On June 20, the Corporation for National and Community Service announced the recipients of the 2006 Spirit of Service Awards. Among those recognized were two service-learning champions, an exemplary service-learning program, and State Farm Insurance®.
State Farm Insurance®, Bloomington, IL
Most people know State Farm as an insurance pioneer, but not everyone recognizes its pioneering leadership as an advocate for service-learning. Through its initiative on Education Excellence, State Farm uses its fiscal and human resources to connect teachers, classrooms, and communities nationwide.
Cynthia McCauley, Educator, Panama City, FL
With support from Florida Learn and Serve, Cynthia plays a critical role in finding ways for students facing multiple disabilities to work with mainstream students on service-learning projects. Her latest undertaking is to create the first-ever service-learning charter school for students with disabilities.
Dr. Rudy Garcia, Higher Education, Albuquerque, NM
A top service-learning educator at the higher education level, Dr. Garcia developed the service-learning program at Central New Mexico Community College, recruiting dozens of faculty members to participate in the initiative.
Kevin Estep, Student, Apple Grove, WV
Through HI-Y, a YMCA-affiliated leadership organization, Kevin challenged his fellow students to improve their school and community through service-learning. He also joined the West Virginia Youth Action Council, part of the state’s Department of Education’s Learn and Serve program, in its work to involve more youth in service.
The SITES Program, North Olmsted, OH
More than 1,400 Ohio students have contributed more than 250,000 service hours to the community through the SITES program since it was established 15 years ago by North Olmsted High School teachers Robert J. Pierce and Christine Kilbane-Pierce. The three-credit, interdisciplinary program integrates 12th grade English and social studies with an elective credit in community service-learning. The program serves as a Learn and Serve Ohio Model, assisting other schools with developing and improving service-learning programs of their own.
Congratulations to these outstanding award winners. Visit the Corporation's website to learn more about the 2006 Spirit of Service Awards.
--Nelda Brown, National Service-Learning Partnership