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News Release

Date: April 15, 2009
Media Contactd: Elizabeth Homan (Montgomery College), 240-567-7970; Brandon Gryde (Youth Service America), 202-296-2992 x 128

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Montgomery College Awarded Grant to Lead Service-Learning Project for Global Youth Service Day
State Farm Companies Foundation Supports Service-Learning Projects in Maryland and Across America

Montgomery College has received a $1,000 grant to launch a literacy service-learning project as part of the Global Youth Service Day. The College is one of 100 State Farm® Good Neighbor Service-Learning Grant winners chosen by Youth Service America and funded by State Farm Companies Foundation.

Montgomery College’s AmeriCorps*VISTA volunteer Laura Rothlisberger created the service learning project and applied for the grant. The project targets first generation immigrant students, who are learning English, to help them build their language skills. A group of nine Montgomery College students at the Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus are leading the service learning project, working with seven students from Montgomery Blair High School and seven second grade students from Takoma Park Elementary School. The high school students are earning student service learning hours necessary for high school graduation.

Meeting weekly during the spring semester at the Takoma Park Community Center, the students have been learning about writing, libraries, art and teamwork as they collaborate to author children’s stories. The Takoma Park Library staff members have assisted by instructing students and listening to their stories. The students will create seven stories and accompanying artwork.

Students in Montgomery College’s School of Art and Design program will compile the stories and artwork into a single book. This book will be self-published, and copies will be part of “literacy play packages.” The play packages, which will also include art supplies and blank books, will be donated to the Children’s National Medical Center for pediatric patients.

In honor of Global Youth Service Day, the students will participate in a book party on April 25 from 3:30–4:30 p.m. The event will be held in the Azalea Room, Takoma Park Community Center, 7500 Maple Avenue, Takoma Park, Md. The party will celebrate the completion of the literacy service-learning project.

“In addition to building literacy and writing skills of the college, high school and elementary school students, the participants are learning important teamwork and community service skills,” said Laura Rothlisberger, Montgomery College’s AmeriCorps*VISTA volunteer and project organizer. “This has also been a wonderful and inspiring learning experience for me.”

“The State Farm Good Neighbor Service-Learning Grant recipients exhibit a commitment to improving their local, national and global communities.” said Steve Culbertson, president and CEO of Youth Service America. “Connecting service with learning, they help young people display their innate leadership abilities, proving that youth can effect positive change today.”

Global Youth Service Day is the largest service event in the world that celebrates a year-round effort to expand the impact of the youth service movement. The initiative launches new service organizations, policy changes, and sustainable service programs to create a culture of engaged youth. State Farm Companies Foundation is the presenting sponsor.

More than 125 national partners, 75 lead agencies, and thousands of local partners throughout the United States organize campaigns, and international lead agencies coordinate campaigns in over 100 countries. In addition to grants, YSA provides project planning resources such as planning tool kits, service-learning curriculum guides, and classroom posters.

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About Montgomery College
Montgomery College is a public, open admissions community college with campuses in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park/Silver Spring, plus workforce development/continuing education centers and off-site programs throughout Montgomery County, Md. The College serves nearly 60,000 students a year, through both credit and noncredit programs, in more than 100 areas of study. For more information: www.montgomerycollege.edu.

About Youth Service America
Youth Service America improves communities by increasing the number and diversity of children and youth, ages 5-25, serving in substantive roles. Founded in 1986, YSA is an international nonprofit resource center that partners with thousands of organizations in more than 100 countries to expand the impact of the youth service movement with families, communities, schools, corporations, and governments. For more information: www.YSA.org.

About State Farm Companies Foundation
The State Farm Companies Foundation is a tax-exempt private foundation that was established in 1963 and is funded by State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company. State Farm Companies Foundation provides charitable support for K-12 public education initiatives that are national in scope in the areas of systemic improvement, service-learning, and teacher excellence. For more information about State Farm Companies Foundation, please visit www.statefarm.com/about/part_spos/part_spos.asp.

 

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