Menendez And Lautenberg Announce Funding For Paterson YMCA Summer Education And Service Programs

Menendez And Lautenberg Announce Funding For Paterson YMCA Summer Education And Service Programs

Funding will help promote local youth community engagement through environmental education and civic service; funding awarded through 2010 Learn and Serve America Summer of Service Grant

Washington - Today, U.S. Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) announced that Paterson YMCA has been awarded a $50,000 Summer of Service grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Paterson YMCA will utilize this funding to implement ScienceFaction, a summer enrichment service program that builds upon an existing pilot program designed to address environmental issues and disaster preparedness. These financial resources will allow the organization to add a service-learning component to the program and target 100 middle school-aged youth for participation. Youth participants will engage in service projects, including river clean-up, design and creation of bio-retention filters, and the development and launch of a campaign to encourage community businesses to recycle. The service-learning component will teach and engage students on environmental issues that are not covered during the regular school year based on Paterson public school's science curricula.

"These types of education and service activities are downpayments on the development of our youth and on the strength of our communities," said Senator Menendez. "I congratulate Paterson YMCA for receiving this grant and for their continued commitment to encouraging education, engagement and active participation in our communities."

"This investment will help Paterson's students stay engaged in their community even after the school year is over," stated Senator Lautenberg. "Educating Paterson's promising young students outside of the classroom will be a lift for the city and an exciting new way for these students to learn about the importance of community service."

"These grants will help put tomorrow's leaders to work solving American's most pressing problems today," said Patrick Corvington, the Corporation's CEO. "Thousands of young people will now have an opportunity to make real and lasting impact in their communities, while starting on a lifelong path of service."
Summer of Service grants are awarded by Learn and Serve America, the nation's leading provider of service-learning grant funding administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service. Service-learning is a method of teaching and learning that connects classroom lessons with meaningful service to the community. Students build academic skills while strengthening communities through service.

In 2010 the agency awarded a total of $2 million in grants to 17 nonprofit organizations, universities and schools that oversee summer service-learning programs for low-income students in grades 6 through 9. The grants seek to support innovative projects that engage young people in addressing local environmental or disaster preparedness issues. More than 4,000 students across the country will participate in a myriad of activities including assessing local environmental issues, planting gardens, "greening" homes, preparing and distributing disaster preparedness kits, and undertaking service projects in local and national parks. In addition to the grant funding, participants in the Summer of Service program who complete at least 100 hours of service will be eligible to receive a $500 education award that can be used to pay for post-secondary education expenses.

Click HERE to read more about the grant and program.