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AmeriCorps Week 2009

May 5th, 2009

AmeriCorps Week is May 9-16 and is an opportunity to bring more Americans into service, salute members and alums, and thank the community partners who make AmeriCorps possible.  In Maine, more than 9,100 people participate in national service, including Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, VISTA, and Learn and Serve, each year through 25projects and programs. This year, the Corporation for National and Community Service will commit more than $6.7 million to support Maine's national service initiatives. This federal money coming into Maine will help support much needed work across the state like mentoring our children, keeping Maine people safe and warm in their homes, and care for those in need.  In these tough economic times we need the support of volunteers more than ever.

Maine has had 3,500 AmeriCorps members over the last 16 years who have received $11,700,000 in education awards.  The national service movement is so important that President Obama signed the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act in his first 100 days.  This new law will grow national service participants from 75,000 to 250,000 with focus on priority needs including advancing student achievement and graduation, providing economic opportunity, increasing energy efficiency, improving health care access, and enhancing service opportunities for veterans.

Now is a great time to get involved in your community. Opportunities range from educational outreach events where you can learn more about AmeriCorps, to community service projects like cleaning up streams or helping to track the Alewife population. We also invite you to read Blogs written by Maine AmeriCorps Members. Blog posts will begin on May 4th and continue through AmeriCorps Week. Visit www.VolunteerMaine.org to find out what’s going on in your area in honor of AmeriCorps Week and to read the blog.

The Maine Commission for Community Service builds capacity and sustainability in Maine's volunteer sector by funding service programs, developing managers of volunteers, raising awareness of the scope and impact of the sector, and encouraging an ethic of service. To learn more about the Maine Commission for Community Service visit our web-site at www.maineservicecommission.gov.