The first-ever Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service will be celebrated at a reception at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 9 at the Belmont Recreation Center, 1234 Judson. Aging Partners and the Parks and Recreation Department are sponsoring the event, which will include the reading of a proclamation Mayor Chris Beutler has issued for the observance. Lincoln has eight National Service programs, and 184 AmeriCorps, Senior Corps and VISTA members will be recognized for their service.
More than 600 mayors are participating in the nationwide bipartisan effort to highlight the impact of national service in tackling city problems. "I am very grateful for the dedication and sacrifice of these AmeriCorps, Senior Corps and VISTA members," said Mayor Beutler. "They work every day to help make Lincoln stronger, safer and healthier, and their services will have a positive and lasting impact on our community.
The reception also will feature a reading of "The Giving Tree" to a group of Belmont Elementary School kindergartners by Lynn Wallasky, Federal Programs Title I Coordinator for the Lincoln Public Schools (LPS). The book shares a message about unconditional giving, and the Mayor said that epitomizes the mission of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) - "to improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering."
The National Service programs in Lincoln are supported by $1.3 million in grant funding annually. The City of Lincoln receives 82 National Service members and $658,829 in grant funding for both the Parks and Recreation Department's AmeriCorps and Aging Partners' Senior Corps programs. The City partners with more than a dozen local private nonprofits and LPS to implement National Service programs.
AmeriCorps members help recruit and manage over 500 volunteers working more than 2,000 hours annually. Their service projects include providing homework help and after-school physical education and recreational opportunities to more than 2,700 low-income, minority and/or new American children living in Lincoln's low-to-moderate income neighborhoods.
Senior Corps includes Foster Grandparents and Senior Companions. Foster Grandparents serve as tutors and mentors to 131 students with special needs, and 18 Senior Companions provide support to 115 homebound seniors and other adults, helping them maintain their independence.
The Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service was conceived by Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter, President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. The observance provides an opportunity to recognize the positive impact of National Service in cities, to thank those who serve, and to encourage citizens to give back to their communities. The day is sponsored by the CNCS, the National League of Cities and Cities of Service. For more information, visit nationalservice.gov/mayorsforservice.