July 07, 2009

Support Service-Learning Funding: Serve America Act Funding Debate Begins Tomorrow

A message from Service-Learning United:

In April, President Obama signed the bipartisan Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act into law. The Act gives permission to significantly increase authorized spending levels for service-learning and Learn and Serve America as a first step toward creating a new era of service and civic engagement in America. Your grassroots support was essential to getting this legislation passed. Now, we need your help one more time to let Congress know how important it is to fully fund the Serve America Act.

While the Kennedy Serve America Act gives permission to establish new programs and additional spending, it does not actually provide the funding. The budget process is separate, takes place each year, and is happening now!

TOMORROW, July 8, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees will begin deciding how much to invest in service and service-learning throughout our nation. This is a critical moment in the legislative process. It is important that we call on Congress and urge them, as a first step, to support President Obama's budget request for the Corporation for National and Community Service. In addition, as service-learning advocates, we also need to encourage Congress to provide an additional $10 million for Learn and Serve America for a total of $50 million and additional funds to support the Summer of Service Initiative. These programs are critical to ensuring a foundation for a lifelong commitment to service and need to be adequately funded.

It's important to act now. Please call and ask your legislators to fund the Corporation for National and Community Service at $1.159 billion for the following fiscal year, which would provide at least $50 million for Learn and Serve America.

Your outreach is extremely important as Congress faces some tough decisions on national funding priorities. House Appropriators are scheduled to hold their first markup session on July 8 and the Senate Committee is expected to meet on July 20.


1. To determine the members of your congressional delegation, visit here. This database will provide you with contact information for your elected officials.

2. You can call your Congressperson directly or be connected through the House Operator (202-225-3121) or Senate Operator (202-224-3121).

3. Once connected, identify yourself as a constituent and ask to speak to the Legislative Assistant in change of national service and education issues.

4. Let the Legislative Assistant know that you strongly support funding the Corporation for National and Community Service at $1.159 billion. Urge them to make sure K-12 age youth have the chance to give back as well by providing at least $50 million for Learn and Serve America and additional funds to support the Summer of Service Initiative.

5. Finally, forward this message to 5 friends and encourage them to speak up for service-learning as well.

Thank you so much for all that you do to give young people the opportunity to engage in service-learning.

Service-Learning United is a national grassroots alliance of local, state, and national organizations committed to educating our nation's leaders and citizens about the positive and powerful impact service-learning has on young people, schools, and the communities they serve. Service-Learning United is supported by the State Farm Companies Foundation and is managed by the National Service-Learning Partnership at the Academy for Educational Development.

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