East Stroudsburg, PA – Youth Infusion, Inc. is working with its community partners of Northeast Pennsylvania to recognize community service and service-learning projects of children and youth that have taken place this semester.
Developed by Youth Service America, Semester of Service is a school-based, service-learning framework through which young people apply what they are learning in the classroom to critical needs in their communities. Semester of Service projects address critical community problems and their root causes – problems such as water scarcity, childhood obesity, environmental degradation, energy conservation, poverty, hunger and homelessness, high school dropouts, and illiteracy. The Semester of Service campaign began in January 2012, kicking off on Martin Luther King, Jr. National Day of Service and it ends on Global Youth Service Day (April 20, 2012 through April 22, 2012).
As a Lead Agency, Youth Infusion, Inc. received a grant to coordinate local Semester of Service projects, promoting the idea that children and youth are assets and resources to their communities. Patricia Tiernan of East Stroudsburg High School South says, “The Cavalier Justice Academy at East Stroudsburg High School South has been in partnership with Youth Infusion, Inc. since 2009. Over these years, hundreds of students have participated in semester long, school-based service learning projects which bridge the gap between school and community. This spring, the Cavalier Justice Academy and Youth Infusion, Inc. are partnering for YSA’s Semester of Service and Global Youth Service Day. A class of 28 students will be completing the IPARDC process with the help of Youth Infusion, Inc. on the theme of safety. Students will be creating action projects on the following subtopics: sexual safety, community safety, driving safety, on-line safety, and self-defense. Youth Infusion, Inc. brings experts, expertise, media, and real world opportunities into the classroom. Through our partnership, students develop professional speaking skills, active listening skills, and critical thinking skills that enable them to become agents of change in their school and community. Youth Infusion, Inc. has been an indispensable partner for each of our school based service learning initiatives. Through my partnership with YI, I have seen students go from disengaged receivers of knowledge to engaged generators of knowledge and activists who are prepared to be professionals and activist-citizens when they leave ESHS-S.”
In November 2011, Youth Infusion, Inc. developed a coalition of community partners including representatives from East Stroudsburg Area School District, East Stroudsburg University, Northampton Community College, Pocono Services for Families and Children, Stroud Region Open Space and Recreation Commission, Stroud Area Regional Police Department, United Way of Monroe County and the Office of State Representative Rosemary Brown. The main goals of the coalition were to first identify the ways in which local youth were positively impacting the community throughout the semester and then to document the work of these young people through the web portal developed by Youth Service America.
Throughout Northeast Pennsylvania, the coalition identified at least seven organizations that have been working with young people in the development and implementation of service and service-learning projects. At least 28 projects have been developed by the following organizations throughout the Semester of Service:
- Northampton Community College
- Youth Infusion, Inc.
- East Stroudsburg University
- East Stroudsburg Area School District
- Pocono Services for Families and Children
- El Sistema Lehigh Valley
For a complete list of all Semester of Service projects, including detailed information on each project, please visit www.gysd.org/map. Semester of Service is coordinated by Youth Service America and sponsored by the State Farm Companies Foundation and the Sodexo Foundation. For more information about local events or to get involved, please contact Youth Infusion, Inc. at (570) 266-5125 or visit www.youthinfusion.org.
Youth Service America (YSA) improves communities by increasing the number and the diversity of young people, ages 5-25, serving in substantive roles. Founded in 1986, YSA supports a global culture of engaged youth committed to a lifetime of service, learning leadership, and achievement. The impact of YSA’s work through service and service-learning is measured in student achievement, workplace readiness, and healthy communities. For more information, visit www.YSA.org.