On my journeys across this great nation, I have the privilege of meeting thousands of youth and their teachers who participate in service-learning projects that improve their environments and communities. I have seen how school energy programs engage students in science as well as save money; I have seen how school gardens change eating habits and transform the student body’s health and how overall, service learning leads to lower dropout rates and more engaged and educated youth.
However, the ability for educators to secure funding for these type of activities is in jeopardy. The House Appropriations Committee recently agreed to a budget that cut $40 million from Learn and Serve America. This is the entire budget for Learn and Serve America, which is the only federal program dedicated to service learning. Without this funding, educators will not have the money to start projects that will prepare students to be civically engaged responsible contributors to society. Our next generation of leaders will be denied opportunities to be empowered with the skills and tools that they need to be the leaders for the next generation of global citizens and in so doing build a stronger America.
EarthEcho and I have had to pleasure of seeing students participate in service-learning projects firsthand. Many of the students and educators that we interact with rely on learn and serve programs to fund their projects. Please join me and take action to help restore funding to learn and serve. Here are two ways to help:
Sign on to the Save Service letter and encourage at least five others to do the same at:http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/9FCQ3YG
Call the White House comment line at (202) 456-1111. You can also send an electronic message via this weblink: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact
As Franklin Delano Roosevelt once said, “we cannot always prepare the future for our children, but we can prepare our children for the future.”