jamie, I received my first proposal. Jamie was eleven years old at the time and he also happened to be the first person with Down syndrome with whom I had ever interacted.
  • Posted on Jul 22, 2009
    My name is Mitch and I am a volunteer fishing instructor for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and an Anglers’ Legacy Ambassador. The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation’s (RBFF) Anglers’ Legacy Program is a nationwide mentoring program to introduce newcomers to fishing and boating.
  • Posted on Jul 22, 2009
    I am an Episcopal priest and became involved with the Warrior to Citizen Campaign, a grassroots effort to support Minnesota’s returning veterans, in 2007. I was drawn to the organization because it represents the best of civic engagement and living my faith.
  • Posted on Jul 21, 2009
    After Hurricane Katrina, retired businessman Bill Groome wanted to help rebuild New Orleans, his home of 30 years, but knew his best talents were not in the carpentry or construction field. Operation HOPE provided him with the opportunity to put his extraordinary business skills to good use.
  • Posted on Jul 21, 2009
    At Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet High School in Tennessee, a group of students decided to take Do Something’s “Increase Your Green” challenge, where students across the nation competed to see who could make their school most environmentally friendly. These students initiated their school's first ever recycling program, collecting glass, paper, aluminum, ink cartridges, and cell phones. In 8 weeks, they collected 30,000 bottles and cans, and 350 lbs of paper! Students made daily announcements as reminders to switch off lights, computers, and televisions in each classroom.
  • Posted on Jul 21, 2009
    A team of 60 teens from 25 schools raises $30,000+ each year and does 3,000+ hours of service in preparation for a service learning trip.
  • Posted on Jul 21, 2009
    What happens to those elementary students who do not need special education, but need additional help in the classroom? For many schools, there is not enough staff available to reach these students on a timely basis. RSVP volunteer, Darlene S. has decided to take it upon herself to help fill this void.
  • Posted on Jul 21, 2009
    The Red Cross was there for John R. when he needed help. Now he’s a Mile High Red Cross volunteer helping others. John was in the military, stationed in Hawaii when he had a family emergency back home in Minnesota. “The Red Cross helped me get emergency leave and arranged my travel to get me home,” he said. He never forgot what they did for him. John went on to a career in information services with United Airlines. When he retired, he wanted to spend his time giving back. He called his local Red Cross chapter to volunteer.
  • Posted on Jul 20, 2009
    On June 25th, I got on the 5 Train and headed up to the La Iglesia Cristiana Shekinah block party at 3rd Avenue and 149th Street in the South Bronx. But I wasn’t going for the festivities.
  • Posted on Jul 20, 2009
    MillionTreesNYC is a 10-year initiative to plant and care for one million new trees throughout the City’s five boroughs. By planting one million trees, New York City will ultimately expand the City’s urban forest by 20%, provide New Yorkers important health, economic and environmental benefits, and create a more sustainable urban environment.


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