Massachusetts Department of
Elementary and Secondary Education


75 Pleasant Street, Malden, Massachusetts 02148-4906 Telephone: (781) 338-3000

TTY: N.E.T. Relay 1-800-439-2370






October 7, 2009

Deborah Brady
North Middlesex Regional School District
23 Main Street
Townsend, MA 01469

Dear Dr. Brady,

Congratulations! North Middlesex Regional School District has been awarded a competitive grant for Community Service-Learning through Fund Code 354-B in the amount of $10,500. This grant award period will run from October 7, 2009 through August 31, 2010. Continuation funds for 2010-2011 will be available to your district based on successful implementation of this year’s grant, as well as compliance with grant reporting, evaluation, and meeting requirements. As a recipient of these funds, you will join over fifty districts this year in engaging students and teachers in service-learning. I am excited to support your efforts as you undertake this work.

This grant is awarded based on the proposal submitted by your district, and is contingent upon adherence to applicable Learn and Serve America provisions. As you may know, Learn and Serve America provides the funding to support these grants, as well as many resources for educators implementing service-learning. The National Service-Learning Clearinghouse is a tremendous resource that I encourage you to make use of and share resources with as you implement your grant. The Clearinghouse website is: http://www.servicelearning.org/.

During the grant review process, a number of strengths were identified in your grant proposal. I look forward to working with you as you begin these activities.

To follow are a few important items to be aware of as you get started with your grant this year:

1. CSL Grantee Orientation Call
In order to ensure that you have all of the information that you need to begin to implement your CSL grant, I would like to set up a brief telephone call during the week of October 19-22. During the call, we can go over grant reporting requirements and I can answer any questions you might have about your award. Please send me two or three dates/times that you are available during that week for this call.

2. Training and Technical Assistance Needs Survey
During school year 2009-2010, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) and its partners will be holding a number of trainings and networking sessions for educators involved in service-learning. An event calendar will be emailed out and posted to the Department’s CSL website at [[Local Settings/Temporary Internet Files/Local Settings/Temporary Internet Files/OLKD7/www.doe.mass.edu/csl|www.doe.mass.edu/csl]].

To help us plan for these sessions and ensure that we are meeting your training/TA needs, please take a few moments and complete a Training/TA Needs Survey at the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=ODbYYLvCRjoL8GhAn2njng_3d_3d
(If the link does not work by clicking on it, please copy and paste it into your internet browser.) Please complete this survey as soon as possible.

3. CSL Program Evaluation Requirements
As a CSL grant recipient, you have agreed to participate in program evaluation activities. These activities include administering student, teacher, and community partner surveys. The surveys are available online and I will be in touch to assist you with implementing this requirement. The results from this evaluation will be used to assess as well as promote service-learning and its benefits. I thank you in advance for your participation in this important work.

4. National Youth Leadership Council High-Quality Service-Learning Standards
The National Youth Leadership Council has developed a set of standards that set the bar for high-quality service-learning practice. Based on the growing field of research, these standards can help practitioners to maximize the impact of service-learning for students and communities. The Department and MSA will be incorporating these standards into trainings, and they should be shared with your teachers and staff who are implementing service-learning, as well as be a part of any training, technical assistance, and professional development offered in your district. For more information and to view the standards, visit www.nylc.org/standards.

5. Learn and Serve Challenge Week (October 5-11, 2009)
Join in the 3rd Annual Learn and Serve Challenge Week to help raise awareness and build support for service-learning. Across the nation, schools and organizations will be highlighting service-learning through media events, project kickoffs, or just spreading the word about service-learning in newsletters and on websites. Given the timing, perhaps this would be a great time to send out a press release announcing your award! The following link to the Learn and Serve Challenge website takes you to a number of ideas and resources to help you as you prepare for this exciting week. http://www.learnandservechallenge.org/

6. MLK Day of Service (January 18, 2010) and Global Youth Service Day (April 23-25, 2010)
In 1994 Congress passed the King Holiday and Service Act, designating the King Holiday as a national day of volunteer service. Instead of a day off from work or school, Congress asked Americans of all backgrounds and ages to celebrate Dr. King's legacy by turning community concerns into citizen action. The King Day of Service brings together people who might not ordinarily meet, breaks down barriers that have divided us in the past, leads to better understanding and ongoing relationships, and is an opportunity to recruit new volunteers for your ongoing work. Please plan on including the MLK Day of Service in your plans for service-learning this year. For more information and resources visit: http://www.mlkday.gov/.

Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) is the largest annual celebration of young volunteers, where millions of young people in countries everywhere carry out thousands of community improvement projects. All organizations are encouraged to plan youth-led community service projects that involve the broader community in GYSD or showcase existing projects to the media and surrounding community. Consider including a Global Youth Service Day project in your plans for service-learning this year. For more information and resources visit: www.YSA.org/gysd.

Once again, congratulations on your grant award. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns.

Best,

Kristen McKinnon

Kristen McKinnon
Community Service-Learning Specialist
781-338-6306
kmckinnon@doe.mass.edu