AMES, Iowa -- Young people in Des Moines and Marshalltown will participate in Global Youth Service Day on April 23 as part of Iowa State University Extension 4-H Reach Out Iowa. They join youth in more than 100 countries to address critical community issues in partnership with families, schools, community and faith-based organizations, businesses and governments.
In Des Moines, Hoover High School students are partnering with ISU Extension, the Des Moines Register, Global Youth Services, Gear Up and Scheel’s to complete a number of service-learning projects in connection with Global Youth Service Day.
A core group of 11 Hoover High School students and five staff members formed the STARS (Sharing Talents and Resources through Service) committee to plan the day of service with the goal of helping students “take notice of our community,” as LeAndre Lee stated. Student Aleksandra Vujicic sees the day as something that will “enrich students’ lives and open their eyes to future opportunities.”
Events planned by the Des Moines group include assisting with elementary, preschool and retirement facility activities, landscaping help at Ewing Park, soccer clinic for Special Olympics athletes, and assisting at the animal rescue league and DMARC food pantry.
In Marshalltown, youth in grades six through 12 will learn what to pick up, what to recycle and where to go as they participate in a city clean up service learning project.
“Service learning projects are more than just picking up litter and helping in a classroom,” said Marc Peterson. “Reach Out Iowa projects ask youth to help identify the need, then plan and carry out the activities. This is an educational strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience and to develop civic responsibility.”
Reach Out Iowa is funded by a federal grant awarded to the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service, implemented in partnership with Iowa State University Extension in six communities – Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Humboldt, Marshalltown, Waterloo and Winterset. The Global Youth Service Day projects are part of this wider effort to involve young people in community outreach efforts throughout Iowa.
For more information about the April 23 projects or opportunities to participate in Reach Out Iowa programs in Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Humboldt, Marshalltown, Waterloo or Winterset, visit iowa4hservicelearning.ning.com/ or contact Marc Peterson at 515-957-5780.