Learn and Serve America Announces $20 Million in Service-Learning Grants

Jul 30, 2009

Washington DC - The Corporation for National and Community Service today announced 36 Learn and Serve America grants totaling nearly $20 million to engage students across the nation in service-learning projects that promote community service while enhancing students' academic and civic skills.

The grants will support service-learning at schools, institutions of higher education, tribes, and faith-based and community groups. Service-learning is an approach to education that links community service to academic achievement while also teaching students about our country's civic institutions and traditions. . For a complete list of grants, click here.

“We know that students who become involved in their communities through organized service-learning activities experience a range of benefits, from improved academic achievement to the development of a ethic of civic involvement,” said Nicola Goren, Acting CEO of the Corporation. “These grants will help meet important social needs and put hundreds of thousands of students on a lifelong path of service.”

The grants come during Education Week of President Obama's United We Serve initiative. Throughout the summer, United We Serve is highlighting the key challenges facing our nation and the ways that volunteers are providing solutions. Education Week is highlighting the countless Americans who roll up their sleeves to read with a child, volunteer at a library, organize a book drive, and strengthen education and learning in other ways.

The grants will fund a variety of types of projects. The grant to Drexel University will support more than 30 institutions of higher education across the Greater Philadelphia region to develop and expand campus community partnerships focused on hunger, income tax assistance for low-income families, financial education, and micro-entrepreneurship training. Usher's New Look, Inc., a foundation sponsored by the entertainer Usher, will use its grant to develop and implement a service-learning curriculum and a mini-grant program for students who have completed the curriculum to implement local service-learning projects such as healthy living campaigns, anti-gang initiatives, and youth mentoring.

The grants are given in four categories:


Higher Education Grants

Approximately $9.27 million will be awarded to 18 individual colleges or statewide or national consortia. These grants help colleges fulfill their civic mission by supporting the development of courses, extracurricular programs, and faculty research designed to meet community needs and carry out partnerships with their surrounding communities. In addition, many projects enable universities to employ Federal Work-Study students in community-serving roles.

Community-based Programs

Eight grants worth $4.17 million will support approximately 63 local programs. Funds are awarded to national, statewide, or regional nonprofits, which support local youth service and service-learning programs, primarily during after-school, weekend, and summer hours.

School-based Competitive Programs

A total of $5.77 million in grants will go to seven school-based programs to support the integration of service into the K-12 academic curriculum in a manner that enhances achievement of academic standards while fostering civic responsibility and knowledge.

School-based Indian Tribes and U.S. Territories

Three grants totaling $709,239 will be awarded to Indian tribe programs to provide school-based service-learning programs.

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