YSA Briefings

February 1, 2018 | Volume 25, No. 5
    

Start Your Semester of Service

Research has shown that classes and groups that use YSA's Semester of Service framework demonstrate increases in student engagement. As students see how math, science, language arts, and social studies can help them #LeadASAP (through Awareness, Service, Advocacy, and Philanthropy), they understand the relevance of their education. Through a Semester of Service, educators make the community their classroom, and the world's challenges their curriculum. Students build and practice 21st Century Skills while making their communities healthiergreenersmarter, fairer, cleaner, and safer.
The free Semester of Service online course will help educators use the tools and handouts available in the Semester of Service Teacher Toolkit to guide students through activities designed to challenge students to think critically about global issues, generate creative solutions, collaborate as they put their ideas into action, and communicate to recruit others and share their results. Semester of Service complements your existing curriculum, creating opportunities for authentic learning and practical application of the knowledge and skills taught in your classroom or after-school program to make real-world impacts.

Souper Bowl of Caring

Souper Bowl of Caring empowers youth and unites communities around the time of the Big Game to collect money or food items in their own unique ways to fight hunger in their community.

GYSD Partner Event: Bake Sale for No Kid Hungry

Bake Sale for No Kid Hungry, a program of Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign, is a national fundraising initiative that encourages people to host bake sales in their communities to help end childhood hunger. This is a recommended Global Youth Service Day project!

New Katie's Krops Game

YSA, Change My World Now, and Katie's Krops announce that a new Katie's Krops game is now available in the Apple App Store to help students form a deep connection to the issue of hunger by experiencing it in a fun, dynamic and interactive way. The mission of Katie's Krops is to empower youth to start and maintain vegetable gardens of all sizes and donate the harvest to help feed people in need. The problem of hunger is real, Katie's Krops mission is simple, we all can help because... it only takes a seedling!

Engaging a New Generation of Anti-Hunger Leaders

Engaging a New Generation of Anti-Hunger Leaders is a resource that highlights the strategies and results of teachers that have engaged their students in addressing childhood hunger. This resource models the Semester of Service framework and offers numerous teacher testimonials to give insight into the best-practices of service-oriented program implementation.

Poverty & Hunger Project Ideas

As you decide what to do for Global Youth Service Day, check out all the poverty & hunger ideas in the #LeadASAP Idea Center. Each idea includes a resource to help you turn that idea into action.

Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation Youth Grants

Deadline: February 12

YSA (Youth Service America) and Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation are looking for innovative ideas from young people about how they can help end childhood hunger in their communities. 125 $400 grants are available for youth leaders ages 5-25 across the U.S. to turn ideas into action and make an impact on the issue of childhood hunger on Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) – April 20-22, 2018 – and beyond.
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$400 Summer 2018 Sustainability Grants will also be awarded to up to 25 youth grantees to sustain and continue their GYSD projects. We are especially interested in project ideas that address long-term solutions to childhood hunger. Watch this short 10-minute video for an introduction to the program and the application process. Learn more at www.YSA.org/SodexoYouth

Warner Brothers DOO GOOD Grant

Deadline: February 12

With the generous support of Warner Bros., generationOn is excited to provide $500 grants for kids around the country to DOO more GOOD. Grantees will create two service projects, both addressing the issue of either the environment, hunger, or animal welfare. The grant is open to new and existing generationOn Kids Care Clubs, engaging 5-12 year olds in service. Clubs must be affiliated with a nonprofit or school.

Lyft Community Grants

Deadline: Rolling

Starting in January 2018, 501(c)3 nonprofits working across more than 20 cities nationwide will be eligible to apply for a Lyft Community Grant. Each month, one nonprofit in each participating region will receive a $1,000 grant in the form of Lyft ride credit to enhance regular or one-off programs. These grants could be perfect to help people get to GYSD projects!

Everyday Young Hero

Lasya Munamarty - Miami, Florida

Sailasya (Lasya) Munamarty (12, Miami, Florida) demonstrates that any action, large or small, can have an impact on others. After learning about child exploitation in the United States and around the world, Lasya has dedicated her time to trying to raise awareness of child exploitation in its various forms, ranging from child trafficking to child labor, amongst the many other forms of global child exploitation.

Lasya decided to raise awareness by starting online petitions and giving presentations at local organizations such as the Rotary Club and her temple. Lasya has become so passionate about the issue of child exploitation that she shares information about the issue every chance she can. One of Lasya’s greatest goals with this awareness campaign is to educate individuals that child exploitation is not just an issue of developing nations; the United States has many cases of child exploitation. She hopes that the awareness around child exploitation will encourage other youth to observe when relationships between children and adults seem “off” and can notify the proper authorities so that all children can have good health and access to education.

National Service-Learning Conference: Justice in Action

March 11-13 in St. Paul, Minnesota
This year, the National Service-Learning Conference’s theme is Justice in Action – it’s educators and community members joining in partnership with students, to make positive change in the world. Justice in Action will provide more than 100 hands-on learning opportunities through workshops, keynote, and thought leader sessions. Topics range from social-emotional learning and civic education to youth leadership and international service-learning. Whether you are new to service-learning or an experienced practitioner, this conference has something for you. Regular registration deadline is Friday, February 16.

Webinar: The Growing Out-of-School Time Field

Wednesday, February 7 at 2:00pm Eastern
Tune into Part II of this webinar series highlighting insights from the newly released book, The Growing Out-of-School Time Field: Past, Present, and Future, which delves into the ways in which the out-of-school time (OST) field has matured over the past two decades as a partner in helping children and youth reach their full potential. This second webinar will discuss the professional development of the OST field, the role of federal policy in supporting OST programs, and what the future holds for the OST movement.
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They can say, they can say it all sounds crazy.
They can say, they can say I've lost my mind.
I don't care, I don't care, so call me crazy.
We can live in a world that we design.
'Cause every night I lie in bed
The brightest colors fill my head
A million dreams are keeping me awake
I think of what the world could be
A vision of the one I see
A million dreams is all it's gonna take
A million dreams for the world we're gonna make."
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January 25, 2018 | Volume 25, No. 4
    

Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation Grants

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One in six children in America are at risk of hunger. This is a problem that can be solved, and kids are the best problem solvers! YSA (Youth Service America) and Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation are looking for innovative ideas from young people about how they can help end childhood hunger in their communities. 125 $400 grants are available for youth leaders ages 5-25 and 10 $1,000 grants are available to schools and organizations across the U.S. to turn ideas into action and make an impact on the issue of childhood hunger on Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) – April 20-22, 2018 – and beyond. $400 Summer 2018 Sustainability Grants will also be awarded to up to 25 youth grantees to sustain and continue their GYSD projects. We are especially interested in project ideas that address long-term solutions to childhood hunger. Watch this short 10-minute video for an introduction to the program and the application process.
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Learn more and apply by February 12 at www.YSA.org/SodexoYouth

NEWS FROM THE FIELD

Great Kindness Challenge – Family Edition and Kindness Bus Tour Launch on Good Morning America

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Kids for Peace has announced the new Great Kindness Challenge – Family Edition to give children and their families a free and fun opportunity to help create a kinder world together.  Guided by a checklist of 50 kind acts, families are challenged to unite in kindness through activities such as baking cookies for firefighters, playing board games with senior citizens, and raising funds for a favorite cause. This exciting addition to the Great Kindness Challenge was made possible through new philanthropic support from global play and entertainment company Hasbro, Inc. and its BE FEARLESS BE KIND initiative.  To download the free checklist, visit www.greatkindnesschallenge.org.
One way the Great Kindness Challenge inspires families to serve others is the checklist item "Raise funds and donate to your favorite cause." This year's Kind Coins for Hurricane Relief campaign has a goal of building four new playgrounds at schools in hurricane-impacted communities in Texas, Puerto Rico, Florida and Louisiana.  To help double the impact made by these fundraising efforts and help Kids for Peace achieve its goal, Hasbro is matching every dollar raised for the Kind Coins for Hurricane Relief campaign through February 15, 2018, up to $100,000.  For more information on Kind Coins for Hurricane Relief and how to donate, visit https://thegreatkindnesschallenge.com/kind-coins-for-hurricane-relief/

Channel Kindness Reporters Announced

Channel Kindness is proud to announce their 2018 class of Reporters – 50 young people strong, representing every region of the country. Channel Kindness is a force for good, powered by the passion and purpose of young people. Launched by Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation, it is a platform featuring stories of kindness as documented by young people from around the US. These youth reporters, ages 16 to 24, have been recruited to identify and document the acts of generosity, compassion, and acceptance that define their generation and shape their communities.
  • Follow Channel Kindness on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram so you don’t miss a single story from these awesome young people
  • Submit an idea for a Channel Kindness story! The Reporters are hard at work on their first stories of the year and need ideas about the acts of kindness and compassion – big and small – happening in your life.

GRANTS & AWARDS

Eco-Hero Awards

Deadline: February 28

Every year since 2003, Action For Nature has sought to recognize and reward young people between the ages of 8 and 16 who are taking action to solve the world’s tough environmental problems through creative environmental projects with a cash prize up to $500, certificate of achievement, and public recognition.

Environmental Education (EE) Grants

Deadline: March 15

The EPA is making available up to $3 million in funding for locally-focused environmental education grants under the 2018 EE Local Grant Program. Ten RFPs are being issued nationally, one in each of EPA’s ten Regions, for a total funding of up to $3 million nationwide. EPA anticipates awarding three to four grants in each EPA Region, for no less than $50,000 and no more than $100,000 each, for a total of 30-35 grants nationwide.

The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes

Deadline: April 15

The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes is thrilled to announce the doubling of the award money from $5,000 to $10,000 per winner! The Barron Prize honors outstanding young leaders ages 8 to 18 who have made a significant positive impact on people, their communities, and the environment. Each year, up to 20 winners each receive $10,000 to support their service work or higher education. http://www.barronprize.org/

STORIES OF SERVICE

Everyday Young Hero

Janet Kaneah - Monrovia, Liberia

Janet Kaneah (23, Monrovia, Liberia) founded Youth Action Liberia to provide rural communities in Liberia with access to clean water and better sanitation facilities. At just 23, Janet is not only the founder of an organization, but also is an Executor of Action for Plan 003 at World Merit. Through these avenues, Janet has been able to improve the quality of life for individuals in Liberia.
Janet believes that Sustainable Development Goal #6, Clean Water and Sanitation, impacts and solves many of the other sustainable goals through its successes. In rural Liberia, limited access to water impacts gender equality and health. Many individuals die from preventable diseases due to a lack of access to clean water. Girls and women are particularly impacted because they cannot go to school when they are menstruating due to the lack of proper sanitation facilities. Additionally, women and girls walk long distances to collect clean water for their families and are subject to harm and violence when they walk these long distances alone. In collaboration with a team of young people, local partners, community members, and community leaders, Youth Action Liberia is building clean sanitation facilities and water facilities.

RESOURCES & TRAINING

Little Free Library Announces New Action Book Club Theme ‘Everyday Heroes’

Little Free Library’s Action Book Club, which blends reading and social engagement, is going strong after its first year. More than 500 groups - and thousands of people - have formed Action Book Clubs around the world. Today the Action Book Club launches a new theme: Everyday Heroes, celebrating acts of bravery, character, and kindness that transform our world in ways big and small. A recommended reading list for adults, teens, and children appears on the Little Free Library website with books that reflect this theme, which will be active through July 2018. The Action Book Club invites groups to sign up, read and discuss books together, then take part in service projects to benefit their communities. When Action Book Clubs share their stories online, they can inspire others to take action where they live. Those who sign up their Action Book Clubs by February 5 will be entered to win a special book package of Action Book Club titles. https://littlefreelibrary.org/actionbookclub/

Books to Inspire Empathy

Download/enable images to view this list or visit https://ysa.org/briefing/service-book-lists/
See this list and all the other book lists featured in the YSB at YSA.org/briefing/service-book-lists

SERVICE SONG OF THE WEEK

"People Got To Be Free"

The Rascals
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"You should see, what a lovely, lovely world this would be
If everyone learned to live together
It seems to me such an easy, easy thing this would be
Why can't you and me learn to love one another?
All the world over, so easy to see
People everywhere just wanna be free
If there's a man who is down and needs a helping hand
All it takes is you to understand and to see him through
Seems to me, we got to solve it individually
And I'll do unto you what you do to me.




January 11, 2018 | Volume 25, No. 2
    

MLK Day of Service - January 15

Join the celebration of the Kind Day of Service in communities across the country and bring Dr. King’s teachings to life through lessons and activities that empower students and communities. Get ideas and planning resources and register your MLK Day project at https://leadasap.ysa.org/mlkday/
Organize a project with your students to teach a class of younger students about financial literacy and provide information to take home to educate their families and neighbors. Download a teacher instruction sheet, a student activity sheet and many other resources for educators from YSA and Scholastic.
Get ideas and discussion prompts for your class or group to think about Dr. King's values, teachings, and actions and how you can honor his life and legacy through your MLK Day of Service project.
After a competitive selection process, YSA, in partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service, selected 50 K-12 schools as Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service Impact School grantees. These schools will engage students in schoolwide service activities over the MLK Jr. Day of Service weekend (Friday, January 12th, 2018 – Monday, January 15th, 2018). These schools come from all parts of the United States. Most of their projects will put an emphasis on promoting financial literacy and economic opportunity

NEWS FROM THE FIELD: MLK DAY OF SERVICE 2018

On the Path of MLK Jr: A Movement of Young Peacemakers

Movements toward progress have almost always been shaped, driven and led by young people. As those most affected by violence, intolerance and injustice, young people offer a unique perspective that leads to innovative solutions based in compassion and collaboration. Follow the path of social action set by Martin Luther King Jr and start YOUR peacemaking journey today and join the Peace First community here. By signing up and making a promise to peace, you will receive support, resources, tools, and up to $250 to put your peacemaking idea into action.

Host a Sunday Supper

Host a Sunday Supper to bring friends and neighbors together to share a meal, discuss issues affecting your community, and inspire service. Inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s vision that people of diverse backgrounds would come together to discuss injustices of the day and create a plan for action, Sunday Suppers call people to engage in dialogue about issues affecting their communities. Pledge to host a Sunday Supper and receive an exclusive facilitator guide, full of tips and recommendations for how to bring friends and neighbors together to share a meal and conversation.

Repair the World: Act Now for Racial Justice on MLK Day

As we honor the unending work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we join the fight, amplify work that is being done, and move towards repairing the world. We Act Now in solidarity with directly impacted communities to address immediate needs created by institutionalized racism and other intersecting injustices. Use these three discussion guides, three text studies and DIY resources to root your discussion of racial justice and foster a brave space for people to meaningfully engage with each other’s experiences and ideas.

GRANTS & AWARDS

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Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation Grants

Deadline: February 12

125 $400 grants are available for youth leaders ages 5-25 and 10 $1,000 grants are available to schools and organizations across the U.S. to turn their ideas into action and make an impact on the issue of childhood hunger on Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) – April 20-22, 2018 – and beyond. $400 Summer 2018 Sustainability Grants will also be awarded to up to 25 youth grantees to sustain and continue their GYSD projects. We are especially interested in project ideas that address long-term solutions to childhood hunger. Learn more and apply by February 12 at www.YSA.org/SodexoYouth

Greening Forward Student Blog Competition

Deadline: January 31

This contest by Greening Forward will increase the exposure of passionate young people and the environmental issues they care about. Two 1st place winners will receive $150 each, and four 2nd place winners will receive $50 each. In addition, all submissions will have a chance to be featured on their blog, which provides opportunities for networking and drawing attention to important topics. Blogs must be at least 500 words in length and the content must relate to an environmental issue and/or youth’s involvement in those issues. 22 years is the maximum age for writers entering the contest.

GRO1000 Grassroots Grants

Deadline: February 19

Grassroots Grants from The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company are awarded to local communities to help bring edible gardens, flower gardens, and public green spaces to neighborhoods across the United States. Any non-profit organization that is helping to foster community spirit and public service is eligible to apply for up to $1,500 for community gardens and green spaces. About 120 grants are awarded each year in the U.S., plus additional grants in Canada and Europe. The majority of grants awarded are $500. A selection of the highest scoring applicants are awarded $1500.

STORIES OF SERVICE

Everyday Young Hero

Levi Fallavollita - Trinity, Florida

Levi Fallavollita (17, Trinity, Florida) is no stranger to public speaking. For more than five years, Levi has been educating others about the negative effects of bullying. While Levi now feels confident sharing his voice and story, his activism was ignited by a bullying experience. When Levi was eleven years old, a conflict with a group of boys led to a gun threat towards Levi.
Levi was horrified, but also determined to share his experience so that other youth could learn how to take a stand against bullying and remove the stigma around talking about bullying experiences. Levi wrote and published “The Good, The Bad, and The Bullies” as a resource guide to share with youth being bullied. His book was so well received that Levi began running workshops and gathering the stories of other youth. He published his second book, “Be Courageous,” to share the voices of others. Levi has used his writing skills and courageous voice to speak in schools and organizations across the US and the UK.
Levi hopes to continue educating young people on how to reduce bullying and cyber bullying, take a stand against bullying, and remove the stigma around sharing bullying incidents with a trusted adult. You can learn more about Levi’s work by visiting his Facebook page, Be Courageous.

RESOURCES & TRAINING

Toolkit to Help Schools Leverage National Service Resources

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and national service programs like AmeriCorps and Senior Corps want to help your district or school - together we can improve academic achievement, student attendance, and on-time graduation rates. Over half of CNCS’s budget supports education-related programs. Use or share this new toolkit for superintendents, principals, and other education stakeholders to determine the best ways for you to leverage national service resources in your schools.

Three Major Benefits of Volunteering

America's Promise Alliance collected some of the interesting and surprising research out there on the merits of service, including societal and psychological benefits, individual health benefits, and personal empowerment.

4 Reasons to Teach the Sustainable Development Goals in Every Classroom

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Agenda, adopted in 2015, includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be achieved by 2030. There are more than 50 million public school students in the United States, and more than three million full-time public school teachers. This collective group is a powerful force in creating positive change in local communities and achieving the SDGs by 2030. Here are four (of many!) reasons the SDGs can be vital to teaching and learning in every classroom.

SERVICE SONG OF THE WEEK

"Stand Up For Something"

Andra Day featuring Common
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"You do the best that, do the best that you can do
Then you can look in the mirror
Proud of who's looking back at you
Define the life you're living
Not by what you take or what you're givin'
And if you bet on love there's no way you'll ever lose
Take a stand, make a stand for what's right
It's always worth, always worth the fight
It all means nothing
If you don't stand up for something!"
Not rendering correctly? View this email as a web page here.
January 4, 2018 | Volume 25, No. 1
    

Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation Grants

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One in six children in America are at risk of hunger. This is a problem that can be solved, and kids are leading the way! YSA and Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation are looking for 125 of the best ideas from young people about how they can help end childhood hunger in their communities.

$400 grants are available for youth leaders ages 5-25 and $1,000 grants are available to schools and organizationsacross the U.S. to turn their ideas into action and make an impact on the issue of childhood hunger on Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) – April 20-22, 2018 – and beyond. $400 Summer 2018 Sustainability Grants will also be awarded to up to 25 youth grantees to sustain and continue their GYSD projects.
New this year:
  • Public, private, and charter schools (K-12, community colleges, and universities) and community organizations located in the United States are eligible to apply for grants of up to $1,000.
  • We are especially interested in project ideas that address long-term solutions to childhood hunger. 
Learn more and apply by February 12 at www.YSA.org/SodexoYouth

NEWS FROM THE FIELD

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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service - January 15, 2018

Join the celebration of the Martin Luther King, Jr. federal holiday as a day of service in communities across the country, to encourage those who serve on this holiday to make a long-term commitment to community service, and to bring people together to focus on service to others. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service is a chance to implement Dr. King’s teachings in lessons and activities that empower students and communities. Get ideas and planning resources and register your MLK Day project at https://leadasap.ysa.org/mlkday/
Organize a project with your students to teach a class of younger students about financial literacy and provide information to take home to educate their families and neighbors. Download a teacher instruction sheet, a student activity sheet and many other resources for educators from YSA and Scholastic.
Get ideas and discussion prompts for your class or group to think about Dr. King's values, teachings, and actions and how you can honor his life and legacy through your MLK Day of Service project.

ICYMI: Youth Spoke Truth To Power In 2017

As we look back at the news from the youth service field in 2017, one theme emerged… youth standing up to power and making their voice heard about decisions made by our leaders – especially the Trump Administration. For every controversial decision and action this year, people – especially youth – rose up and spoke truth to power. Here are the top youth activism stories of 2017 and tools to continue speaking truth in 2018.

GRANTS & AWARDS

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Kindness Rising Grants

Deadline: Do a Project by January 10, Submit Impact Report by January 31

Register a service project before January 10. (This can be one you are already planning for MLK Day of Service weekend.) Share your project's impact to be eligible for grants. Each person who registers a project by January 10 and then shows their impact by January 31 will be eligible for one of 10 $250 grants to continue their projects.

Kids to Parks Day National School Contest

Deadline: February 1

National Park Trust is once again hosting the Kids to Parks (KTP) Day National School Contest to help educators engage their students with their local parks. This national contest is open to all Title I schools in the United States (grades pre-K-12). Classes can receive funding for a KTP event in May at a park or public land/waterway in their community. Students must research and write the proposal themselves, although teachers are encouraged to provide support and feedback! Entries should explain how your experience will promote education, health and wellness, and park stewardship. NPT will award park grants up to $1,000 to winning entries.

The Purpose Challenge Essay Contest

Deadline: February 1

Find your purpose at http://www.purposechallenge.org and win up to $25,000 for college! The Purpose Challenge toolkit helps high school seniors explore and identify their purpose - infusing what they learn about themselves into their 2017-2018 college applications. They can enter that essay in a contest; six students will win prizes ranging from $5,000 to $25,000.

STORIES OF SERVICE

Everyday Young Hero

Vilmarie Ocasio - Manati, Puerto Rico

Vilmarie Ocasio (18, Manati, Puerto Rico) is a pioneer for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) awareness in Puerto Rico. When Vilmarie was fifteen years old, her mother was diagnosed with MS, a chronic disease in which the immune system attacks and eats away at protective nerve coverings. At the start of her mother’s diagnosis, Vilmarie was nervous and scared, but decided to channel this fear into advocacy and awareness of the disease. Vilmarie focused her Girl Scouts Gold Medal project on raising awareness of MS and cancer.
Vilmarie’s primary avenues for advocacy and awareness are an education program and the passage of Senate Act 1180 in Puerto Rico. To accomplish her goals, Vilmarie worked with hospital administrators, physicians, nurses, social workers, teachers, pharmaceutical companies and many others. Vilmarie did radio and television interviews and was the first Girl Scout in Puerto Rico to be on the front page of a national newspaper. Vilmarie’s efforts led to her meeting the Governor of Puerto Rico and discussing with him the importance of tracking MS cases in Puerto Rico. Through the passing of this legislation, a national registry will have an accurate count of Puerto Ricans with MS, which can be applied to the federal funding and resources provided to the island by the government.
December 7, 2017 | Volume 24, No. 47
    

Empathy is the Youth Power Skill of the 21st Century

If empathy is at the heart of what it means to be human, 
then service is at the heart of what it means to have empathy. 

Our President & CEO Steven A. Culbertson joins with Hasbro, Inc.'s Senior Vice President of Global Philanthropy & Social Impact, Karen Davis to discuss helping kids build empathy and spread kindness through service:
"We have never met a parent who doesn’t want their child to be a good and gracious human being.

While there is no single pathway to goodness, empathy is a must-have skill. In fact, it may be the single most critical ingredient to a young person’s development, leading to success in school, work, and life.

In order to learn empathy, young people need high-quality opportunities to do empathic things, like bold acts of kindness and volunteering in their communities."
Read the rest on The Huffington Post and help share this article on Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn.
We're also excited to announce that as of today, over 200,000 youth (209,189 to be exact) have pledged to BE FEARLESS BE KIND as part of the Kindness Rising campaign. We have two weeks left to reach our goal of 300,000 pledges by December 20Will you take a couple minutes and pledge today - for yourself, or on behalf of your class/school, group/organization, club/youth program, or children/family - and help build empathy this holiday season?
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For each BE FEARLESS BE KIND pledge, Hasbro will donate a toy or game to Toys for Tots for up to 300,000 children in need this holiday season who have been impacted by the recent hurricanes in Puerto Rico, South Florida, and Houston as well as fire victims in California.

NEWS FROM THE FIELD

MLK Day of Service

January 15, 2018

Join the celebration of the Martin Luther King, Jr. federal holiday as a day of service in communities across the country, to encourage those who serve on this holiday to make a long-term commitment to community service, and to bring people together to focus on service to others. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service is a chance to implement Dr. King’s teachings in lessons and activities that empower students and communities. Find ideas and resources from YSA and Scholastic, including how to teach a MLK Day project that involves mentoring and financial literacy and then check out www.MLKDay.gov

29th Annual National Service-Learning Conference: Justice in Action

March 11-13, 2018 in St. Paul, MN

This year, the National Service-Learning Conference’s theme is Justice in Action. It’s a theme to inspire action – it’s educators and community members joining in partnership with students, to make positive change in the world.
Learning takes place in many shapes and forms at the National Service-Learning Conference. Pick up resources that advance your practice, inspire service and leadership, and help you reach your goals. Network with peers from across the country and around the world while you participate in service projects that give back to the community.
The conference provides more than 100 hands-on learning opportunities through workshops, keynote and thought leader sessions. Topics range from social-emotional learning and civic education to youth leadership and international service-learning. The early-bird registration deadline is December 15! Learn more and register at http://servicelearningconference.org

GRANTS & AWARDS

Peace First Challenge

Deadline: December 31

Got ideas to make a difference, but don’t have the money? Peace First has got your back - make your promise to peace, join their GLOBAL community and you can get a grant to put your ideas into action. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to get up to $250 to help you start a peacemaking project for your community! Join a global community of peacemakers and gain access to incredible peacemaking resources by signing up for Peace First: www.peacefirst.org 

Kindness Rising Grants

Deadline: Pledge by December 20, Do a Project by January 10, Submit Impact Report by January 31

Take the Be Fearless Be Kind pledge. (For each person who takes the pledge, Hasbro will donate a toy or game to Toys for Tots for up to 300,000 children in need this holiday season.) Do a service project. (This can be one you are already planning or something new.) Share your project's impact to be eligible for grants. Each person who registers a project by January 10 and then shows their impact by January 31 will be eligible for one of 10 $250 grants to continue their projects.

IDEAS TO #LEADASAP

Hold a Mitten Tree Collection

Help youth feel warm this winter by holding a Mitten Tree collection! Imagine not having a coat, mittens or hat to wear during the winter when it is cold outside. Kids across America, and in cold place around the world, face this reality each winter. You can help by collecting warm items for children in need.

Host a Holiday Toy Drive

Host a toy drive to help children in need. Toys hold a special place in the heart of children and are synonymous with the holiday season. But providing holiday toys for children can be a struggle for many low-income families. You can help by hosting a toy drive!

Upcoming Service & Awareness Events

Save the Date and Plan Ahead



November 30, 2017 | Volume 24, No. 46
    

You're Invited to the 29th Annual
National Service-Learning Conference

March 11-13, 2018 | Saint Paul, MN

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This year, the National Service-Learning Conference’s theme is Justice in Action. It’s a theme to inspire action – it’s educators and community members joining in partnership with students, to make positive change in the world.
Learning takes place in many shapes and forms at the National Service-Learning Conference. Step out of the classroom and learn from organization experts, community leaders, and allies. Pick up resources that advance your practice, inspire service and leadership, and help you reach your goals. Network with peers from across the country and around the world while you participate in service projects that give back to the community. Go beyond classroom learning and experience Justice in Action.
The conference provides more than 100 hands-on learning opportunities through workshops, keynote and thought leader sessions. Topics range from social-emotional learning and civic education to youth leadership and international service-learning. Whether you are new to service-learning or an experienced practitioner, this conference has something for you.
Students make up nearly half of conference attendees and can be found on the plenary stage, facilitating workshop sessions, showcasing their projects, participating in hands-on service projects, or mingling in the youth room. Youth of all ages are welcome at the event (with an adult mentor).

Hasbro to Match Donations to Toys for Tots to Help Bring Joy to More Families in Need this Holiday Season

Hasbro Will Donate a Toy or Game for Every Donation Made to Toys for Tots, Up to One Million Gifts
For every new, unwrapped toy or game donated by individuals to any Toys for Tots local campaign through the 2017 holiday season, Hasbro will also donate a new toy or game as part of its BE FEARLESS BE KIND philanthropic initiative, up to one million gifts. To find a local Toys for Tots unit and learn more about how to make a donation, please visit:  http://www.toysfortots.org/donate/toys.aspx.
You can also help give a toy by pledging an act of kindness or service. For everyone who takes the Be Fearless Be Kind pledge through December 20, Hasbro will donate a toy or game to Toys for Tots for up to 250,000 children in need this holiday season who have been impacted by the recent hurricanes in Puerto Rico, South Florida, and Houston as well as fire victims in California. https://leadasap.ysa.org/pledge/  

How To Help People You Read About In The News Every Day

Here are five events and ongoing issues that have made for heavy news headlines this year ― and the organizations helping with them - including Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, the #MeToo movement, California wildfires, the ongoing conflict in Syria, and far-right groups who have been promoting hate.

15 Projects for the Holidays

Are you looking to engage your peers in a service project? Why not do it during the Season of Giving! Here are 15 examples of easy-to-do projects that you and your peers can do during the holiday season in December.

Stephen J. Brady Stop Hunger Scholarships

Deadline: December 5       LAST CHANCE TO APPLY!

This program recognizes students who are driving awareness and mobilizing youth to be catalysts for innovative models that provide solutions to eliminate hunger in America. Scholarship winners receive a $5,000 scholarship and a $5,000 grant for their hunger-related charity. Each national scholarship recipient is recognized at the annual Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation Dinner in June in Washington, DC. Watch video highlights from last year’s winners on YouTubehttp://us.stop-hunger.org/home/grants.html

Walmart Foundation Community Grants

Deadline: December 31

Through the Community Grant Program, individual Walmart stores, Sam’s Clubs, and logistics facilities can support nonprofit organizations with programs that benefit communities within the service area from which they are requesting funds. The foundation requires that all funds be directed to programs that fall within Walmart’s focus areas: community, sustainability, and career opportunity. Awarded grants range from $250 to $2,500.

Katie's Krop's Grower Search

Deadline: December 31

Katie's Krops Growers receive funding to start their garden in the form of a gift card to a garden supply store in their community, access to a private grower website, a growing manual, and garden supplies. Starting a Katie's Krops Garden is so much more than just receiving funding to grow a garden. Youth selected as Katie’s Krops Growers are empowered to grow a healthy end to hunger in their community and positively impacting the health of their cities and towns.

International Volunteer Day

December 5

The campaign for International Volunteer Day (IVD) 2017, “Volunteers Act First. Here. Everywhere.” will be celebrated worldwide on December 5, in recognition of the positive solidarity of volunteers around the world who answer calls in times of crisis, helping save lives today and supporting those who want to continue living their lives with dignity tomorrow. #VolunteersActFirst

MLK Day of Service

January 15

Join the celebration of the Martin Luther King, Jr. federal holiday as a day of service in communities across the country, to encourage those who serve on this holiday to make a long-term commitment to community service, and to bring people together to focus on service to others. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service is a chance to implement Dr. King’s teachings in lessons and activities that empower students and communities. Find ideas and resources from YSA and Scholastic, including how to teach a MLK Day project that involves mentoring and financial literacy and then check out www.MLKDay.gov

Upcoming Service & Awareness Events

Save the Date and Plan Ahead

Everyday Young Heroes

Youth Villages AmeriCorps - Inner Harbour Campus

Youth Villages AmeriCorps facilitated a campus-wide event for Inner Harbour students as part of the #KindnessRising campaign by Youth Service America, which calls on youth to BE FEARLESS BE KIND, by standing up for others, being inclusive, and making a difference.
Students managed a canned food drive (including using the Mobile Vendicator to raise funds for more food items), packed donation bags and prepared delicious casseroles for a local emergency shelter, wrote thankfulness letters, participated in activities aligned with the UN Global Goal, “Reducing Inequalities,” and more in this multi-week effort before the Thanksgiving Break. #AmeriCorpsWorks
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"To me young people come first,
they have the courage where we fail
and if I can shed some light as
they carry us through the gale.
...
The older I get the better I know
that the secret of my going on
is when the reins are in the hand of the young
who dare to run against the storm.
We who believe in freedom cannot rest
We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes."

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