Wednesday, August 5, 2009

CAD and Volunteer Tennessee Receive National Service-Learning Grant Funding!

Breaking News from the Volunteer Tennessee Newsletter. This is one of the big projects that the YMCA Center for Asset Development will be working on for 2009-2011. We are very excited!

Volunteer Tennessee has received a new Learn and Serve America Community-Based grant totaling $586,996 from the Corporation for National and Community Service. Only eight agencies across the nation received funding from this competition this year.

The purpose of the Learn and Serve Community-Based grants is to involve youth, ages 5-17, in service to their communities through organized, structured programs that take place during the non-school hours. Through these programs, youth meet real needs in their communities while also participating in learning activities designed to enhance their social, civic, and/or academic skills.

Volunteer Tennessee's proposal focuses on mobilizing three of Tennessee's largest youth organizations -- BRIDGES-PeaceJam, 4-H and YMCA (through the Y-CAP programs) -- to engage thousands of students in out-of-school service programs during spring, summer, fall and winter breaks. By identifying local needs and assets, students participate in relevant and engaging service-learning projects that are valuable to the community. Middle and high school-aged students will lead younger youth in their service projects, with the goal of extending these initiatives to all partner affiliates across Tennessee through curriculum frameworks developed by the Center for Asset Development.

Volunteer Tennessee's service-learning team is ecstatic about the new funding. Meredith Freeman, Deputy Director for Service-Learning, says the new funding will help further the long-term goals of keeping students engaged when they are not typically in school. "This grant is a real win for service-learning in Tennessee," she said. "Through key partnerships with such amazing organizations, we'll be able to reach students throughout the year when they're isolated and harder to reach. The program will build on students' academic momentum and help them stay connected to the community in a healthy, productive way."