Newsletter – May 2009

CaliforniaVolunteers Awarded American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Funds to Expand AmeriCorps Programs

AmeriCorps Logo

CaliforniaVolunteers has been awarded $5.8 million in competitive American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to support 10 programs and nearly 700 members across the state.  The Corporation for National Community Service recently announced the winners of the national competition, totaling $55.5 million.  Prior to this announcement, California had received $3.5 million in formula Recovery funding to support existing AmeriCorps programs.

“We are thrilled to receive these investments to support California’s AmeriCorps programs,” said Secretary of Service and Volunteering, Karen Baker. “These investments will impact our communities, helping our AmeriCorps programs and members serve some of the most vulnerable populations that have been adversely affected by the present economic challenges.”

California programs that were included in the competitive announcement:

·      Bay Area Youth Agency Consortium (Bay Area) – $886,659 to expand its current BAYAC and OCASA programs addressing the community need for more quality youth development services during and after school.

·      TOOTH (Humboldt) – $1,552,000 to focus on the backlog of urgent environmental conservation projects.

·      Youth Investment Center (Sacramento) – $497,541 to provide financial training, budget/fiscal management, nutrition education, participation in the county’s independent living programs, and make permanent connections with foster youth.

·      WECARE (Orange County) – $235,123 to provide training, skill development, and education in the areas of job skills and healthcare access to assist older adults in securing jobs and healthcare.

·      Jumpstart (Statewide) – $345,382 to focus on tutoring, literacy and volunteer management.

·      Child Welfare System (Northern California) – $222,359 to serve communities where increases in reported abuse and neglect have grown due to economic hardships that increase the risk to children.

·      Straight Up (Humboldt) – $784,655 to deliver job counseling and training services in green technologies.

·      AppleCorps (Santa Barbara) – $282,614 to begin deployment of members into struggling nonprofits and build the capacity of nonprofits to serve disadvantaged residents.

·      Northstate Rural Assets Project (Shasta) – $150,200 to deploy 25 new members to serve as “asset coaches” in school-based and afterschool programs, “parent partners” to support positive family functioning through parent education, as well as paraprofessional services and linkages to other needed community resources.

·      Hope for the Homeless (Los Angeles) – $808,375 to serve people from the downtown homeless sector of Los Angeles by assessing and referring them to services that can help them achieve greater self sufficiency.

The following programs received formula Recovery grants to assist with matching funds requirements:

·      Birth and Beyond (Sacramento) –  $436,550

·      Built to Last (San Mateo) – $298,183

·      Hope For the Homeless (Los Angeles) – $181,480

·      City Year San Jose (San Jose) – $157,380

·      Child Welfare System Program (Statewide) –  $117,733

·      Volunteers in Service to the Environment (Marin) – $63,000

·      KernCorps (Kern) –  $25,360

·      North State Rural Assets (Shasta) – $17,136

California programs that were expanded through formula Recovery funding:

·      California’s Promise Program – $1,657,168 to provide teams of AmeriCorps members to volunteer centers that are part of the CaliforniaVolunteers Hub network.  These Hubs will then place 70 full-time AmeriCorps members with local nonprofit organizations that serve children, youth, and families struggling economically.

·      Lake County AmeriCorps – $385,051 to deploy 38 AmeriCorps members to provide one-on-one, research-based literacy tutoring to 350 preK-12 students struggling with literacy in Lake County schools and afterschool programs.

·      Our City Forest – $213,553 to expand Our City Forest’s current AmeriCorps program, adding 38 part-time AmeriCorps members who will serve the community in the full array of urban forestry and environmental education programs currently offered.

Often referred to as the domestic Peace Corps, AmeriCorps is a network of service programs that engage Americans in year-long intensive service to meet the nation’s critical needs in education, public safety, health and the environment.  Since 1994, 574,000 people have served as AmeriCorps members nationwide. During that time, California has had more than 80,000 AmeriCorps members serving a combined 91 million hours and received more than $200 million in Segal Education Awards.

To view the Corporation for National and Community Service’s Recovery funding announcement, please click here.

National Conference on Volunteering and Service Playground Build

People posing in front of playgroundCalifornia First Lady Maria Shriver and CaliforniaVolunteers will sponsor the first fully intergenerational volunteer-built playground in the nation, providing a space for people of all ages to come together and play. The playground build will take place on Monday, June 22 at Bret Harte Elementary School in San Francisco, kicking off the 2009 National Conference on Volunteering and Service ( The event will mark Shriver’s 31st playground build throughout California, inspired by her commitment to create safe play spaces for children and honor the legacy and dedication to community service of Cesar E. Chavez. The playground project will be planned using an innovative community-build model led by national nonprofit KaBOOM!, which has coordinated construction of more than 1,600 play spaces across North America.

“This is more than a play space, this is a testament to the fact that Californians of any age can unite around the concept of play, serve their communities and create an inclusive environment that transcends age diversity,” said First Lady Maria Shriver. “This trailblazing play space truly embraces the philosophy that playground lessons last a lifetime and regardless of age, WE never outgrow play.”

More than 400 volunteers from the community and the San Francisco School Volunteers program, as well as attendees of the National Conference on Volunteering and Service are expected to join the construction of each of the playground’s elements in just one day. In addition, a unique mural and garden will be established at the school to honor the life and legacy of Cesar E. Chavez. The edible garden will feature a farmer’s market stand, allowing kids and seniors from the community to create a micro enterprise, sell vegetables and raise money for the school.

“Cesar E. Chavez was a champion of service and community involvement, and this entire initiative is a great way to honor his legacy,” said Karen Baker, Secretary of Service and Volunteering. “This initiative clearly demonstrates the power volunteers have to shape their communities.”

Project planning has begun – kids from the school and the surrounding community, parents, seniors and representatives from the local Alzheimer’s association met with project organizers to share ideas for their dream play spaces. This play space marks the first fully intergenerational project led by KaBOOM!, with kids, parents, seniors and Alzheimer’s experts engaged in every step of the planning and construction process.

Those interested in participating in the playground build project can sign-up by visiting

To volunteer for the conference, please visit The Volunteer Center Web site.

Business Partnership Program

CaliforniaVolunteers Business Partner ProgramIn September 2009, CaliforniaVolunteers will launch the state’s first Business Advisory Council focusing on employee volunteering and service to communities. The Business Advisory Council is a cornerstone of CaliforniaVolunteers’ new Business Partner Program, and will serve to inform CaliforniaVolunteers’ efforts to increase and strengthen business volunteering across the state in collaboration with local, regional and national leaders.

The Business Advisory Council will be comprised of representatives from approximately 25 member companies with a significant presence in California, representing a cross-section of industries from large, mid-sized and small businesses.

The development of the Business Partner Program and Business Advisory Council was led by a team of pro bono consultants from Deloitte LLP in collaboration with CaliforniaVolunteers staff. The program is widely informed by significant local, state and national thought-leaders in the national service arena, as well as a wide variety of business leaders who have a strong commitment to employee volunteering.

To learn more about the CaliforniaVolunteers Business Partner Program and the Business Advisory Council, send an e-mail to

Cesar Chavez Day 2009

Photo of Cesar ChavezCaliforniaVolunteers, organizers from KaBOOM! and nearly 2,000 volunteers joined forces on Saturday, April 25 to build six safe, new playgrounds to honor the life and legacy of Cesar E. Chavez.

“Cesar E. Chavez was a champion of service and community involvement, and building these playgrounds was a great way to honor his legacy,” said Karen Baker, Secretary of Service and Volunteering. “This initiative clearly demonstrates the power volunteers have to shape their communities.”

Planning committees made up of community members, children and parents organized volunteer recruitment, site preparation and safety/logistics for each of the builds. Planning for the playgrounds began in March, when children from each community met with organizers from KaBOOM! and CaliforniaVolunteers to draw their “dream” playspaces, which were used to inspire the final designs. A unique mural and garden will be established at each site to celebrate the life and legacy of Cesar E. Chavez.

The playground construction marked the final day of National Volunteer Week 2009. The theme this year was “Celebrating People in Action” and was designed to recognize individuals across the country that made a difference through service.

Since 2007, CaliforniaVolunteers, as part of the Cesar Chavez Day initiative, has sponsored more than 20 playspace builds with more than 6,000 volunteers and supported 77 afterschool service clubs in Title I middle schools across the state.

Governor Schwarzenegger Proclaims April 19-25 “Volunteer Week”

National Volunteer Week logoLast month, Governor Schwarzenegger proclaimed April 19-25, “Volunteer Week” in California. National Volunteer Week is a national recognition event that celebrates the accomplishments of people involved in service and volunteering. The theme of this year’s National Volunteer Week was “Celebrating People in Action”. Excerpts from the proclamation can be viewed below:

Volunteer Week provides us with the opportunity to celebrate the contributions of those who generously give their time and talents to improve their communities. Volunteers play a vital role in nearly every aspect of our state, whether by providing disaster relief, mentoring children or in countless other ways. The service demonstrated by these Californians is immeasurable, and I ask every resident of our state to join me in recognizing their hard work.

During this week especially, I extend my deepest gratitude to those who have answered the call to action, as well as issue a challenge to the people of our Golden State to serve their communities and improve both their own lives and the lives of others. To discover the vast array of volunteering opportunities available to you, visit

View the full text of the proclamation.

Governor Schwarzenegger Proclaims April 25 “Youth Service Day”

Youth Service DayLast month, Governor Schwarzenegger proclaimed April 25 “Youth Service Day” in California. Lasting three days, April 24-26, thousands of events around the world celebrated and recognized the contributions young people make to their communities every day of the year. Excerpts from the proclamation can be viewed below:

One of the most significant things that a young person can do in his or her life is to give back to others through service. This week, our Golden State recognizes the profound impact volunteerism can have in the lives of our youth.

Today, we honor our young people who have committed themselves to making California stronger through service. To join in their efforts, please visit to learn more about volunteering opportunities in your area.

View the full text of proclamation.

Governor Schwarzenegger Proclaims May 9-16 “AmeriCorps Week”

AmeriCorps Week (May 9-16, 2009)Earlier this month, Governor Schwarzenegger proclaimed May 9-16 “AmeriCorps Week” in California. AmeriCorps Week is a national recruitment and recognition event designed to bring more Americans into service, salute AmeriCorps members and alums for their powerful impact, and thank the community partners who make AmeriCorps possible. CaliforniaVolunteers administers the AmeriCorps portfolio in California. Excerpts from the proclamation can be viewed below:

As Governor, I have encouraged Californians to give back to their fellow residents and make a positive impact on their communities. AmeriCorps is a unique program that provides opportunities for Americans to do just this. By committing to a year of intense service work with nonprofit and community organizations, volunteers are able to better our country and reach out to others. During these challenging economic times, more people than ever are in need of assistance, and AmeriCorps proudly lends a hand to many across our state and nation.

This week, we extend our appreciation to those who have served with AmeriCorps for their fantastic contributions to our Golden State. To learn more about AmeriCorps and other ways to volunteer in your area, please visit

View the full text of proclamation.

California Hall of Fame Dreamers Challenge

The California MuseumDo you know a high schooler with the vision to change the world?

The California Hall of Fame Dreamers Challenge can help their dream come true.

The California Museum has launched the second annual California Hall of Fame Dreamers Challenge; a scholarship awarded to California high school seniors graduating in 2010. $5,000 will be given to a student from both Northern and Southern California who can explain how their dreams will change the world – in any medium that best reflects their vision. Unlike most scholarship contests, the Museum encourages students to submit artwork, a composition of music, a poem, a digital presentation, an essay … anything. The possibilities are endless.

For inspiration, students can look to the 38 California Hall of Fame inductees, among them Tiger Woods, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Sally Ride and Alice Walker. To read how they changed the world, check out

The Museum will be accepting entries until October 5, 2009. The Governor and First Lady will present the winners at the California Hall of Fame ceremony in December.

For more information on the California Hall of Fame Dreamers Challenge, Web site. This site will direct students to the rules and guidelines, the entry form, and winners of 2008.

The California Hall of Fame is sponsored by Chevron Corporation and Accenture.

Let’s Get Social! CaliforniaVolunteers is looking for a few good “Tweeples!”

Twitter LogoAs a strategy to expand its service and volunteering message, CaliforniaVolunteers has recently made strides in the social media arena. In mid May, CaliforniaVolunteers launched a Twitter account to provide a supplemental channel to reach current and potential volunteers, as well as nonprofits. Twitter is a micro blogging service that lets followers know what you are doing, in less than 140 characters.

A recent Twitter initiative launched by CaliforniaVolunteers is the “58 Ways in 58 Days” campaign. The campaign will highlight 58 different volunteer opportunities in 58 days, with each volunteer opportunity coming from an individual county. The strategy behind the campaign is to showcase that there are volunteer opportunities statewide and for each volunteer opportunity that we showcase, CaliforniaVolunteers selects a different way to serve. The hope is to use this campaign as a way to expand our Twitter network and disseminate powerful, succinct messages to our vested followers as we expand our social media strategy.

If you are currently on Twitter, please follow @CalVolunteers. In addition, we encourage you to send us links to any social media platforms you are currently using so we can help create synergies. Please e-mail your social media information to

Connect with CaliforniaVolunteers! Visit us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

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