Service-Learning and Homeland Security

Posted by on January 23, 2004

Funding Available for Organizations to Engage Students in Homeland Security Projects

(Washington D.C.) – The Corporation for National and Community Service announced the availability of $3.2 million in funding for organizations addressing homeland security concerns by engaging students in service-learning activities in their schools and communities.

The funding is available through the Corporation’s Learn and Serve America program, which provides grants to schools, colleges, and nonprofits to support programs that connect classroom learning with community service. The Homeland Security initiative aims to engage young people ages 5 – 17 in planning for and responding to health, safety, and security concerns in their schools or communities, including natural disasters, school violence, medical emergencies, or terrorist acts.

Examples of the kinds of activities that could be supported include engaging students in service-learning projects to develop school crisis plans, distribute preparedness kits, conduct school safety audits and drills, provide health education, inventory and maintain emergency supplies, or provide language assistance to non-English speaking populations.

By involving youth in planning and implementing disaster relief services, the Corporation hopes to not only make them more civically engaged, but also reduce the anxiety and fear often associated with community and school crisis planning. The Corporation believes that young people are an important untapped resource that can be engaged to help address a range of problems, including the growing challenges associated with homeland security and disaster preparedness and response.

"Young people are eager to serve and can make an important contribution to enhancing the safety of their schools and communities," said Amy Cohen, Director of Learn and Serve America. "These grants are a win all around – schools will be safer, communities will be more prepared, and young people will become better students and citizens."

Organizations eligible to apply for funding are State Education Agencies, Indian Tribes and U.S. territories, and grantmaking entities. Those who receive an award will be expected to make subgrants to Local Education Agencies in partnership with at least one additional local public or private nonprofit organization to implement, replicate, or expand service-learning activities in their local communities. The Corporation anticipates making 6 to 10 program grants of up to $500,000 for each of two successive years contingent on satisfactory performance, fund availability, and other criteria.

The deadline for applications is March 9 at 5:00 p.m. All applicants are encouraged to use eGrants, the Corporation’s web-based online application system. Complete application instructions can be obtained at <a href=""></a>, or by calling Juanita Peoples at 202-606-5000 ext. 117 or The Corporation will announce award recipients sometime this summer.

The Corporation for National and Community Service provides opportunities for Americans of all ages and backgrounds to serve their communities and country through the Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America programs. Working with national and community nonprofit organizations, faith-based groups, schools, and local agencies, the Corporation engages Americans in meeting critical needs in education, the environment, public safety, homeland security, and other areas while fostering the habits of good citizenship. The Corporation and its programs are a key part of USA Freedom Corps, a White House initiative to help all Americans answer the President’s Call to Service. For more information, visit <a href=""></a>.

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