Friday, June 30, 2017

Summer YAC Connections

1. Service Learning Brochure

2. YAC Brochure

3. YAC Calendar by Ahmed. Ahmed is also starting a mentoring program on Fridays during the school year with the Belle Isle Library.  Great job with the calendar and the mentoring initiative!

4. YAC and YLOKCasady help with Faculty in-service at Food Bank August 16th.  Safra, Mariam, Sharun checking schedules.  15 volunteers needed.

5. Help with service project for freshman orientation
The American Red Cross would have a project for your group of 90, 9th grade students on Aug 21.  What we would suggest is that the student assist us with assembling materials used for our "Home Fire Campaign" and Pillowcase Project" 
More info can be found here  This would be an indoor activity where your students would insert disaster recovery/prevention materials into the pillow cases and plastic bags . 
We would also be able to talk to the students about the importance of being prepared for disasters.

Students and sponsors will rotate to 3 different rooms to get the full service and learning experience.

Kenneth Bentley
Volunteer Services Specialist

American Red Cross serving Oklahoma and Arkansas
Office 405-228-9570
Cell 405-219-7417
Fax 405-228-3954

6. Peace Week 2017 Needs:  Speakers, Experiences with supplies for observance and awareness.  Service Projects during Peace Week.  July 17th at Raindrop Turkish House, 6:00-7:00 pm United Nations Association of Greater Oklahoma City meet to plan the OKC UN Peace Walk at the Myriad Gardens on 9/9 as part of the Turkish Festival and 9/21 International Day of Peace Observance at the State Capitol through pinwheels for peace.  YAC and YLOKC invited to participate in the meeting.  Mrs. Clay will attend via speaker phone.

7. Best Buddies Update: Zac attended the yearly conference but is yet to reply a request to write a reflection of his experience for the Casady Community Service Learning Blog.

8. Stanley Hupfeld Academy at Western Village wrote a YSA grant to have special project during 9/11 connecting the mentoring program, Positive Horizons to veterans and teens as a unity project to observe 9/11 with acts of hope, compassion and service.  Ford and Jacob were emailed updates.

9. YAC Invitational: Fedex Time-Strategic Planning Date and Time will be announced by Co-Presidents

July 13, 2017 | Volume 24, No. 27
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Apply to Be a 2018 Global Youth Service Day Lead Agency
YSA is now accepting applications for the 2018 Global Youth Service Day Lead Agency program. With the generous support of State Farm, the program offers organizations funding, recognition, and ongoing training to organize high-impact, high-visibility youth-led projects for Global Youth Service Day (April 20-22, 2018). As the official organizer of GYSD in their region, GYSD Lead Agencies build a coalition of K-12 schools, youth development organizations, and community-based organizations in their region to activate youth, ages 5-25, to acquire 21st Century Skills by solving community problems through service or service-learning projects.

Community-based organizations (including youth development organizations and afterschool programs, local government agencies, volunteer centers, AmeriCorps and national service programs, state service commissions, faith-based organizations, community coalitions, etc.) located in the 50 U.S. states + DC are eligible to apply. 50 organizations will receive grants of up to $1,000 to build a partner coalition of at least 10 other organizations that collectively activates at least 500 youth volunteers on GYSD (April 20-22, 2018). Learn more and apply at  
Apply to be a Schools of Service Ambassador
YSA is accepting applications for Schools of Service Ambassadors. Selected Ambassadors from the 50 US States + DC will recruit K-12 schools to be part of the Schools of Service network and train educators (in-person or online) to prepare them to engage their students in service projects on 9/11 Day of Service, MLK Day, and/or Global Youth Service Day.  Each Ambassador will receive a $1,000 stipend from YSA.
We are especially interested in receiving applications from service-learning coordinators or other administrators from schools or school districts with community service requirements; representatives from local, regional, or national nonprofits that provide professional development to educators; representatives from State Education Agencies; and professional trainers or consultants with a network of school clients. 
Eligible individuals of all blood types are needed to make an appointment to give today by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.orgor calling 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767). Donors can help even more people by inviting a family member, friend or co-worker to donate too. Check out Red Cross Youth's Hosting a Blood Drive Activity Guide.
Record and share the stories that are all around you. With the StoryCorps app and you can browse and listen to recordings from other users, add to the online library by sharing your own story, and activate your group, organization, or community around the power of storytelling.
Use the Read & Act: Kids Making a Difference collection of inspiring children's books from FirstBook paired with free downloadable discussion guides from YSA to help youth ages 6-12, understand how they can use their unique talents, interests and passions to spark action in their own communities. 
Interested in more book lists?  
Check out the Resources & Training section below. 
9/11 Day of Service Impact School Grants
Deadline: July 14   LAST CHANCE! 
Grants of up to $1,500 are available to schools participating in YSA's Global Schools of Service program in the United States. 50 K-12 public schools will receive a grant to support engaging students in a schoolwide service project(s) on 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance (Monday, September 11th, 2017). Selected grantees will commit to plan school-wide service activities on 9/11 Day of Service, with a minimum of 500 youth/adults participating in the service project(s) and at least one project that focuses on helping veterans and military families.   

Deadline: August 2
NVR will make grants of up to $10,000 to support grassroots organizing by Native American-led groups with a membership base in the community that have a leadership development program and seek to take collective action to win progressive social change.
Deadline: September 30
Youth, ages 5-18, who volunteer to make their communities healthier, greener, and stronger can apply for a $500 Disney Summer of Service grant to create a project or expand their impact throughout the rest of the year. 250 youth-led service projects will be selected and $500 grants will be awarded to each winner's sponsoring organization this fall. Youth who are interested should visit to tell their volunteer story, get inspiration and planning resources, and apply for a grant. 
Cammie Lee (16, Portland, Oregon) is a passionate violinist who started playing at the age of four. Music has always been an integral part of Cammie's life and she believes that music teaches essential skills to youth. She co-founded the student-run nonprofit organization Project Prelude because she wanted to help expand the accessibility of music education for economically disadvantaged youth in her community.
Cammie experienced firsthand how public-school districts in her area started cutting back music programs and laying off music teachers. Through her service at Project Prelude, she offers free music lessons, provides instruments for the students to play, as well as supplies and books for their learning. Project Prelude runs a program at a local K-8 school, teaching 25 elementary school students how to play the violin. Cammie is the music director of the program, which means that she designs all the musical pedagogy and serves as a leader for the teachers of the programs.
Do you know a young person, age 5-25 that is creating extraordinary change in your community? Nominate them for an Everyday Young Hero award.
NPR compiled a list - with help from Teaching for Change - of books that frame big issues through a lens children can understand. "Give kids credit," says Stan Yogi, one of the authors on the list. "They have an innate sense of what's right and what's wrong. Being able to draw on that innate sense of justice through relatable stories is so important."
Looking for summer reading books that will expand your world, challenge your perspectives, and tell a gripping story at the same time? This summer, pick up one of these 10 recently released books that consider diverse global themes, from migration to feminism; environment to food and hunger; local to global.

See all the service-themed book lists we've featured here. 
"Infinite (Unsung Heroes)" - Built By Titan     
Don't you lose yourself tonight
You are infinite
We can be infinite tonight
For every girl and every boy and every voice turned down to zero
You have to know,
you've got to know
This song is for the unsung heroes."

The complete Service Songs of the Week playlist from 2012-2017 is on YouTube at and Spotify at 
Thank you to YSA's sponsors who make our work possible:

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Zac C @ Best Buddies Conference
Best Buddies International is the world’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic isolation of the 200 million people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Their programs help people with IDD form meaningful friendships with their peers, secure successful jobs, live independently, improve public speaking, self-advocacy and communication skills, and feel valued by society.The IDD community that Best Buddies serves includes, but is not limited to, people with Down Syndrome, Autism, Fragile X, Williams Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, traumatic brain injury and other undiagnosed disabilities.  

More than 2,200 Best Buddies student leaders, ambassadors, and volunteers from around the world united for a weekend of inspiration and learning from July 21-24 at the 28th Annual Best Buddies Leadership Conference: Pass the Torch!  Senior Zac C. attended the conference for the second time this year! There was another Oklahoma school at the conference and we look forward to the connections made.   Learn more about #BBLC2017 and tune into the live stream at

Mike Wieliczka
Deputy Director, Expansion and Training | Best Buddies InternationalP: 305-916-4162

Headquarters | 100 SW 2nd Street, Suite 2200, Miami, FL 33131

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Preparing for Casady Peace Week 2017

Oklahoma National Memorial and Museum Peace T-shirt

Brainstorming PowerPoint for PEACE WEEK
Send ideas and names of possible Chapel speakers to

Members of the Class of 2019 Planting a Seedling of the Oklahoma Survivor Tree on 9/21/2011
United Nations OKC Planning Meeting for Observance of International Day of Peace and Peace Walk

7/1/2017 Update from Priya

Here is an update on the 9/9 event at the Turkish Cultural Festival. Kadir very graciously checked with the Myriad Gardens and they have approved our walk and Mrs. Maureen Heffernan with Myriad Gardens Foundation will be speaking at the event.

We should know more about the Capitol event soon. I will make sure to keep everyone updated. 

Thank you for your willingness to be involved in this year's peace day planning process.

If you have any questions, please let me know.


Warmest Regards,
Priya M. Desai, M.S.W.
Peace Day 2017 Committee Planning

Meeting: June 26, 2017 Present: Priya, Michelle, Sinead, Misheala, Bill, Sarah and Kadir

Opening of meeting, Introductions, Discussed past events, Info on International Day of Peace.  


Peace Walk
  • To be held during the Turkish Festival on Saturday, September 9, 2017 at 2:00pm. Thank you to our friends at the Raindrop Turkish Festival at Myriad Gardens.
  • We agreed that walking around the block this year would be better, then just the square lawn and end by the stage; Pending Permission.
  • Identified possible speakers: Maureen (Myriad Foundation), Mariana (Community Alliance), and Representative from Catholic Charities
  • Table for Pinwheels- We identified the goal of having 200 pinwheels at event to be designed.

Peace Day Observance – Thursday, September 21, 2017
  • Location: Capitol South Lawn [Pending approval]
  • Pinwheels- stick pinwheels
  • Speakers: 5 speakers; 3 min speaking allotment. We identified 5 speakers we would like to confirm with once we get approval of location; ACLU, CAIR, Sheri, Native Representative, Raindrop Turkish House Rep., Identified Candace Liger to ask regarding performing a poetry reading.

  • We agreed to set the goal of 200 designed pinwheels to be made at Turkish Festival.  
  • Invite organizations to create and design larger pinwheels.
  • Send Invite to the following groups to participate in pinwheel for peace initiative
    • Social Justice Organizations
    • School Teachers, principles, and art teachers
    • OKC Sister City Organization
    • Honorary General Consulate
    • WEF and other like organizations
    • OU, UCO, and OSU

  • We discussed the idea of ordering in bulk plastic pinwheels- this will allow people to use different color permanent markers to write message on pinwheels; quick and easy

  • We agreed on plastic pinwheels as the best option, as paper can get wet and flimsy.

  • We agreed it would be best to direct group participants to 1.) A how to video tutorial 2.) Direct to an already made pinwheel kit for the to design.

  • Discussed the possibility of this being a fundraising push- Such as sponsor your family for $______ to create pinwheel, ect.

    • What I learned from looking more into it is the $7/per unit price is for the Black pinwheel; Other colors are blue, light blue, purple, pink, red and yellow are $9/per unit
    • Also GREAT NEWS is we thought a unit was a dozen- but on the description it reports that 3 dozen per unit! )

Roles & Deadlines [Agreed to have these details identified and confirmed by the next meeting]

Kadir- Will request the approval from Myriad Botanical Gardens to do the Peace Walk; Will ask Maureen if she would like to be speaker again; Will allow us to use the Teacher email database.

Michelle- Contact Jackie about the process to host event on the Capitol South Lawn; Type meeting notes out; Look more into pinwheel options

Priya- Push out press releases, helping disseminate information to social justice organizations; Create summary information sheet; Ask Candace about performing poet reading at Peace Day observance event; will post events to Gazette, KOSU and KGOU calendars; outreach for speakers for capitol event (CAIR, ACLU, Sheri)

Sarah- Ask Mariana (Community Alliance) about speaking at September 9th Peace Walk event, Confirm Native Speaker for Peace Day Observance event, Inquire about using the social justice contact database.

Misheala- Contact networks at OU, TFA; Help with NPR radio advertising; Confirm speaker from Catholic Charities for Peace Walk.

Richard- can you create two simple flyers, one for the Peace Walk and the other for the Peace Day Observance? We kind of volunteered you because you are the best at it! ☺


  • Early July- Send out Summary Event info page
  • July 17th- Next meeting at 6:00pm at Raindrop Turkish House
August- First week of August create Facebook page for both events commemorating the International Day of Peace.  Send press release to news outlets

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Calling All Volunteers!

Casady Canned Food Drive 

Reading Buddies at Andrew Johnson Elementary School in The Village

Food for Thought on a Sunny June Summer Day

Reflections on 20 Years of Activating Youth to Change the World
It’s been said all that all young people need the same nine things: Purpose, Meaning, Adventure, Community, Power, Respect, Structure, Challenge, and Opportunity.
Founded by 12-year-old Isabelle Adams and her 10-year-old sister, Katherine,Paper for Water is helping to bring running water to those in need.  The girls make and sell origami Christmas ornaments that have brought in $800,000 in water fundraising dollars.
Jackson Silverman, 11, started I Heart Hungry Kids when he was 7 after hearing about other kids who were making a difference in his community.  He felt a special place in his heart for kids who were hungry, so Jackson started organizing monthly parties engaging peers to pack bags of healthy foods for those in need.
 When I took over the helm of Youth Service America from its founders 20 years ago this spring, I thought my job was going to be all about motivating apathetic youth, more interested in video games than saving the world.
 I could not have been more wrong.  Young people are volunteering at record rates, more than any generation in history.
 Instead, my biggest challenge has been skeptical adults.
 I’ve spent a good deal of the last two decades encouraging adults to remember their own childhoods, reminding them how powerful they felt when they were trusted, heard, respected, counted on, and asked to contribute.
 Countless times, I’ve made the case with doubtful elected officials that young people need to be at the decision-making table, especially when issues that affect youth are on the public-policy agenda.  As they say, if you are not at the table, you’re on the menu.
 I’ve been dismayed many times as potential funders stared back in disbelief when I suggested that they provide philanthropic support to children and youth to tackle the world’s most difficult challenges in health, education, human service, human rights, and the environment.
 I’ve wrestled with frustrated teachers who are afraid that solving authentic community problems as a teaching and learning method for math, science, English, foreign languages, or history would be yet another burden to what they are already required to teach.
 The history of the world is the history of power, and there is no question that young people become powerful when they bring their energy, commitment, idealism, and creativity to bear on the world’s problems.  As the history of people who are African-American, women, immigrants, disabled, or LGBT reminds us, those in power do not share it easily.
 Talent and empathy are widespread, but opportunity is not.  So, YSA’s newest strategy is to unleash the unique brainpower of youth around the world to achieve the United Nation’s 17 new Sustainable Development Goals.  For the first time in human history, every country on the planet recently voted to adopt the same global goals to make the Earth sustainable for human existence and prosperity by 2030.  The powerful agenda is identical across the globe, whether you’re in Boston, Brussels, Bangalore, Brisbane, or Bogota.  A 15 year old volunteer in all these cities will be 30 by the time the Goals come due in 2030.
 The United Nations has publicly stated that the Global Goals will not be achieved without the significant contributions of young people around the world, so we have a lot of hearts and minds to change.  A 16-year-old African girl in Lesotho told me that I was the first adult to give her permission to change the world.  Less than a month later, I heard the identical complaint from a 16-year-old American girl from New York.  When commencement speakers tell graduates that they are tomorrow’s leaders and the hope of the future, we put young people “on hold” at their most creative time in life.  For too many youth, the promise of leadership never surfaces.
 As adults, we must raise our expectations for what youth can accomplish in the present -- as players, not spectators; as actors, not recipients.  We simply cannot afford to wait for young people to grow up before they start tackling the biggest problems facing the planet -- we need them to be the leaders and the hope of today.
 The spectrum of social change is wide and welcoming to youth, and we encourage them to use their “Sparks” (passions such as sports, creative arts, learning, helping, the environment, reading, animal welfare, leadership, etc.) as the starting point to their intervention and solution.  Service projects are fun, and they are great ways to gain agency, persistence, grit, and knowledge about the world.
 Luckily, YSA’s partners, such as 4-H, Boys and Girls Clubs, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Camp Fire, SkillsUSA, FFA, Junior Achievement, Girls, Inc., and the YMCA have deep commitments to youth service and are bursting at the seams with smart and talented changemakers.  National service programs like AmeriCorps and Peace Corps have long wait lists of idealistic young Americans wanting to serve their country.  Ironically, these cost-effective programs are authorized by Congress to be much larger, lacking only the appropriated funds to meet the supply and demand of today’s youth.  In the private sector, Fortune 500 companies such as State Farm, Disney, UL, Sodexo, Microsoft, and Unilever are investing millions of dollars in programs that engage children and youth as problem-solvers.
 The last 20 years went by quickly, and I continue to be amazed by the innovation and energy of youth people.  But it must not take another 20 years for the world to make youth service the common expectation and the common experience of all young people.  For the sake of the human race and Mother Nature, let’s hope we’re not too late.
Steve Culbertson was appointed the President and CEO of Youth Service America in May 1996.  Based in Washington, DC and operating in more than 100 countries, YSA’s mission is to help young people, ages 5-25, find their voice, take action, and have impact on critical social and environmental problems.