Young People across America to Celebrate Service

Article excerpt

The 17th National Youth Service Day (NYSD)--the largest service event in the world--will be held April 15-17, 2005.

To mark the occasion, millions of youth will address important unmet community needs through service-learning projects addressing literacy, hunger, public safety and the environment.

One project will distribute a flower to each patient in three area hospitals. Another will fundraise to create bracelets in honor of the troops in Iraq and their families. A third will feature Little Leagues cleaning up cigarette butts at ballparks. In Chicago, young people will paint inner-city public school libraries.

The goals of National Youth Service Day are:

* To mobilize youth to identify and address the needs of their communities through service.

* To support youth on a life-long path of service and civic engagement.

* To educate the public, the media, and policymakers about the year-round contributions of young people as community leaders.

How to Participate

Municipal leaders are urged to take part in sponsoring or participating in NYSD activities. NLC continues to be one of the dozens of national co-sponsors of NYSD.

Collaborations on service projects between youth and their communities can lead to future partnerships and may launch new initiatives in the city.

There are many ways elected officials can participate in NYSD:

* Address volunteers at the kickoff rally or the closing ceremony.

* Distribute a press release or public service announcement highlighting city NYSD projects

* Hold a recognition ceremony at City Hal/for volunteers after NYSD.

"Mayors and council members are a positive influence on young people today," said Donald J. Borut, NLC executive director. "It is encouraging to see municipal involvement in initiatives that support the community and encourage youth participation as a key component in a city's growth and development."

Free and Useful Tools

Youth Service America (YSA)--the lead sponsor of NYSD--offers several free resources. …