What is National Youth Service Day?
What is National Youth Service Day?
National Youth Service Day, takes place second or third weekend in April and is a public awareness and education campaign that highlights the amazing contributions that young people make to their communities 365 days a year. As the largest service event in the world, it mobilizes millions of young people to address the needs of their communities, and educates the public, the media, and policymakers about the year-round contributions of young people as community leaders.
What are the Goals of National Youth Service Day?
- MOBILIZE youth as leaders to identify and address the needs of their communities through service and learning; SUPPORT youth on a lifelong path of service and civic engagement; and
- Educate the public, the media and policymakers about the year-round contributions of young people as community leaders
How did National Youth Service Day begin?
In 1988, Youth Service America (YSA) and the Campus Outreach Opportunity League (COOL) organized the first National Youth Service Day, then called "A Day in the Life of Youth Service." Nearly 1,000 programs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia participated. In 1990, YSA joined forces with COOL, the United States Conference of Mayors, the Weekly Reader, and the Jefferson Awards to celebrate the day. In the last decade, National Youth Service Day has grown to include more than 90 National Partners, 50 Lead Agencies, hundreds of NYSD grant winners, and millions of young people nationwide.
Why is National Youth Service Day a WEEKEND and not a DAY?
Originally, National Youth Service Day was on a Tuesday, and then it was moved to a Friday and Saturday to allow for schools and after school groups to participate. Jewish organizations then approached Youth Service America to request a Sunday so they can participate. (Orthodox Jews participate in the “Sabbath” from Friday through Saturday and cannot work during that time.) So now National Youth Service Day is three days of celebration: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Who Participates in National Youth Service Day?
Over the past thirteen years, National Youth Service Day has brought together more than 19 million people in thousands of communities nationwide. NYSD has grown to include over 50 National Partners and millions of young people nationwide. In 2000, the program expanded to include youth projects in over 27 countries for the first annual Global Youth Service Day. Last year, 117 countries participated.
What Happens on National Youth Service Day?
Youth, businesses, families, schools, individuals and local organizations carry out activities that will serve and improve their communities. Millions of young people are introduced to volunteering on NYSD, and are inspired to begin a lifetime of service. Other Youth Service America Tip Sheets offer ideas for projects, as well as methods of youth organizing, and ways to recognize volunteers with awards and celebrations.
What are National Youth Service Day Lead Agencies?
Lead Agencies are the fifty organizations across the country that host city, regional, or statewide celebrations of National Youth Service Day. They convene planning coalitions, reach out to local media, and host opening ceremonies and/or closing celebrations. Each Lead Agency engages several hundred to tens of thousands of volunteers. For more information on anything in this Tip Sheet, visit www.ysa.org/nysd TIP SHEET
How should we use the National Youth Service Day Tool Kit?
The Tool Kit is a comprehensive guide to planning a service project for National Youth Service Day or any other service event. Use it as a complete package, or refer to specific chapters that apply to your needs.
What other Resources are Available?
Youth Service America makes the following resources available to help you plan your service project. Find out more about these and other resources at: www.YSA.org/nysd.
Service-Learning Curriculum Guides:Use these 9-week curriculum guides to engage students in service-learning while planning projects for National Youth Service Day. Available in three levels: K-6th Grade, 7th-12th Grade, and Community Leaders Guides.
Project Grants: Grants are available to help you plan and carry out National Youth Service Day projects and on-going service throughout the year.
Project Plan-It!: This online, interactive program allows you to plan your service project and customize your own funding proposals, press releases, service-learning reflection plans, and more.
NYSD T-Shirts: A perfect way to recognize and thank volunteers.
Reprinted with the permission of Youth Service America. © 1996-2008 Youth Service America. All Rights Reserved.
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