Thursday, May 24, 2018

Summer Service Ideas from Youth Service America

May 24, 2018 | Volume 25, No. 21
Special Edition: Summer Ideas
Summer months bring long days, warm weather, school vacations - and great opportunities for kids to serve and families, camps, and youth groups to plan projects together. See 20 Summer of Service Ideas below or at

And ICYMI, check out last week's YSB with resources to help register the 8 million new voters who will turn 18 this year. Before school lets out for the summer, take time to make sure students who are old enough are registered to vote. The Parkland students are challenging every high school in America to hold a voter registration event the week ofMay 29 - that’s 26,000 high schools filled with teens that will be able to vote for the very first time this year. Students (or teachers or administrators) can learn how to run a registration drive by themselves through Head Count.
Raise Money to Fight Childhood Cancer - June 2-10

Be a part of Alex's Lemonade Stand's efforts to fight childhood cancer by hosting a lemonade stand or event in your community during Lemonade Days.

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World Oceans Day - June 8

Get together with your family, friends, and community to protect our shared ocean. Plastic trash is a serious problem for our ocean, so this year’s theme is preventing plastic pollution and encouraging solutions for a healthy ocean.

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World's Largest Swimming Lesson - June 21

Help build awareness about the importance of teaching children to swim to help prevent drowning. Swimming is a life-saving skill for children to prevent drowning, the second leading cause of accidental death for children ages 1-14.

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Help End Alzheimer's on The Longest Day - June 21

On June 21, 2018, the longest day of the year, team up with the Alzheimer’s Association and select any activity you love to help end Alzheimer’s. Together, we will raise funds and awareness for care, support, and research.

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United Way Day of Action -June 21

On June 21, thousands of people in more than 300 communities across the world will be volunteering through United Way to make their community a better place through Day of Action. Find your local United Way and volunteer with them on June 21.

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Protect Wildlife During the Great American Campout -June 23

The National Wildlife Federation’s Great American Campout is a summer-long celebration of camping as a way to connect with nature and wildlife. Take the pledge to camp on Great American Campout day on June 23rd and all summer long.

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Take Action Against Poverty on Mandela Day - July 18

Mandela Day calls on us all, every day, to make the world a better place. Each year on July 18 we celebrate Madiba’s life and legacy in a sustainable way that will bring about enduring change.

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National Night Out - August 7

National Night Out is an annual event that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places. Neighborhoods host block parties, festivals, parades, cookouts and other events.

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International Youth Day -August 12

International Youth Day is celebrated every year with an event at the United Nations. Youth around the world are encouraged to organize activities in their country. The theme for International Youth Day 2018 is Safe Spaces for Youth.

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Do Something Grand on Grandparents Day -September 9

Whether they’re down the street or across the country, you can do something grand together with your grandparents and other older adults in your life. You can check out GU’s Take Action Guide and Grand Things to Do for ideas.

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Help End Summer Hunger

Hunger hits especially hard when kids are out of school for the summer. Promoting summer feeding sites in your community is one of the most important things you can do to ensure no child goes hungry this summer.

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Fight the "Summer Slide" with Creative Writing Classes

Through Kids Tales, teen teachers help young students brainstorm and write short stories, which they collect and publish as an anthology at the end of the workshop. Host a Kids Tales creative writing class in your community.

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Habitat for Humanity's Collegiate Challenge

Habitat for Humanity’s Collegiate Challenge one-week volunteer trip program is offered year-round. All you need is five or more friends ages 16 or older. You can choose a build close to school or somewhere across the country.

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Map & Improve Play Places

Find or add a playspace to the map. Then, take action to make playspaces in your community even better by planning a play day, organizing a clean-up, or building side projects.

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Tell the Stories of Our Time

With the StoryCorps App for Android, iOS or Kindle, 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.

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National Summer Learning Day - July 12

National Summer Learning Day is a national advocacy day aimed at elevating the importance of keeping kids learning, safe and healthy every summer, ensuring they return to school in the fall ready to succeed in the year.

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Preserve our National Parks

Take time this summer to hike, learn, share, and give back in the nation's nearly 400 national parks. The National Park Service offers a variety of volunteer opportunities for individuals and groups as part of the Volunteers-In-Parks program.

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Serve Our Nation's Veterans

This Summer, thank a Veteran and pledge the gift of time. The Department of Veterans Affairs is asking citizens across the country to join in serving our nation’s Veterans at your local VA facility

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Help Organize a Disaster Prep Rally Event

Lead Get Ready Get Safe Prep Rally activities and events to educate children and families about simple things they can do to stay safe in emergencies. Get in touch with emergency responders to see if they will participate in your Prep Rally.

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Serve to Remember on 9/11 National Day of Service

Serving in your community helps transform 9/11 into a day of unity, empathy, and service as an enduring and positive tribute to those lost and injured on 9/11, and the many who rose in service in response to the attacks.

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We know that no student currently in school has any first-hand memory of the events of 9/11. YSA suggests starting with these ten reflections about 9/11/01 and related ideas for service or service-learning projects.

This year, we’re encouraging people to plan projects that benefit veterans and military families. Download teacher and student activity sheets to help you plan a project.

Find additional ideas and resources from, including “Teaching 9/11 to a New Generation of Americans”, “9/11 Day Teachers Guide”, “Dispelling Myths About Military Veterans”, and “Hallway of Heroes”.
Desmond Sieburth - Montrose, CA
Desmond “Dessi” Sieburth (15, Montrose, California) is a passionate birder and bird conservationist who has been helping wild birds since he was ten years old. He believes that by increasing awareness of the role birds play in our ecosystem, more people will be motivated to help protect birds.

Dessi has educated other youth about birds by teaching in classrooms, parks, science fairs, and the library. He regularly writes articles for local Audubon chapters on how to help birds. In partnership with the Pasadena Audubon Society, Dessi annually puts on a fundraiser to raise money dedicated towards saving bird habitats; his goal this year is to raise $1,000. Read more.
Love Begins At Home
"Love Begins at Home"
Oleta Adams
"In every man and woman
There is a little boy and a girl
Who've learned them from all the things
They've heard while growing up in this world.
Mother, father, sister, brother
Careful how you treat each other
Children just repeat what they've been shown
Remember we will reap what we have sown
Love begins at home."
Michael Minks, Editor-in-Chief