Reading Corps Joins the Nation’s Leading National Service Organizations in Effort to Make a Year of Service Part of the American Way of Life

18 ORGANIZATIONS JOIN SERVICENATION IN HISTORIC CAMPAIGN TO INSPIRE YOUNG AMERICANS TO SERVE THROUGH POPULAR CULTURE

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – Reading Corps was one of eighteen of the country’s leading service organizations that came together today to announce their involvement in a campaign led by ServiceNation that will connect content creators in Hollywood with AmeriCorps members serving in communities across the country. The campaign aims to inspire millions of Americans to serve by enlisting the voices of prominent leaders from both political parties, the entertainment industry, digital partners, major companies, leading nonprofits, and AmeriCorps alumni.  The ultimate goal is simple, but ambitious: We envision a day when young Americans turn to each other and ask, “Where will your year of national service be?”

In the coming months, Americans interested in a year of service will be able to visit the campaign website,www.serveayear.org. On that site, they will learn about how AmeriCorps programs are tackling some of our nation’s toughest problems -- from disaster relief and veteran reintegration to college access and childhood nutrition -- and the organizations that are on the ground doing the work. The campaign breaks these issue areas down to nine “Pillars” and has details on how someone could get involved by serving a year.

Reading Corps will partner with Reading Partners to lead the Building lifelong readers pillar, providing the stories and faces of AmeriCorps members who are delivering research-based and proven literacy interventions to help struggling students, age three to grade three, reach critical reading.

In addition to Reading Corps, the campaign will also highlight other opportunities to serve including:

  • Responding after a disaster with Rebuilding Together and St. Bernard Project
  • Fighting poverty with Habitat for Humanity and LIFT
  • Creating a healthier America with FoodCorps and National Health Corps
  • Building lifelong readers with Reading Partners and Reading Corps
  • Empowering young leaders with YouthBuild and The Corps Network
  • Inspiring students’ interest in STEM with Citizen Schools and FIRST
  • Helping students succeed with College PossibleCity Year, and Playworks
  • Teaching with Teach For America
  • Empowering veterans with Vet Corps
  • Along with the campaign’s National Strategic Partner, AmeriCorps Alums

This past November, ServiceNation, Next Generation, and the Clinton Foundation co-hosted a conversation with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Clinton Foundation Vice Chair Chelsea Clinton, ServiceNation Executive Director Zach Maurin, and Next Generation co-founder James Steyer about how Hollywood could raise awareness for national service and early childhood education. Actor and director Rob Reiner moderated the expert panel before an audience that included some of the entertainment industry's biggest players including Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes, the award-winning actor and creator of Girls, Lena Dunham, and Producers Guild President and Criminal Minds Executive Producer, Mark Gordon.

Over the next three years, ServiceNation will continue to meet with entertainment companies and TV show executives in hopes that they will integrate powerful stories of service by AmeriCorps members into scripts of their shows. Only two weeks ago, AmeriCorps was mentioned in an episode of HBO's True Detective, a direct result of this effort. In the coming months, the campaign plans to roll out other partnerships with humorous digital platforms, YouTube stars, social-minded brands, athletes, celebrities, and more successful integrations that will help tell the story of national service in America.

About Reading Corps. Minnesota Reading Corps is a statewide literacy initiative of ServeMinnesota with the goal of helping every Minnesota child become a successful reader. The program blends the people power of AmeriCorps members with the science of how children learn how to read. Trained AmeriCorps members and community volunteers provide individualized tutoring and proven interventions to those children who are at risk for not reading at grade level. Since 2004, outside evaluators report that pre-schoolers participating in the Minnesota Reading Corps program started kindergarten significantly more prepared in literacy skills than other children. Statewide, 74 percent of third-graders who successfully completed the program, all of whom were at significant risk for failure, passed Minnesota reading assessment tests - as compared to the 78 percent pass rate for all Minnesota children. Seeing these impressive results, Target Foundation and the United Way of the Greater Twin Cities have selected the Minnesota Reading Corps as a key partner to close the achievement gap for Minnesota students. For more information, please visit www.MinnesotaReadingCorps.org.

About ServiceNation.  This campaign will build on the work ServiceNation has done over the last six years.  With a coalition of nearly 400 organizations, a membership of 140,000+ individuals, and a field team, ServiceNation seeks to take the national service movement to the next level through an unprecedented cultural campaign that will inspire Americans and expand opportunities for Americans in national service.  Learn more at www.servicenation.org