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 Mar 20, 2014
    By Kate Raftery


    Just two years ago FEMA and the Corporation for National and Community Service’s AmeriCorps NCCC program launched a unique program called FEMA Corps. FEMA Corps provides Americans, age 18-24, with an opportunity to help people recover from disasters. When disaster strikes, FEMA Corps members are on the ground, working hand-in-hand with FEMA to coordinate disaster response.
  • Posted on Mar 19, 2014
    By CNCS Staff


    The national service community has much to be proud of when it comes to protecting our outdoors. Among many actions, we restore public lands and preserve parks across in communities across the country. Yesterday this work was front and center at the White House, where a Champions of Change program celebrated local leaders who are working to get young people to learn, play, serve, and work outdoors.
  • Posted on Mar 14, 2014
    By Debra Eschmeyer


    In the spring of 2009, the seeds of our organization—and the seeds for a healthy future— were planted by two important White House initiatives. That March, shovels dug in to break ground on the White House Kitchen Garden, and a few weeks later, President Obama signed the bipartisan Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act into law. Motivated to reverse the startling trend in childhood obesity and usher in a new era of service, FoodCorps' founding team was inspired by these two events and saw in them an opportunity to engage AmeriCorps in building a more sustainable, healthful and equitable food system.
  • Posted on Mar 14, 2014
    By Myeasha Taylor


    The future belongs to the few of us still willing to get our hands dirty. Once you have real, it’s hard to go back to fake. All around the nation, small farms, edible schoolyards, farmers markets and gardens are popping up. People are eating food that did not travel miles and miles away but food grown right down the street or at least 20 miles from their homes. Some places bring real food right to your community like Real Food Farm, a project of Civic Works Inc., an organic and sustainable farm in the heart of Baltimore, MD.
  • Posted on Mar 12, 2014
    By Allison Forrer


    Before the start of each Cooking Matters class, AmeriCorps member Veronica Palladino has to make sure she has all of her people and supplies prepped and ready to go. She is responsible for recruiting enough volunteers for each class, training the volunteers, and coordinating with the site to make sure they are ready for the course. She also must have enough groceries and equipment to make the recipes for the day.
  • Posted on Mar 7, 2014
    By Jason Patnosh and Anastasia Romanova


    Good health is something many of us take for granted, until we get sick. Only then are we reminded of everything it takes to get healthy again. But what if those things were out of reach? Fifty million Americans don’t have access to basic healthcare or know how to get it, a driving force behind why Community HealthCorps, an AmeriCorps program, continues to grow after nearly 20 years of service.
  • Posted on Mar 7, 2014
    By Gail Boe


    Home to the Osage Nation, with the entire county residing within the boundaries of the Osage Reservation, Osage County, OK, consists of more than 2, 251 square miles of land mass and 53 square miles of water -- an area larger than either Rhode Island or Delaware. Unfortunately, even with all this land mass, we live in an area that is designated as a “super food desert.”
  • Posted on Mar 6, 2014
    By Paul Caccamo


    For too many years we have addressed the equation of “fit body and fit minds” as requiring two separate interventions. For the mind, we’ve looked toward mentoring. For the body, we’ve turned to physical activity and health education. But our AmeriCorps investment proves that a national service member can be the catalyst to fit bodies and fit minds. Our formula has been to train our AmeriCorps members on how to use the power of coaching to build relationships with at-risk youth that inspire their healthy futures.
  • Posted on Mar 5, 2014
    By Wendy Spencer


    Our nation is more health-conscious and health-aware than ever, but for many there are still obstacles – an untreated disease, obesity, or lack of healthy food -- that prevent them from living their lives to the fullest. That needs to change, and our AmeriCorps members are working to make that happen every day.
  • Posted on Mar 4, 2014
    By Michael Smith


    Nearly five years after President Obama announced the creation of the Social Innovation Fund (SIF) in a ceremony at the White House, the program has achieved amazing progress. Its portfolio includes more than a half billion dollars of cross-sector investments in effective community solutions. Many already show promising early results. Nonprofits are establishing new connections and building capacity that will benefit the entire social sector and the country. And the SIF is accomplishing this in a way that demonstrates the importance of combining innovation, evaluation, and scale to accelerate the pace of change.
    Tags: Grants


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