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Service News Digest: CNCS In the News

by Kate Enos

The Service News Digest is a weekly feature on the Serve.Gov blog. Each week, we will showcase news highlights that feature national service and Corporation for National and Community Service programs. Take a look at some of the great stories that had people talking.

More College Graduates Take Public Service Jobs

The New York Times: Catherine Rampell

Renewed interest in public service is visible across the country. Applications for AmeriCorps positions have nearly tripled to 258,829 in 2010 from 91,399 in 2008. The number of applicants for Teach for America climbed 32 percent last year, to a record 46,359. Organizations like Harvard’s Center for Public Interest Careers have been overwhelmed — and overjoyed — with the swelling demand from talented 20-somethings.

Funding for AmeriCorps May End

Sun-Herald: Nicole Dow

Government funding for AmeriCorps, a national community service program that provided recovery aid to the Coast following Katrina, may end as Congress approves budgetary decisions for fiscal year 2011. Recent legislation from the U.S. House of Representatives eliminated all government spending for the Corporation for National and Community Service, the agency which includes AmeriCorps. If the proposed budget is finalized, AmeriCorps would lack the financial support needed to provide disaster response services across the nation. “I know that at the federal level, they’re making tough decisions and having to cut dollars, but (the AmeriCorps program) is probably one of the best returns on investment,” said David Mallery, executive director of the Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Service.

A Library of Its Own

Gazette-Times: Raju Woodward

Work began on the library in December 2009, after AmeriCorps members Taylor Boulware and Audra Saunders decided that a library could promote literacy among students, make them feel more welcome and increase school pride. Boulware is the school’s literacy coordinator.

Students Dedicate Spring Break to Environment

The Times-News: Leigh Kelley

Forty-five Illinois State University students and their chaperones are coming to Western North Carolina March 6-10 to spend their spring break volunteering to help restore natural lands in Etowah, Fletcher, Mill Spring and Alexander. Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy and AmeriCorps Project Conserve have been working with the university to put together a rewarding week of service in Western North Carolina, said Julianne Johnson, volunteer and AmeriCorps Project Conserve coordinator with CMLC.

Local Schools Celebrate Read Across America

The Natchez Democrat: Nicole Zema

AmeriCorps assistants, in charge of the celebration Wednesday, arranged for guest readers to visit each classroom to read a Dr. Seuss book to the students. They also decorated the campus with balloons and posters.

Philadelphia Tops Hunger List

WCAU-TV: Catherine Brown

In February, 45 young adults from around the nation were sworn in at a Philadelphia City Hall ceremony, as members of a new AmeriCorps VISTA program, connecting people to food assistance programs. The volunteers' main goal will be to enroll eligible people into the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, connect children on school lunch programs to the school breakfast they are eligible to receive and encourage the development of community gardens.

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