California Volunteers
CaliforniaVolunteers Newsletter - May 2008

AmeriCorps Week 2008

AmeriCorps Logo Since AmeriCorps’ inception in 1994, more than 540,000 men and women have taken the AmeriCorps pledge to “get things done” and provided more than 705 million hours of service, mobilized tens of millions of volunteers and improved the lives of countless individuals. In California, more than 75,000 AmeriCorps members have served nearly 82 million hours and have in turn earned $181 million in federal Segal Educations Awards. Currently, CaliforniaVolunteers administers 53 programs supporting 4,200 members in 47 California counties.

AmeriCorps Week (May 11-18) provides an opportunity to thank AmeriCorps members and alumni for their service and its impacts, acknowledge the many contributions of public and private community groups to the program and urge more individuals of all ages and backgrounds to sign up for a year of service.

On Monday, May 12, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal AmeriCorps grant maker, announced the winners of the 2008 AmeriCorps national grant competition. Two California programs, Hope Works and The Child Welfare System Improvement Program, were successful in bringing nearly $1 million in new AmeriCorps grant funds to California.

• Hope Works is a gang-prevention pilot program and will place AmeriCorps members in teams in California neighborhoods with a high concentration of community violence. Members will conduct intensive mentoring and monitoring of high-risk youth age 12-16 to build resiliency, provide positive social development opportunities and reinforce law-abiding behaviors. Through multiple weekly contacts, home visits, school advocacy, recreation, community service, resource referrals and family assistance, 900 California youth will have healthy alternatives to gangs, community violence and drug use.

• The Child Welfare System Improvement Program will provide services to 380 families who were reported to Child Protective Services (CPS) for possible child abuse and ultimately were assessed by CPS as being “at-risk” of abuse. Members will also provide services and support to 70 foster families and foster youth. The AmeriCorps members will serve at community-based locations or county offices in six California counties: Butte, Glenn, Humboldt, Stanislaus, Tehama and Trinity.

The AmeriCorps Act of 2008

Photo of Senator Chris Dodd On May 16, Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT), a former Peace Corps volunteer and an advocate for national service programs, announced he will introduce the AmeriCorps: Together Improving Our Nation (ACTION) Act of 2008.

“Because of AmeriCorps, our communities have been strengthened, and our democracy fortified,” said Dodd. “Unfortunately, as the hours AmeriCorps members have contributed to our communities have increased, the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award created to help members pay for their college tuition has remained flat at $4,725. At the same time, the cost of college has skyrocketed. That is one of the reasons Senator Cochran and I are introducing the ACTION Act today, to help the AmeriCorps Education Award keep pace with 15 years of tuition increases.

Provisions of the Act include:

• Raise the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award to $6,185 and raise the award each subsequent year to represent the average cost of tuition and required fees at a 4-year public university;

• Make the education award tax exempt;

• Promote the Corporation for National and Community Service to Cabinet level status

Secretary of Service and Volunteering, Karen Baker, Wraps up State-Wide Listening Tour

Photo of Karen Baker Over the past 3 months, Karen Baker, Governor Schwarzenegger’s newly-appointed secretary of service and volunteering met with leaders from the volunteer and nonprofit sectors to learn about challenges they face in recruiting and retaining volunteers and how she can use her new role to help address such challenges.

“Volunteers play a vital role in addressing the critical needs of our communities and state,” remarked Karen Baker, secretary of Service and Volunteering. “The Governor and I recognize the need to more effectively utilize this powerful resource.”

Secretary Baker’s statewide tour, which began on February 27, included 30 stops throughout California. Baker met with leaders from the nonprofit and corporate sectors, philanthropy, public agencies, emergency managers and volunteer organizations active in disaster. The purpose of the listening tour was to engage nonprofits and public agencies in dialogue to better understand the status of and needs for volunteering in local communities and explore opportunities to build partnerships and tackle the barriers to volunteering in California.

The listening tour came on the heels of the Governor’s nation-leading action to establish a cabinet-level position on service and volunteering. This new position raised the profile of service in the Golden State to a national level; will help improve coordination of vital volunteer activities statewide and support local service efforts; encourage more Californians to become involved with service and volunteerism; help California respond to natural disasters and emergencies; and give California’s volunteers a voice at the highest levels of state government.

White House Faith-Based & Community Initiative Conference-Sacramento

White House Faith-Based & Community Initiative logo The White House is hosting a series of regional conferences and targeted workshops to continue its support for the work of effective faith-based and community social service programs. The events provide participants with information about the government grants process and available funding opportunities, an overview of the legal responsibilities that come with the receipt of Federal funds and various grant writing tutorials. The conferences also provides an opportunity to inform state and local officials about equal treatment regulations and other central elements of the faith-based and community initiative.

Sacramento, California - August 18, 2008

Meeting Date

Monday, August 18, 2008
8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Meeting Location

Sacramento Convention Center
1400 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
916-808-5291
Sacramento Convention Center

Click here for full conference details.

The Magic of Connections National Mentoring Summit

The Magic of Connections National Mentoring Summit logo The California Mentor Foundation (CMF) and MENTOR will host the “Mentoring--The Magic of Connections” National Mentoring Summit at the Disneyland Resort, September 18-19. The purpose of the summit is to invigorate and mobilize the mentoring community, while motivating and inspiring business and civic leaders to increase their support for mentoring efforts. This continues the tradition of mentoring summits at the Disneyland Resort. Previous speakers have included Colin Powell, George Lucas, Governor Pete Wilson, Lynn Swann and Superintendent Jack O’Connell. Over 500 people are expected to attend.

Participants will learn from mentoring experts, as well as, business and civic leaders about the benefits of mentoring and the latest developments in the field. The summit will also build skills for mentoring program professionals and demonstrate how communities, faith-based groups and businesses can get involved in supporting young people through mentoring. There will be keynote speakers, panel discussions, workshops and exhibitors providing learning opportunities for participants.

Summit Date: Thursday, September 18, 2008 - Friday, September 19, 2008

Summit Location: Disneyland Resort
1150 Magic Way
Anaheim, California 92802

For further summit details visit the Magic of Connections Web site.

ServiceNation Summit 2008

Service Nation logo The ServiceNation Summit is designed to spark an energetic and meaningful national conversation about the power and potential of service to unite all Americans in the fight to address our greatest unmet social needs.

The ServiceNation Summit will join together young Americans with 500 leaders from every sector of American life —from universities and foundations, to business and politics— to craft and endorse a Declaration Of Service that will lay out a compelling case for dramatically expanding service opportunities for all Americans. The Declaration of Service will also detail a strategy for using citizen service to target specific challenges —from the high school dropout crisis to disaster response— by creating meaningful opportunities for Americans to do some form of service at every age, from kindergarten through the retirement years.

The ultimate goal of the ServiceNation Summit and the Declaration of Service is to inspire a culture of service that engages one million Americans a year in full-time service by the year 2020.

Summit Date: September 17-19, 2008

Summit Location: New York City

For further summit details visit the ServiceNation Web site.

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