September 05, 2008

What are you doing for the Learn & Serve Challenge? A message from David Eisner

Dear National Service Colleagues:

What an exciting month for national service! The President will deliver a major speech on service next Monday, September 8th from the south lawn of the White House. Then from September 11-12, many of us will take part in Service Nation in New York to promote a new era of citizen service in America. On September 16th, the Corporation will hold its last board meeting of the administration. And the following week, I'll be one of many who will get to meet lots of our national service practitioners, leaders, and colleagues when they descend on Washington. These events will shine a national spotlight on service and help all Americans see that service is the solution to tackling the tough problems our country faces.

To top off this exciting time, we have an excellent opportunity to highlight the Learn & Serve Challenge as a way to build on the increased awareness about service to encourage our young people, communities and schools to participate in service-learning activities. The Learn & Serve Challenge takes place from October 6-12, and I hope everyone in the volunteering and national service community will take part.

Research shows that students involved in service-learning succeed better in school and in life. We know that when young people serve, they are much more likely to be engaged for the rest of their lives. Through the Challenge, you can spotlight service-learning impacts on young people and schools, encourage others to launch service-learning activities, and build public support and recognition for Learn and Serve America, the only federal program dedicated to service-learning.

And the Challenge isn't only for grantees of our Learn and Serve America program. Many AmeriCorps and Senior Corps programs have service-learning elements and I hope they get involved as well.

The Challenge moves us closer to our 2010 national goals of driving service-learning into half of America's K-12 schools and engaging 5 million college students in service.

Please visit where you will find lots of tools, fact sheets, Web banners, talking points, research briefs, and activity ideas for events to promote service-learning in your community.

The Learn & Serve Challenge is a collaborative effort led by the National Service-Learning Partnership with support from the State Farm Companies Foundation. Lead organizing partners include SEANet-the State Education Agency K-12 Service-Learning Network, Camp Fire USA, Campus Compact, the National Service-Learning Clearinghouse, America's Promise Alliance and Youth Service America, working in collaboration with the Corporation.

So please join us and all of our Challenge partners as we shine the spotlight on service-learning in October!

In service,

David Eisner
CEO, Corporation for National and Community Service

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