Dear Service-Learning Community,

Endings are just new beginnings, or so the saying goes. There's certainly some truth to this statement, but the pain of ending is still real. As I write this, our last newsletter, it's sinking in just how much I will miss this work and the wonderful people who share a passion for service-learning as a way to engage young people in meaningful and even profound experiences.

When my colleague Ande England and I started this enterprise in January 1997, we set out with the knowledge that we might not be around long enough to make service-learning a common experience for all Texas students but that we'd do our best nonetheless. Fifteen years later we've come to the end of the road, but not before involving over 1.2 million students in thoughtful service and meaningful learning.

I am filled with gratitude that this journey lasted so long and including so many wonderful people doing extraordinary work, including co-workers, teachers, program coordinators, principals, superintendents, parents, partners, and, most importantly, students. Thank you for your many contributions to Service Learning Texas, which we always envisioned as something much greater than an office in Austin.

With your help, service-learning will continue to prosper and grow in Texas and elsewhere. As you'll read below, other organizations are stepping up to support this innovative teaching and learning strategy in new and creative ways. Resources still exist to help fund service-learning activities. A national service-learning conference will take place in Houston in October. And, as ever, students of all ages and abilities are eager to make a difference in the world, and teachers are in the perfect position to help them realize their dreams.

I encourage you to look to each other as resources, to ask young people for their input and ideas and allow them to learn from their experience, to seek partners who share your commitment and vision, to celebrate your success, and to know that service-learning is in good hands thanks to all of our efforts.

All the best,

Signature of John Spence

Service Learning Texas

Youth Leading Through Service

Grant Announcements

Do Something Growth Grants

Did you create a sustainable community action project, program or organization that you want to grow? Are you looking for funding to take your already successful project to the next level? If you answered “YES!”, you are eligible to apply for a Do Something Growth Grant. Do Something gives out a $500 Do Something Growth Grant every week to help young people just like YOU! Do Something Growth Grants are targeted towards projects that are already developed and sustainable. These grants go towards the next steps of your project and organization to help you as you look to expand your project and grow your impact. You will be notified whether or not you have won within 2-3 months after submission.

Do Something Seed Grants

Are you working to start a community action project or program? Do you need money to put your ideas into action? If you answered, “YES!”, you are eligible to apply for a Do Something Seed Grant. Do Something gives out a $500 Do Something Seed Grant every week to help young people just like YOU! Do Something Seed Grants are targeted towards project ideas and programs that are just getting started. These grants can be used to jump-start your program or to realize your ideas for the first time. These are grants for all types of community action projects around causes that you care about and are important in your community! You will be notified whether or not you have won within 2-3 months after submission.

Pepsi Refresh Project

Pepsi is looking for people, businesses, and non-profits with ideas that will have a positive impact. Look around your community and think about how you want to change it. Pepsi is accepting 1000 ideas every month. Applications will be accepted from the 1st through the 15th, or until we receive 1,000 ideas, whichever comes first. The August application period has closed, but you can begin preparing to submit beginning September 1.

WaysToHelp.org Grants

WaysToHelp.org invites teens in the United States to apply for grants to fund their community service ideas across any one of 16 issue areas.  You can apply for a grant, by visiting www.waystohelp.org and for any issue area, selecting "See Ways To Help" followed by "Apply for a Grant".  Applications are short - just 5,000 words or less - and should summarize: how the project will involve others, who it will help, what effect it's expected to have, when it will start and how the funds will be used.  Grant requests are reviewed and responded to on a monthly basis. www.waystohelp.org
 

Pepsi Refresh Project Grants

Pepsi is excited to officially kick-start the second year of its Refresh Project. Each month, Pepsi will award over $1.2 million for the innovative ideas with the most votes. This year, ideas will be accepted for only five days – ending midnight ET, April 9 - and then 1,500 ideas will be randomly selected. Starting in May, applications will be accepted from the first of the month at 12:00:01 pm ET through 11:59:59 pm ET on the 5th of each month. Go to Refresh Everything for mor information.