Monday, October 23, 2006

Talk back: The World According to Sesame Street

This was our very first event with ITVS Community Cinema. We could not have asked for a better kickoff. Turn out was high and we had a fabulous panel representing the fields of children’s rights and cross-cultural and peace education.

The discussion was so wonderful, we'd hate for it to end there. Here is another opportunity for you and the rest of San Diego community to respond to the film. Use the "comments" link below to post questions, share insights and/or ideas of how to get involved. After all, Community Cinema is more than just a film forum; it is a tool for civic engagement!

Here are some questions to start you off...

In the film, Anu Gupta of Sesame Workshop says: “Children are not born haters…They are taught to hate. I think some of the values we teach are universal values.” What do you think these universal values are? What can you do in your daily life to promote such values?

Perhaps you watched Sesame Street growing up-or have children who did. If so, what impact did the show have on your or your children’s lives? How can a television program like Sesame Street improve understanding, especially between groups in conflict? How would you describe the power of television? What are its limitations?

Why did some on the South African team believe that it was important to address AIDS? Why would that decision have been difficult for U.S. producers? If you had been part of the production team, would you have supported the decision to create a Muppet with HIV? Why or why not?

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

The month of October has been dedicated to appreciating the accomplishments of individuals with disabilities, and raising awareness for equal employment opportunities. Adults with disabilities are an important part of the workforce, but the fight for equality continues. Read more:

On a similar note, a goal of Volunteer San Diego is to increase the participation of adults with disabilities in volunteer opportunities. Volunteering can give individuals a chance to give back to the community, gain professional skills, and meet new people. It is important that these opportunities are available to diverse groups of people. We are currently recruiting adults and veterans with disabilities to volunteer for DOORS (Disability Outreach Offering Resources through Services). The goal of this program is to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities through volunteer opportunities that promote financial empowerment. We are working with credit unions, career centers, and other local organizations to provide these opportunities.

Volunteer positions will include: tax preparers, greeters, site coordinators, translators, administrative assistants, data collectors and more. If you want to help, we will find a position for you!

Would you like to participate? Want to become a volunteer? Or do you belong to an organization that may have a volunteer opportunity or need in areas such as financial literacy, homeowner education, tutoring, or GED classes?

Contact: Stephanie Taube, Asset Development Coordinator, 858-636-4125,

For more information on issues related to people with disabilities, here are some great resources:

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Monday, October 16, 2006

A Service-Learning Opportunity - SB 638 Signed, Calif. Afterschool Programs Boosted

Governor Signs Torlakson Bill, SB 638

With little fanfare, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today signed SB 638 (Torlakson). This bill will dramatically change the administration of the state's After School Education and Safety (ASES) program, boosting funding from $122 million to $550 million, increasing the daily per-child rate and the grant caps, and allowing for direct grants instead of reimbursement, among other changes. This signing will signal the California Department of Education to open the application process for the funds. All public elementary and middle/junior high schools are eligible to apply for the grant.

The application process will be open for six weeks after applications are released, with award letters expected to follow in the late fall. Currently funded ASES grantees will not have to reapply unless they plan on opening new programs in addition to those already funded.

Local education agencies (LEA), school districts, cities or counties are qualified to apply. Non-profit, community-based programs can also participate in partnership and with approval of the LEA. Afterschool programs considering this funding are encouraged to work with their local school district to apply as soon as is practical, as the Department of Education anticipates a heavy volume of funding requests.

Volunteer San Diego's Service-Learning Trainiers can help with these grant submissions. We also provide a range of trainings and techincal assistance options.

For more CDE information: click here

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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Disaster Response Training Open to All

On Wednesday November 8th at 6pm in the United Way Building, we will be holding a training session for anyone interested in our disaster response program. No orientation or previous experience is necessary. A brief introduction to our program will begin the training, followed by a guided, hands-on approach to learning our system of processing volunteers in the event of a disaster.

We are looking for a cadre of highly motivated volunteers who will receive training in VSD’s systems and techniques for processing spontaneous volunteers in the hours and days following a disaster. Volunteers will be encouraged to develop ideas for improving our operations and will become key members of our response team. This is a great opportunity to make a difference in your community, learn new skills, tap into your creativity, and make new friends! Bilingual volunteers are especially welcome. For more information contact Colby: or by phone, 858-636-4132.
Or Sign up Now!

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Poll Workers Needed for November 7th Election

The Registrar of Voters still needs poll workers for the fast approaching November 7th Election. People serve their country and community in a lot of different ways, but this is one opportunity to serve that doesn’t come around very often but goes to the very heart of the democratic process. Additionally, workers receive a stipend ranging between $75 and $125 with an additional $15 for workers bilingual in Filipino, Vietnamese, or Spanish. We especially need workers comfortable with technology as we transition to full deployment of the touchscreens. You must be a registered voter and attend a 4 hour training which is offered days, evenings, and weekends. For more information please call (858)565-5800, visit the website at or email

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Monday, October 02, 2006

Check Out the New VSD Podcast

We have recently launched the Volunteer San Diego Podcast. A podcast is a set of media files typically distributed by a syndication feed from the internet. Our podcast is an episodic audio program that highlights volunteer opportunities and events from Volunteer San Diego. Various podcatchers, such as Apple iTunes, Yahoo! Music, and Google, provide a way to deliver new episodes to your computer every time they are available. The podcasts are free to download from any one of the podcatchers or through the web site. You can listen to the podcasts either on your computer or on your MP3 player.

New episodes of our podcast will be available at least twice monthly. Each show is less than ten minutes long. In past shows, we have featured some of the Volunteer San Diego staff, team leaders, and volunteers from Mira Mesa Homework Helpers, Hands On San Diego projects, and Kid's Night Out at Casey's Place. You can listen to individual episodes or subscribe through various podcatchers at our podcast page --

Thanks to VSD volunteer and board member, Brent Shintani, for creating these podcasts!

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