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Graceland AmeriCorps Youth Launch program featured in national publication

LAMONI — The 2014 edition of Transforming Communities through Service: A Collection of the Most Innovative AmeriCorps State and Volunteer Generation Fund Programs in the United States features AmeriCorps State and Volunteer Generation Fund programs in 21 states.

Graceland University AmeriCorps Youth Launch based in Lamoni is featured as an innovative program in the focus area of education. AmeriCorps Youth Launch serves Clarke, Decatur, Lucas, Ringgold, Union and Wayne counties in southern Iowa.

During the school year, members serve in Clarke and Murray Community Schools helping upper elementary and middle school students become academically engaged and educationally successful.

During the summer months, members serve through Clarke County Extension Office, planning and leading summer youth day camps, and providing other youth enrichment opportunities.

AmeriCorps members provide opportunities for students to lead successful, rewarding and productive lives. Members build valuable developmental assets, instill civic engagement and help young people find the “sparks” that ignite their passions in life.

The 2014 edition commemorates the 20th anniversary of AmeriCorps and state service commissions, the statewide governor-appointed agencies leading the nation’s service movement and AmeriCorps state programming.

The publication launch on April 21 celebrates the fifth anniversary of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which reauthorized the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that engages more than 5 million Americans in service through its core programs including Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, Volunteer Generation Fund and the Social Innovation Fund.

“The publication highlights the role of states as laboratories for service and fosters new models for addressing a variety of pressing social issues,” said Tom Branen, executive director of America’s Service Commissions.

Programs featured in the publication are addressing a range of issues from early childhood literacy to public safety.

“National and community service programs are providing opportunities for citizens to play an active role in addressing community needs,” said Susan Stroud, executive director of Innovations in Civic Participation. “We hope everyone who reads these profiles will be inspired by the tales of ordinary citizens transforming their communities through service.”

The publication is available electronically by visiting www.icicp.org.

About America’s Service Commissions

America’s Service Commissions is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization representing and promoting the 53 governor-appointed state service commissions across the United States and territories with the mission to advance national service, volunteerism and the network of state service commissions.

State service commissions are governor-appointed public agencies or nonprofit organizations made up of more than 1,110 commissioners — private citizens leading the nation’s service movement and operating the granting of federal national service funds at the state and local level. Learn more: www.statecommissions.org.

About Innovations in Civic Participation

Innovations in Civic Participation (ICP) is a non-profit organization supporting the development of innovative high-quality youth civic engagement policies and programs both in the US and around the world.

ICP is a leader in the global movement to promote sustainable development and social change through youth civic engagement. It embraces a positive view of young people that recognizes their potential to create beneficial and lasting social change in their communities through active participation in service opportunities. Learn more: www.icicp.org.

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