Friday, August 8, 2008

ICP’s Summer of Service Resource Center to Launched

As the culmination of approximately five years of development and incubation, ICP is pleased to announce the launch of our Summer of Service (SOS) Resource Center with the generous help of State Farm. The resource center will serve as a guide and reference for organizations and individuals seeking to partner and participate in youth service and service learning activities during the summer.

The Summer of Service Resource Center grew out of ICP’s 2005 report entitled “Summer of Service: A new American Rite of Passage?” because of an observed lack of information for interested youth and groups serving youth. Summer of Service is meant to provide a safe, positive and constructive alternative to the idleness and boredom that generally fills summer vacations.

For students moving between middle school and high school, Summer of Service would offer a welcome distraction from the monotony of unstructured weeks. The resource center provides tools and reference materials to help organizations create successful SOS programs. Furthermore, it will act as a forum for the exchange of SOS information and ideas with the goal of improving programs and further tailoring them towards the needs of the students and of the recipients of the service.

The Resource Center has 3 main components; a discussion forum, a program database and a materials database—all three of which will be continually expanded.

SOS Discussion Forum - The SOS Online Resource Center also includes an Online Discussion Forum. The first posted topic: suggestions on how to improve the SOS Resource Center. Please share your thoughts with us and post additional topics!

Program Survey – ICP is seeking to gather more information about Summer of Service programs and policies to add to our searchable database of youth service programs and policies. If you would like to add your program to our database, please fill out our quick survey. Visitors to our website can also search our database for Summer of Service programs – click here to go to the search form of our program and policy database, select “Summer of Service” under the Form of Civic Participation field, enter in any additional search criteria, and click “Do Search!”

Call For Materials - ICP is continuing to develop and expand the Resource Center, and welcomes any and all suggestions. If you have materials to contribute, information to share, or other suggestions for improve the Resource Center, please email Jean Manney at Thank you!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

IANYS Global Conference Update

As the Secretariat for the International Association of National Youth Service (IANYS), Innovations in Civic Participation would like to invite all of our blog readers, national youth service advocates, and youth service volunteers around the world to attend IANYS’ 8th Global Conference on National Youth Service in Paris, France on November 19-22! Along with ICP, Unis-Cité and the Association of Voluntary Service Organizations (AVSO) will be hosting this international conference for all professionals involved in youth development and service. The conference will include four days of training sessions on policy and programming, workshops given by experts on policymaking, research, and volunteerism, site visits to local youth development organizations, networking, and receiving the latest materials on youth development.

Here at ICP we are very excited to announce that one of the conference’s keynote speakers is Kumi Naidoo, the current CEO and Secretary General of CIVICUS, a Rhodes Scholar, an appointee on the UN’s Persons Group on United Nations-Civil Relations, and former South African anti-apartheid activist. CIVICUS is an international coalition of over 500 organizations promoting civic engagement around the world. He has been a civilian activist against since the age of 15 when he protested apartheid in South Africa which he was later imprisoned and since then, he’s been active in several campaigns promoting social justice and fighting global poverty. He also writes extensively.

Past IANYS conferences have had participants from 48 different countries amongst the on-average 50 participants. However this year, we are hoping for these numbers to grow. All IANYS members are invited as well as anyone interested in learning, researching, or implementing national youth service policy or programs. For more information on the conference, including registration and accommodations for the conference, please visit ICP’s website.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

ServiceNation to Hold Presidential Candidate Summit on Volunteerism

On September 11th, ServiceNation, a National Campaign of a large group of non-profits, such as NCLR, Habitat for Humanity, the AARP and City Year, will be holding a Presidential Summit on National Service. The forum will be broadcast by CNN and moderated by Time Magazine in an attempt to shine a light on the importance of modifying and readying American National Youth Service (NYS) Policy for the near future and a change in executive branch leadership.

The Summit will include both a dialogue between the Presidential Candidates, as well as a call to action in support of Ted Kennedy and Orrin Hatche’s upcoming legislation on NYS. This will include a formal request that the legislation be enacted by the new president within one year of the start of the conference (by September 11th, 2009).

However, the “ultimate goal of the ServiceNation Summit" is to have US citizens sign the Declaration of Service, to increase the yearly national level of participation in community service from 61 million Americans to 100 million citizens by the year 2020.

Also, a part of the summit is meant to publicize the September 27th, 2008 Day of Action during which Americans across the country will engage in coordinated community service actions to show the power of civic service on a large scale. This event is scheduled to coincide with the first Presidential debate of the election season and continue to publicize the need for sensible and expanded National Service policy.

ServiceNation represents the growing tide of support for National Service from a variety of organizations who recognize the value of increased civic engagement.

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