|Receive the |
Kids from kindergarten to college are
embarking upon their summer breaks. Are you ready for more volunteer inquiries
from youth and families wanting to make a difference? If you're in the U.S., you should be especially prepared for
a greater than usual influx of applications due to the White House's "United We Serve
" initiative. Set to
officially begin June 22nd, it will provide a nationwide focus on
volunteering this summer that will likely have great appeal with young people.
Here are some resources to help you get
ready to make the most of youth and family volunteers this summer.
|Children as Volunteers: |
Preparing for Community Service
The only book expressly for agencies about how to
incorporate children into an adult volunteer program and find creative ways to
use children's fresh perspectives. Includes examples of actual volunteer
projects accomplished by youngsters, models of child-adult teams and tips on
family volunteering. Learn how to recruit, train and design assignments for
volunteers under the age of 14. Plus, special sections discuss mandated
school-based community service and legal issues.
US$9.00, electronic version
|More Resources on Youth and Family Volunteering
Working Shoulder to Shoulder: Stories and Strategies of Youth-Adult Partnerships That Succeed
Learn how to recruit youth
participants and welcome them with useful orientations, conduct successful,
engaging intergenerational meetings, build strong relationships between youth
and adult participants, support youth in leadership roles, and evaluate your
partnerships over time to measure success and to identify opportunities for
improvement. In addition to practical strategies, the volume offers success
stories from around the United States
Learn how these groups have put theory into practice, reaping the tremendous
benefits of working shoulder-to-shoulder with young people.
e-Volunteerism article: Developing Agency Capacity to Promote and Support Family Volunteerism
the late 1990s, the Volunteer Center of Battle Creek Michigan worked closely with the Points of Light Foundation and the W. K. Kellogg Foundation to adopt and implement the Family Matters program, which aimed at making "family volunteering the norm in
the U.S." This
article reports on some of the strategic decisions that were made to develop the
capacity of participating organizations to work with family (as well as
corporate) volunteers. A focal point of this article is a study of family
volunteers that explored the barriers and incentives to family volunteerism. (
If you are already an e-Volunteerism
you can read the full text here
e-Volunteerism Article: Reach Out to Youth - Their Way
The Glenbow Museum in Calgary, Alberta
has a dedicated volunteer corps that until recently was comprised mainly of
adults who had been serving the Museum for 20 to 30 years. The Glenbow made a
conscious decision to focus recruitment efforts on youth, especially students
from junior high to university. These young people have brought new enthusiasm
to the volunteer program and offer hope for maintaining volunteer commitment
into the future. This article examines what was learned about the special needs
of young volunteers, particularly in how to communicate our recruitment appeals
and how to support their efforts. (If you are already an e-Volunteerism
subscriber, you can read the full text here
Family Volunteering: The Final Report
, a free
e-book from Volunteering Canada
This study surveyed both volunteer managers and individual volunteers who
engage in family volunteering and reports on the results.
| Book Excerpt
The Case for Involving Children as Volunteers
From Children as Volunteers: Preparing for Community Service by Susan J. Ellis, Anne
Weisbord, and Katherine
are the citizens of tomorrow.
are the promise of the future.
don't know why something "can't" be done.
are an untapped resource.
such phrases that value children are repeated often enough to sound trite, in
modern society we rarely give our youngest citizens the opportunity to
contribute their ideas and talents. Even organizations that serve or advocate
for children perceive them primarily as recipients of service. Child labor laws
forbid most employment prior to age fourteen. The paid work that youngsters are
allowed to do (delivering papers, mowing lawns, running errands) is encouraged
more to teach responsibility than to utilize the potential of children.
is the perfect way for children to be welcomed as productive, active members of
a community. While many volunteer assignments do require credentials or
prior experience, a great number offer the chance to try something brand new
and value enthusiasm more than background. As volunteers, boys and girls can
demonstrate their independent abilities and can handle work according to their
actual skill level rather than be restricted by their age.
students and teenagers are increasingly welcome in organizations. This book
advocates the inclusion of even younger children. We recognize -- and will
discuss -- the need for practical management techniques to integrate youngsters
effectively into service delivery. Our position is that the effort is worth it.
In addition to the obvious benefit of "more hands," fresh ideas and energy are
just two of the other positive contributions children make to recipient
many adults are rediscovering the rewards of encouraging children to be social
contributors. The following is a list of actual projects in which
children under age fourteen have volunteered. The examples come from all over the
country and demonstrate the immense range of possibilities. Note how the
following structural elements are combined in the various projects described,
creating a diversity of program models:
- Children volunteering as
individuals or in groups.
- Ongoing projects or
- Formal programs within an
established agency or informal projects created independently.
- Help given to institutions
or given to individual people (indirect or direct services).
- Volunteering that is
intergenerational (child with adult), peer-to-peer (children of the same
age), or "mixed" children (children of one age serving children of another
and first graders constructed blue bird houses to try to boost the area's
dwindling eastern bluebird population...
and senior citizens worked together to grow vegetables in a community gardening
children were recruited for a "Kid's Way" component of a United
Way. They surveyed their peers about perceived
community problems, then decided how to fundraise from youth and which services
of youngsters assisted with state and local park maintenance by painting and cleaning
park buildings, clearing underbrush, maintaining trails, and constructing exhibits
from natural materials...
Three to five-year-olds teamed up with their mothers to visit nursing home residents who were
severely depressed. The teams built relationships with the residents, took them
for walks, and encouraged participation in activities...
and junior high students assisted the mainstreaming process and fostered a
better understanding of their disabled peers by creating: a peer tutoring program; a
class notes sharing system; a sign language club; and a joint swimming program involving
both disabled and non-disabled youngsters...
thirteen-, and fourteen-year-olds from a tough inner-city school worked with
civic and business leaders to identify community problems and examine possible
solutions. They organized a neighborhood health fair, lobbied for the removal
of abandoned buildings, and created a community garden...
granted for organizations to reprint this excerpt. Reprints must provide full
acknowledgment of the source, as cited here:
Excerpted from Children as Volunteers: Preparing for Community
by Susan J. Ellis, Anne Weisbord, and Katherine H. Noyes ©
2003, Energize, Inc. Found in the Energize, Inc. Online Bookstore at http://www.energizeinc.com/store/2-102-E-1
|Energize, Inc. |
5450 Wissahickon Ave., C-13
Philadelphia, PA 19144
Energize empowers and inspires leaders of volunteers worldwide. Our specialty is creating and selecting the most relevant, innovative resources in volunteer management. We're advocates for the power of volunteers and for the recognition of the leaders who unleash it.