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By Jack Wingate, Teach for AmericaAmeriCorps gave Teach For America alum Jack Wingate (Metro Atlanta ‘13) the opportunity to contribute toward strengthening his community. Now he asks that you join him in calling on Congress to protect funding for AmeriCorps and CNCS.I became a teacher after spending nearly 30 years in the business world. I’d come to the realization that the career ladder I was climbing leaned against the wrong wall, and I began to look for opportunities to serve. I wanted to make a difference, to change the lives of students and partner with their families to strengthen our community. Three years ago, I joined Teach For America, an AmeriCorps program, and doing so has allowed me to devote the rest of my life to the incredible people I’ve had the pleasure to work with here in Atlanta.I teach special education at King Middle School in the Atlanta Public Schools district. Through this work, I’ve been able to make academic gains with my students. I’ve developed wonderful relationships with them and the rest of the community here at King, and I’ve been able to work towards something greater than myself. This career in service wouldn’t have been possible without AmeriCorps, and my experience isn’t unique.This year, 80,000 AmeriCorps members are mobilizing more than 4 million volunteers to help the most vulnerable citizens of this country. Their contributions are invaluable, yet Congress is considering significant cuts in funding to AmeriCorps and its parent agency, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).  These cuts would strip communities of the diverse talent and supports that they’ve benefited from and relied on for key services, and if the current House bill passes, then as many as half of all AmeriCorps positions could be eliminated.When I decided to switch gears and build a career in service, the financial support I received from AmeriCorps as a Teach For America corps member helped make that transition affordable. Going from business to teaching involved a change in income, and I was also required to earn a master’s degree in education. As an AmeriCorps participant, I received a stipend that I used toward that degree, and I also had the option of deferring my student loans for two years while CNCS paid the interest accrued. I’m eternally grateful for AmeriCorps’ role in helping me pay for tuition, books, and activity fees while I simultaneously worked with my students. That support makes it possible for everyone to serve, including those who might otherwise struggle with the financial implications of changing careers midway through life.During my first year as a corps member, nine out of my 11 literacy students passed their standardized reading test, and one student—who entered my classroom grade levels behind—was recommended for promotion to high school by the end of the year. Service truly has a lasting impact on communities, and I see it in the relationships I’ve built with parents, in the ongoing contact I have with students who have graduated, and in the daily conversations I have with my current students.At my school, we wouldn’t be able to make the same progress without AmeriCorps. In addition to the support the professional program has given me, we’ve also had several AmeriCorps volunteers tutor our students and assist with a variety of different educational programs. AmeriCorps has given me and so many others the chance to contribute to stronger communities, so please, join me in calling on members of Congress to protect funding for AmeriCorps and CNCS so we can build a stronger America through service.To read the whole article please visit the link here

Keywords: AmeriCorps, National Service, Teach For America
A Francophonic team of expert planners has developed a free, ultra low-tech, easy-to-make solution for students with the "I forgot my homework again" blues. Read the story and check out the video.
“Number 3, number 3 number 2, number 2 number 9, number 9 number number 9, number 9 number 5!” The Student Conservation Association (SCA) youth crew chants out their rhythm game to warm up before hiking into National Park Service land to perform trail work at the Phleger Estate.
As a tornado touched down a few blocks away, volunteers from the Twin Cities Interfaith Youth Leadership Coalition gathered in the basement of a church, and without skipping a beat, continued their work with Groveland Food shelf.
The Mission Continues…even after the military. David has been awarded a Mission Continues Fellowship that will allow him to continue his work as head coach of the Baltimore Broncos. In this role, he not only teaches the game of football, but also strengthens the lives of his players. This non-profit football team focuses on providing an outlet for underprivileged youth, through football.
As a professional athlete, Rams linebacker Chris Draft has had to deal with many challenges on the field. No challenge may have been bigger than trying to tackle asthma through every stage of his career. Chris knows the challenges of having asthma as an athlete, and that’s why he’s partnered with the National Lt. Governor’s Association to challenge coaches across the country to educate themselves about the challenges and dangers of asthma to athletes.
Jim Thome of the Chicago White Sox talks about the White Sox Volunteer Corps and how his team is "stepping up to the plate" in the Chicagoland community.
Our Western Fraternal Life Association Lodge 236 members have done community services for decades and plan to expand our volunteer efforts - reminding present and future generations of historical events so that, hopefully, we can help prevent them from occurring again.
I'm a member of a couple of Tucson, Arizona groups that bring the barn-raising model to community greening projects.
The US Department of Health and Human Services partnered with Safe Shores on a back to school supply drive and flu educational event.
First-year students at American University participated in the school's largest-ever Freshman Service Experience.
I know cancer all too well. It robbed me of my father, aunt, grandmother, and grandfather. Because of that, I know how important a helping hand can be for cancer patients and their families.
The US Department of Commerce is answering the President's call to service through an all-volunteer "Green Team" at our headquarters building in Washington, DC. The Team is comprised 134 volunteers with representatives from the Office of the Secretary and all seven Operating Units located at, or nearby, the Herbert C. Hoover Building (HCHB).
Despite growing up in New Orleans, David never thought there was a reason for him to stay, especially when so much of what he loved about the city had been destroyed by Hurricane Katrina and crime. David's work with the Gulfsouth Youth Action Corps and Desire Street Ministries camp this summer, however, has made him realize that he plays a big part in the rebuilding of his hometown.
Operation Homefront, military families and local volunteers teamed up to take part in the President’s call to service during the Baseball Hall of Fame induction weekend. On Saturday, July 25, Operation Homefront hosted a project to prepare care packages for deployed service members and back-to-school backpacks for New York’s military children.
“It’s a good feeling to use my skills to volunteer and help the school," said Anne, a retired nurse serving her community.
All across the country, humanities scholars partner with national service members to engage in critical discussions of service, justice, and more. Here's one example of a parks crew in Montana that moves from cutting trail to digging deep into questions of community and social change.
Yesenia was taking filmmaking classes at Raw Art Works (RAW), in Lynn, MA, where she was learning to get creative. As she thought about applying for college – she would be the first in her family to go – she found the support she needed right at RAW.
I decided since I can't throw away things from my toothbrush to computers, to microwave or deck furniture; one thing I sure can do is to use reusable grocery bags to reduce the toxic trash.
Two weeks ago, Oregon residents came together with Clackamas County Volunteer Connection Center, RSVP and local service agencies to discuss who is homeless in the county and why, what is being done to support them and how local individuals and groups could help meet the needs of the community.
Voluntary organizations, governments, are working together to rebuild flood-damaged homes before winter.
It's never too late to start helping others.
Ella M. was restless during a brief period of retirement in Florida. Looking for new purpose in this phase of her life, she returned to her home state of New Jersey and started volunteering at the local hospital. It turned out to be the perfect fit. Now 93 years old, and after having battled and defeated cancer twice herself, Ella has volunteered nearly 32,000 hours at the hospital and has no plans to stop.
This was the first I’d even heard of a Duck Drop Race, so I was intrigued and wanted to participate. It was a chance to bring together community youth, families, the Chamber of Commerce who started the event, and the community watershed organization with which I work: the Shamokin Creek Restoration Alliance (SCRA).
While completing certification for mediation and facilitation, Rebecca is volunteering as a mediator with the City of David, California's Community Mediation Services. During these tough economic times, she hopes to help those in her community who feel helpless and intimidated by small-claims court.
Our first mission was to inform the local community, who for the most part, were unaware that the purpose of the USO was to make a ‘Home Away from Home ‘ for our military service members and their families many of whom were away from home for the first time in their lives. Deployments for six or more months at sea or years in the war zones were highly stressful for both they and their loved ones. This was what the USO was created to support during WW ll.
Because of the time, talent, and treasure of the Foresters, more than 600 children impacted by cancer will have a summer camp experience to remember.
A public school and a charter school in NYC put on the gloves and battle it out. Not boxing gloves, though - work gloves. And they're in the same corner.
This summer, Sierra Club’s Cool Cities program launched its Home Energy Ambassador Training program in partnership with United We Serve
With the help of 800 Dow Chemical Company volunteers, local Bay City, Michigan, volunteers and homeowners, as well as the support of over 30 organizations, 38 homes were revitalized in the Rexer-Jablonski neighborhood in just one week.
Find a whole new community at your local Veterans Administration facility. They will welcome you with open arms - and there is BBQ!


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