Education Leaders,

When young people volunteer, they are significantly more likely to continue to serve throughout their lives, and communities with more volunteers have less crime, stronger economic growth, and higher educational attainment. Those who volunteer regularly live longer and healthy lives, are more civically engaged, and are more likely to gain employment.

Serve Illinois’ mission is to help everyone understand their ability to serve others, and one way we do that is through AmeriCorps.

Last year, our AmeriCorps Illinois Members served nearly 200,000 young people in educational programs, and we are looking for new schools to support more AmeriCorps service. Our partner in this effort, the Corporation for National and Community Service has released a new toolkit for educators that gives an introduction to National Service and how to leverage the resources we have to offer ( https://www.nationalservice.gov/focus-areas/education/superintendentsprincipals-toolkit). I hope you will take a moment to review the toolkit and contact our office with any questions you may have.

In addition, I hope you will provide your students with information about AmeriCorps as an option for them when they graduate. I know many students want an opportunity to serve their community and country, and AmeriCorps is an option just as is military service or the Peace Corps. It is also an option for those students who may not know what to do after high school. In a time when the “gap year” is becoming more and more common, AmeriCorps could be a great way to spend that year, and while serving with AmeriCorps, the Member earns an education award that can pay for college or pay off student loans.

Whether you are looking for people to help in your schools, or you are looking for opportunities for your students, we stand ready to be a resource for you! Please do not hesitate to call or email me. You can also learn more about Serve Illinois at www.Serve.Illinois.gov.

I thank you for your time, and, as a father, I thank you for your service to our children.

Yours in Service,
Scott McFarland, Executive Director
217-685-5930