National Volunteer Service in Jeopardy

March 27, 2017 – Our colleagues at the Points of Light have posted a commentary related to the proposed cuts to the Corporation for National and Community Service within the forthcoming national budget.

Here is an excerpt –

CNCS was created by Congress to be a public-private partnership that would decrease dependency on government and empower citizens to tackle tough issues and problem-solve together at the local level. Analyses have shown that for every $10 invested in CNCS by the federal government, another $15 is raised from private sources to fund the agency’s important programs that address community challenges. In 2015, CNCS generated $1.26 billion in outside resources from private businesses, foundations, and other sources, including investments from companies like Walmart, Home Depot, Target, Cisco, CSX and Citigroup that increase the return on taxpayer dollars. And, for every $1 the federal government invests in national service, there is a nearly $4 return on investment.

“National Service has a longstanding history of bipartisan support for being a cost-effective way to engage citizens, strengthen communities, create jobs, and bring people together,” said Neil Bush, Points of Light Chairman of the Board of Directors. “Coupled with major support and investments from the private sector, the impact of national service is far-reaching and deep in communities across America.”

Across the country, 80,000 AmeriCorps members and 270,000 Senior Corps members are currently serving local communities. In 2015, through the Points of Light network of local affiliates, more than 11,000 national service members contributed to the mobilization and support of volunteers. These national service members played an important role in the network’s impact in local communities, including more than 17 million hours of volunteer time given, more than 100,000 service projects completed, and more than $400 million in economic value.

A 2014 survey from Points of Light’s AmeriCorps Alums, called “Untapped Potential,” found the benefits of the year of service long surpass the time in service. Alums agreed that national service solidified their commitment to community and country, and that through national service, they developed skills to be better students, employees and citizens. AmeriCorps Alums is the only national network that connects the nearly 1 million alumni of all AmeriCorps programs who have served since 1994 to the people, ideas, and resources that support their commitment to a lifetime of service.

As Congress debates this budget, we have to make our voices heard. That’s where you come in.  Join us and our partners at Voices for National Service by calling your members of Congress today.

It only takes two minutes, and it makes a real difference. Voices for National Service has a sample script and talking points to guide you. If you’ve already called, please call again. If you haven’t called, now is the time.

America needs national service now more than ever. If you share our concerns about the broad impact of these cuts, we encourage you to make your voice heard.”


Youth Councils Strive for Lasting Change

December 17, 2016 – What would it take to change the world for the better?  Queens Library believes the journey towards creating the leaders of tomorrow starts with helping young people find their voice today.

Part of a citywide initiative created by NYC Service, Youth Leadership Councils (“YLCs”) provide young people, ages 14-21, with the chance to discuss current affairs and issues that affect their daily lives; and develop ways to address them using realistic ideas and actions.

Council members earn community service hours while developing skills in civic engagement, strategic planning, public speaking, marketing and event planning.  Councils have formed at Flushing Library and Teen Library at Far Rockaway.

Contact us to learn how you can become part of a library Leadership Council.


Conversations That Lead to Better Lives

December 17th, 2016 – Over two million New York residents are functionally illiterate and do not posses proper reading or writing skills.  That means that over 25% of the city’s population cannot read a prescription label, newspaper or fill out a job application.

Could you imagine not being able to read street signs to easily travel in your neighborhood or unable to help your child with their homework?  Think about the challenges of having to rely on others to explain sensitive and often personal topics such as finances or health.

Now, what if you could help change the direction of a person’s life?  Every day, volunteers from the Queens Library Adult Learner Program (ALP) work with men and women taking the monumental steps to learn how to read and write in English.

Volunteers lead English Conversation Groups that offer the chance to practice and improve speaking skills.  Volunteers receive training and support; and may draw on personal experiences to help group members navigate daily tasks and topics.

Join our team of caring and dynamic volunteers and make a difference today.  Training and sessions begin in January.



Bloomberg Brings Hour of Code to Library

December 17, 2016 – The world of computer science can be an intimidating one, but on December 12, Queens Library, with the help of Bloomberg Philanthropies, gave kids a programming head start by hosting the Hour of Code.

The Hour of Code is a worldwide effort to introduce millions of students to one hour of computer programming. It’s a celebration of computer science, created to demystify the world of coding and show that anybody can learn it if they’re given the chance. Over 400 partners and 200,000 educators across the globe supported the Hour of Code this year.

Thirty-two children at three community library locations—Long Island City, Ridgewood, and Richmond Hill—worked with volunteer instructors from Bloomberg Philanthropies and tools from to learn basic concepts of computer coding and have fun at the same time.

“All the instructors felt that it was really rewarding and that the kids got a lot out of it as well,” said Chris, one of the volunteers. “The students were engaged throughout their hour of computer education and had a fantastic experience.”

Thank you to Bloomberg Philanthropies for making Queens Library’s first Hour of Code an overwhelming success—and we look forward to the next one!

Visit the photo gallery of pictures from Queens Library’s Hour of Code.