$40 Million In Grants Will Encourage Community Service
The Corporation for National and Community Service today announced its 2006 Learn and Serve America grant competition to support high quality service-learning projects that engage students in community service projects linked to academic studies.
Approximately $40 million in grant funds will be available, subject to congressional appropriation, to support service-learning projects in a variety of settings. The grant funds will be divided between school-based, community-based, higher education, and tribal and U.S. territory programs. The funding is for the 2006-2007 school year, with possible continued funding for two more years.
“Service-learning programs provide an on-ramp to national service and are instrumental in fostering good citizenship,” said David Eisner, CEO of the Corporation, which oversees Learn and Serve America. “Every year the case grows stronger that students engaged in service-learning improve their academic achievement and strengthen their skills by using them to help of their communities.”
Learn and Serve America supports and encourages service-learning throughout the United States, and enables over one million students each year to make meaningful contributions to their community while building their academic and civic skills.
Underlining the importance of the grants, Learn and Serve America director Amy Cohen said, “These grants develop lasting programs that engage young people in meaningful service as a part of their academic activities. Through service-learning, students and their schools or colleges become assets within the community.” The grant competition supports the Corporation’s four strategic goals for 2005-2010: providing more opportunities for citizens to serve and volunteer, harnessing experience to meet 21st century challenges, engaging students in their communities, and ensuring a brighter future for all of America’s youth.
The competition is particularly focused on ensuring that more youth in disadvantaged circumstances are able to engage in service-learning and on expanding the use of service-learning to more schools, colleges, and community organizations.
Funds are available to intermediary organizations and may be used to create curriculum materials; support training and technical assistance activities; and make subgrants to local partnerships to carry out service-learning. For information and application instructions, click here.
Speaking on the value of service-learning last summer, U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings noted that: “Through service-learning, students have unique opportunities to learn the value of teamwork and build critical thinking skills while completing service projects in areas such as education, public safety and the environment. Studies have shown that students who participate in such programs demonstrate increased civic and social responsibility and improved academic achievement.”
The deadlines for applications are: school-based formula, Feb. 2, 2006; school-based competitive, community-based, and tribal and territory, Mar. 7; and higher education, both for individual and consortia programs, Feb. 28.
Learn and Serve America, which is celebrating its 15th anniversary, is one of three programs administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service that provide opportunities for Americans of all ages and backgrounds to serve their communities and country. The others are Senior Corps and AmeriCorps.
Together with the USA Freedom Corps, the Corporation is working to build a culture of citizenship, service, and responsibility in America.