National Service Blog
Posted on Aug 20, 2015
Silicon Valley Community Foundation Helping Raise Third-Grade Reading Scores in San Mateo County, California
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 9, 2013
Hurricane Sandy not only caused physical damage but wreaked havoc on many long-established community connections. In Rockaway Park, water damage to the St. Camillus-St. Virgilius Parish (SCSVP) gym scuttled a weekly gathering for children and adults with disabilities. But the community behind Rockaway Special Athletes worked to keep the Monday night tradition alive.“Parents kept telling me, ‘The kids need their Mondays back,’” said Joe Featherston, the group’s founder. “For some, it had been part of their routine for 16 years. We had to figure out a way to keep it going.”
Posted on Jul 8, 2013
The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is again collaborating with the New York Yankees during its fifth-annual HOPE Week (Helping Others Persevere & Excel) to highlight acts of goodwill and service in the community.Individuals and groups recognized during HOPE Week will be honored by the team during a Yankees game this week, and team members will attempt to personally connect with them in locations that honor the spirit of their service.
Posted on Jul 3, 2013
The Statue of Liberty withstood the force of Hurricane Sandy when it struck last fall, but storm damage closed Liberty Island to tourists just weeks after renovations were completed to the area.
Posted on Jun 28, 2013
Have you ever had one of those days where you can't stop smiling? This month was filled with them. Support for national service grows stronger and stronger; during the past two weeks, we've seen this momentum build in several major arenas. Here's the latest news:
Posted on Jun 25, 2013
Did you know students can experience learning loss when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer months? On average, students lose the equivalent of two months of math and reading skills during the summer months. More than half of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities.
Posted on Jun 24, 2013
This week, I had the opportunity to speak at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service here in Washington, DC. Sponsored by Points of Light, the conference is the world’s largest annual gathering of volunteering and service leaders and supporters.I also announced that President Obama and the First Lady will host a celebration at the White House, on July 15, 2013, in honor of the 5,000th Daily Point of Light award.
Posted on Jun 21, 2013
A year ago, I visited the Qi Life Center, a veterans' transition home in Washington, DC. There I met a neatly dressed gentleman who was focused intently at a computer screen. "That's Ken Harris," the center's director said. "When he came to us, he was lost. He's a veteran who has been homeless for almost 20 years since he was discharged. He became homeless the day he left the military."
Posted on Jun 7, 2013
A construction project in the shadow of the Washington Monument brought 40 AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps VISTA national service members to Washington, DC. to assemble frames and construct accessible ramps for new Habitat for Humanity homes during the 2013 Veterans Build on the Mall June 2-5.
Posted on Jun 3, 2013
A U.S. Air Force veteran, Regina Best was recently homeless and became so passionate about service that she spent months building homes for others before finding one for herself. Now in her own apartment and back in school, Best is determined to keep serving well beyond her AmeriCorps term.
Posted on May 31, 2013