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Letter to the Committee on Education and Labor Supporting the GIVE Act

March 10, 2009

Dear Representative:


The National Education Association, representing 3.2 million educators across the nation, urges your support for the GIVE Act (H.R. 1388), introduced by Chairman Miller and Representative McCarthy and scheduled for mark-up in the Education and Labor Committee this week.  This important legislation would call generations of Americans to serve and volunteer in areas of national need.

NEA supports the goal of this legislation to provide Americans with real opportunities to serve their communities.  Particularly in these troubling economic times, community service can play a critical role in rebuilding and strengthening areas in need.  In addition, participation in community service can provide real-world experience that will help educate and prepare today’s youth and displaced workers for new job opportunities.

We are particularly pleased that the GIVE Act would:

  • Strengthen existing service programs and create new innovative programs to help improve student achievement and graduation in low-income schools, including expansion of mentoring programs to help disadvantaged youth.
  • Provide new incentives for middle and high school students to volunteer in their communities, and allow them to earn a $500 education award to be used for college costs.
  • Increase the number of AmeriCorps volunteers and increase the education reward they receive to match the maximum Pell Grant scholarship award. 

These provisions will help engage more youth in service, empower them with the tools they need to lead, and ensure that they can continue and complete the education necessary for success in the 21st Century. 

Again, we urge your support for this important legislation. 

Sincerely,

Diane Shust
Director of Government Relations

Randall Moody
Manager of Federal Advocacy