Friday, July 15, 2016

July YSA Service-Learning News and Resources

July 14, 2016 | Volume 23, No. 28
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Make Every Day a Mandela Day

Nelson Mandela International Day asks everyone around the world to take action and inspire change in honor of Nelson Mandela's birthday on July 18. Inspired by a call Nelson Mandela made for the next generation to take on the burden of leadership in addressing the world's social injustices when he said that "it is in your hands now," the message behind Mandela Day is simple: each individual has the ability and the responsibility to change the world for the better.

Mandela Day is a global call to action for citizens to help change the world for the better and in so doing, to build a global movement for good. Make every day a Mandela Day by taking action and inspiring change on Mandela Day's four focus areas: 
Learn more at  

Pokemon Go has become a cultural phenomenon in just over a week. To get in on the game, here are 3 Ways Your Nonprofit Can Use 'Pokemon Go'. Find more ideas and examples of how nonprofits are using the game herehere, and here. For individuals looking to do good with the game You Can Use Pokemon Go To Raise Money For Charity or check out this guide from GenerationsUnited aboutHow to Use Pokemon Go to Strengthen Intergenerational Relationships. And a couple of our favorite Pokemon Go related service stories: This 7-Year-Old Makes Snazzy Buttons To Keep Pokemon Go Players Safe and Animal Shelter Is Letting Pokemon Go Fanatics Volunteer To Walk Dogs. Now, Pokemon Go serve!
Extraordinary teens "help and lead others" (HALO) in Nickelodeon's series, The HALO Effect. Airing monthly, each 30-minute episode highlights a teen who is making a positive change in their community and inspiring others to do the same. One recent episode, Paper For Water tells the story of sisters Isabelle and Katherine Adams from Dallas, TX who help bring accessible clean water to people around the world using their love of origami. Over the past four years, the Adams sisters have raised nearly $800,000 to fund more than 100 water projects in countries around the world including Ethiopia, Ghana, Liberia, India, Mexico, Peru and Nicaragua. Another recent episode, Purses For Primates tells the story of Allie Boyer, a teen who collects gently used purses to resell at fundraisers and donates the profits to Orangutan Outreach.  In just six years, her organization has raised over $14,000 and is directly responsible for sending 14 rehabilitated orangutans back to a protected rainforest.
Begin your effort to promote involvement in crime prevention activities, police-community partnerships, and/or neighborhood camaraderie and send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back. National Night Out events could include: block parties, cookouts, parades, visits from emergency personnel, rallies and marches, exhibits, youth events, or safety demonstrations and seminars. 
Find more Summer of Service ideas at
Deadline: August 21
YSA is now accepting applications for the 2017 Global Youth Service Day Lead Agency Program! Through the generous support of State Farm, the program offers organizations in the United States funding of $500 or $1,000 as well as ongoing capacity-building training to lead high-impact, high-visibility events for Global Youth Service Day on April 21-23, 2017. As the official organizer of GYSD in their region, Lead Agencies are a vital part of creating a culture where young people have the opportunities and support to create positive change in their communities. Learn more and apply at: 

Deadline: September 30
Young changemakers who have ideas or projects that could make their neighborhoods healthier, greener, and stronger can receive $500 to gather their friends and bring their creative visions to life. Youth, ages 5-18, in the U.S. are eligible to apply for Disney Summer of Service grants by submitting service project ideas. Hundreds of youth-led service projects will be selected and $500 grants will be awarded to each winner's sponsoring organization to assist with the implementation of the project. Select grantees will have a chance to be recognized by Disney|ABC Television Group or their local ABC  
Deadline: Rolling
Everyday Young Heroes are young people, ages 5-25, who are improving their communities through service to others and making significant progress in achieving the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Each week, YSA selects one young person to receive this honor. Each selected Hero receives a congratulatory letter, a certificate of recognition, and is highlighted in YSA's newsletter and on social media, raising the profile of his or her good work. Thanks to generous support from Newman's Own Foundation, YSA will also select 12 winners throughout 2016 - one per month - to receive $250 grants to continue and expand their project.  
At four years old, Graci Diggs was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. At the age of seven, she decided that she wanted to help others who also struggled with JRA/Ra. Since then she has worked closely with the Arthritis Foundation to educate others about this health issue. In 2014, she founded the Cans for Cure fundraiser to bring awareness to the disease. At ten years old, she has raised approximately $20,000. Graci is currently an ambassador for the Arthritis Foundation and is contacting local government representatives to gain support for House Bill 2029, which will help patients and doctors have control of which medications are administered for treatment, and limit the amount of power insurance companies have regarding a patient's treatment.
Looking for books to read this summer with your kids? Check out these two lists of picture books that parents can use as conversation starters with their kids to talk about important topics and about how both small and large actions can change the world.
Social Justice Books for Kids to Teach about Global Issues 
17 Books to Inspire Kids to Change the World 
Make sure that your family and community are equipped to protect its littlest and most vulnerable citizens. Raise your voice, use your skills and together, we can help turn the tide and build a generation of prepared citizens. Lead Get Ready Get Safe Prep Rally activities and events to help build community awareness and educate children and families about simple things they can do to stay safe in emergencies. Get resources from Save the Children.
Have some extra time on your hands this summer? Check out the video trainings for three of YSA's most popular resources: Kids in Action Guide(project planning for children ages 4-11), Youth Changing the World Toolkit(project planning for teens and young adults ages 12-25), and the Semester of Service Teacher Toolkit (project facilitation for educators and mentors). Each video course walks you step-by-step through how to use the corresponding resource. Visit and look for the "Suggested Training" box seen above to take these free trainings.  
"Amandla (46664)" - Queen + Anastacia, Bono, The Edge, Dave Stewart  
"Oh, the power comes from believing
And I believe in human kind
There is a strength in numbers, yeah
And the meeting of our minds

Oh, then let us, the people
Take control of the situation
And rise up together
As one together."

The complete Service Songs of the Week playlist from 2012-2016 is at  
Thank you to YSA's sponsors who make our work possible:

Michael Minks
Vice President of Operations, YSA (Youth Service America) | (202) 296-2992 |