With the goal of engaging more young people in the U.S. in long-term community service, Youth Service America has launched the Semester of Service campaign.
The effort aims to bridge two major volunteering events — the Martin Luther King Day of Service on January 19 and Global Youth Service Day, which is held April 24-26.
Instead of the short-term or single-day volunteering activities typically associated with these two events, Youth Service wants young adults to join in community-service activities that last an entire semester or more.
To facilitate this, Youth Service America is offering a strategy guide, posters and classroom toolkits, available at the program’s website, which allows interested people and groups to register planned projects and search for other semester-long service opportunities.
Youth Service also will offer more than 200 small grants to student groups and teachers to support semester-long service projects.
The grants will be funded by Bank of America, the program’s primary sponsor, as well as the Corporation for National and Community Service, State Farm Companies Foundation, Disney and UnitedHealth Group.
Youth Service America is a nonprofit resource center that encourages community service and volunteerism among Americans ages five to 25. Founded in 1986, the group now partners with organizations in 100 countries.