In The News Alaska's 4th annual "Purple Up! for Military Kids 4/52016 April marks the nation's "Month of the Military Child," a time to honor and celebrate military children. In celebration, Alaska 4-H invites you to join us for Alaska's 4th annual "Purple Up! for Military Kids." We are encouraging everyone across the state of Alaska to wear purple on Friday, April 15 as a visible way to show support and thank military children for their strength and sacrifices. Purple is the color that symbolizes all branches of the military, as it is the combination of Army green, Coast Guard blue, Air Force blue, Marine red and Navy blue. 4-H hopes everyone will take this opportunity to appreciate and celebrate these young heroes! For more information contact Candi Dierenfield at 474-1909 or firstname.lastname@example.org Mayor and County Recognition Day for National Service 3/24/2016 The nation’s mayors and county officials are increasingly turning to national service as a cost-effective strategy to address local challenges. By unleashing the power of citizens, AmeriCorps and Senior Corps programs have a positive and lasting impact – making our cities and counties better places to live. To spotlight the impact of national service and thank those who serve, mayors and country officials will participate in the fourth-annual Mayor and County Recognition Day for National Service on April 5, 2016. On this day, mayors and county and other officials will hold public events and use traditional and social media to highlight the value of national service to the nation’s cities and counties (rural and urban). Last year, 2,786 elected officials representing more than 150 million citizens participated in the third-annual Mayor and County Recognition Day for National Service. The initiative is being led by the National League of Cities, National Association of Counties, Cities of Service and the Corporation for National and Community Service. Last year in Alaska we had 8 Mayors participate. If you are planning a recognition event, a service event to honor National Service and/or local volunteers getting things done in your community; please consider registering. Teams Across America: AmeriCorps NCCC and FEMA Corps in Action 3/21/2016 AmeriCorps NCCC and FEMA Corps teams are deployed across the United States supporting National Service efforts and disaster relief for countless Americans. We’re pleased to share with you the types of impact these teams are having in communities across the country. AmeriCorps NCCC and FEMA Corps teams are trained and deployed to service project sites in many states. Take a look at the deployment report to see if there are service sites in your town or state. Does your organization need the help of an NCCC team? If you’re interested in sponsoring a project, visit the Sponsor section at AmeriCorps NCCC. Sponsoring organizations request the assistance of AmeriCorps NCCC teams by submitting a project application to the regional campus that covers that organization’s state. The campuses provide assistance in completing the application, developing a work plan, and preparing the project sponsor for the arrival of the AmeriCorps NCCC team. If you have questions about current deployments or need more information on projects in your area, please contact our AmeriCorps NCCC HQ office. NCCCDeployments@cns.gov | p: 202.606.6868 | f: 202.606.3459 www.NationalService.govTwitter: AmeriCorpsNCCC | Facebook: AmeriCorpsNCCC | Tumblr: AmeriCorpsNCCC Southwest Region Spotlight: Fire Management Teams 3/21/2016 Three teams of AmeriCorps NCCC members are joining up with the U.S. Forest Service and the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office to support fire management in central Colorado. Water 6 is working with the Pike and San Isabel National Forests in Lake George, Earth 6 is stationed at the San Carlos district near Canon City, and Sun 3 is working with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office in Colorado Springs. This group of 34 young adults, now certified as Type II wildland firefighters, began training on February 20 and will be on duty through mid-July. Their initial two-week training course covered basic firefighting, fire behavior, incident command systems, and chainsaw maintenance and operation. The teams also learned how to deploy fire shelters and dig fireline. In addition to being on standby for response to fire incidents, these teams are working on fuel reduction and other fire mitigation tasks. For more about the Southwest Region and other projects, visit the AmeriCorps NCCC Tumblr! Partnering for Impact 3/18/2016 Dear Friends and Colleagues, This month, we are celebrating the public-private partnerships that make national service and social innovation possible. Last year, our programs generated $1.26 billion in required match and additional resources from corporations, foundations, and other sources. This local support boosts our impact and stretches the return on taxpayer dollars. AmeriCorps Week Wrap Up 3/11/2016 Happy AmeriCorps Week! We launched the week with a new video to show the real ingredients of an AmeriCorps member: teamwork, commitment, a desire to make a difference, and adventure. AmeriCorps Week Spotlight - RAVENS Impacting the Environment 3/11/2016 To fourth-year RAVEN Member Kristine Route, environmental education precedes community efforts to form successful and sustained recycling programs. Route has hosted large scale environmental fairs for America Recycles Day, each November 15th for the past four years. This year, she expanded environmental events to include playwright and conservation advocate Jim Pfitzer to perform in her home community of Cooper Landing and also in Talkeetna. Attendance at both performances filled community halls to their maximum seating capacity. The shows were successful as a result of intense partnering efforts, and community residents involved with Route’s environmental youth groups and recycling programs, said that they came away with a renewed sense of environmental stewardship. Yet others, not familiar with the works of Aldo Leopold, who Pfitzer depicts in his play, “A Standard of Change” came away inspired to a call to step up their game in the guise of recycling and conservation in general. Second-year member John John, of Kwigilligok, hosted his second Earth Day in April and integrated a large scale cleanup of trash and other solid waste from near the general store in his community. Throughout the summer he hosted several youth-driven environmental events and advocated and practiced recycling in conjunction with a transient Girl Scouts program that visited his community. John’s greatest solid waste accomplishments for the year include cleaning up local tracts of land where residents pick berries and his efforts to backhaul aluminum and plastic bottles out of his community via the Flying Cans program, which is coordinated through rural Alaska through the Anchorage-based non-profit Alaskans for Litter Prevention and Recycling (ALPAR). John collected aluminum cans in spring and shipped out more than 1,400 pounds for the year. Bethany Nichols of Chickaloon, hosted a large-scale community cleanup, and local residents picked up more than 7,000 pounds of trash which was hauled to Central Landfill, in the Matanuska Valley. Nichols successfully landed a RurAL CAP Foundation Grant and partnered with local resources to build a community smokehouse near the tribal school. Nichol, who earned her MFA in environmental and experiential studies, worked her way into the schedule at the small school and held culturally-centered stewardship sessions. Nichols has been learning Athabascan names for environmental concepts and applies those during her sessions. She also presented to local elders at their elders’ tea party, held weekly in the community. AmeriCorps Week Spotlight - Sitka AmeriCorps Filling in the Gaps! 3/9/2016 Sitka AmeriCorps program proposes to have nineteen AmeriCorps members in seventeen host sites who will provide academic coaching, life skills coaching to at risk teens, marine and land environmental support, tribal resources support, healthy futures intervention, emergency medical/disaster trainings, arts enrichment opportunities, adult academic coaching, juvenile justice, youth coaching and recruitment, nonprofit volunteer recruitment and trainings, and hatchery/science center outreach. At the end of the first year, the AmeriCorps members will be responsible for closing gaps of service in our isolated rural community, where qualified volunteers are scarce. In addition, AmeriCorps members will leverage an additional 400 community volunteers who will be engaged in nonprofit and arts engagement volunteering. The program will focus on the CNCS focus area of Multi-Focus Intermediaries. The CNCS investment of $247,000 will be matched with $135,000 in public funding and $90,000 in private funding. Community partners receiving an AmeriCorps Member include Sitka School District, Sitka Tribe of Alaska, Sitka Conservation Society, Live Well Program, Mount Edgecumbe High School, Greater Sitka Arts Council, Sitka Sound Science Center, Hames Wellness Center, and University of Alaska, Youth Advocates of Sitka, Sitka Fine Arts Camp, Sitkan’s Against Family Violence, White Elephant and Southeast Region Emergency Medical Services Council. AmeriCorps Week Spotlight - Juneau Economic Council providing STAR power! 3/8/2016 The Juneau Economic Development Council (JEDC) will engage up to 7 AmeriCorps Members throughout the community of Juneau in its STAR, "Service to Achieve Results" AmeriCorps program, providing direct service, capacity building and acting as change agents to help JEDC and 6 host- site partners deliver more in an environment of shrinking resources. Committed partners include AWARE, the Juneau School District LEAP program, United Way of Southeast Alaska and JEDC’s STEM program. The CNCS investment of $260,281 will be matched by $390,070 cash and in-kind support from JEDC and its partners. Most STAR AmeriCorps Members will serve an 11-month, 1,700 hour Member Service Year. Member Promotion: Courtney Weiss is a second term member, and she's definitely doing some amazing service in Juneau. Courtney has already completed 788 hours of service. She has doubled the participation in STEM after school programming in Juneau, and made robotics available to students at every elementary and middle school in town. Her work ethic is really what's outstanding. She has been here two years and is as networked as any longterm resident I know. Americorps Week Spotlight - Wilma Bell-Joe 3/7/2016 Wilma Bell-Joe of Hooper Bay is now beginning her fourth consecutive year of service as a RurAL CAP AmeriCorps Member. In this role, Wilma has dedicated the past three years of her life to being a mentor, friend and advocate for the youth of Hooper Bay. Known for working long hours and nights to “be there” when the kids need her – she is a tireless youth champion, driven by a passion to see Hooper Bay youth succeed. By organizing community youth, volunteers and Elders, she has established a traditional Yupik youth dance group in Hooper Bay. She holds daily afterschool dance practices and coordinates other activities to keep the youth engaged in their traditional culture. Under Wilma’s guidance, the youth have recently formed themselves into a Youth Council, to further exercise their leadership skills and influence in the community. The youth have been invited to perform in Bethel and in other parts of Alaska to showcase their singing and dancing talents. These activities have instilled much pride, self-esteem and a cultural revitalization among Hooper Bay youth. Wilma has become a wonderful example and mentor for other youth workers across the state. Wilma plans to continue her calling for a fourth year of AmeriCorps service, and is looking to the future to build upon these experiences. She is already grooming young adults to follow in her AmeriCorps footsteps in 2017. Thank you, Wilma, for your many years of dedication to AmeriCorps and for the difference you have made in so many young lives! Delta Air Lines, Uber, NASA, and National Service 3/4/2016 Dear Friends and Colleagues, On Tuesday, our CEO, Wendy Spencer, shared the story of how you are making a difference as she fielded questions from members of Congress at a hearing regarding our budget. The committee's chairman, Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma, had this to say about what you all do: "No question in my mind, it's a worthwhile use of money." First Lady's Volunteer of the Year Awards 2016 2/29/2016 First Lady Donna Walker invites Alaskans to recognize their fellow citizens who have performed extraordinary volunteer service by nominating them for the First Lady’s Volunteer of the Year Awards. The White House Needs Your Help 2/12/2016 For the second year, the White House is inviting all elementary and middle school students to submit original artwork for the 2016 Easter Egg Roll Design Contest . The First Lady will select the winning designs, which will be used on the White House 2016 Easter Egg Roll program and souvenir poster. Are you ready for Service Bowl 2016? 2/5/2016 Dear Friends and Colleagues, One out of every three young people don't have a trusted adult in their lives outside of their families who they believe they can turn to for advice and guidance. And, 9 million of those young people face a variety of day-to-day challenges that put them at-risk for falling off track. Mentors Make a Difference 1/29/2016 Dear Friends and Colleagues, National Mentoring Month is an annual campaign to draw attention to the need for more volunteer mentors to help America's young people achieve their full potential. Throughout January, we highlight the important role mentors play in lifting up the country's youth. Volunteer Reception Training for Serve Alaska AmeriCorps Members 1/25/2016 Saturday, January 27 Alaska AmeriCorps members attend a training conducted by two Washington Conservation Corps member, Ernie Farmer and Rob Crawford. Ten members from RurAL Cap and 10 members from Sitka participated in the training. They learned how to set up a Volunteer Reception Center in case of a disaster and then they practiced how to run a VRC in a simulated setting. Then they filled their Emergency response Kits with everything they will need to set up a VRC. It was a long day of learning, discussing and practicing but they all definitely felt like they could take this skill back to their home and start the discussion with leaders and local residents. This training was held because the Serve Alaska Commission is interested in training our members in how to set up VRCs to help the state fill the gap of volunteer management. Since Alaska AmeriCorps members are placed in sometime remote villages help may not arrive within 72 hours and they will be able to help their communities cope.