Monday, June 30, 2008

Thank You VSD Board Members

Today is the last day of several of our Board Members' terms, and we would like to send out a hearty round of thank-yous for all of the hard work that they have contributed over the years. Beth Rolls Mathewson, Debra Patterson, Eric Welch and outgoing Board President Bob Alden are all leaving because they have maxed out their term limits. Several of them have been with us before VSD was VSD, and their participation has helped to make us the fabulous organization that we are today. We will truly miss their presence on the Board and we hope they will continue their involvement in other ways.

We leave you with an inspiring image of our outgoing president Bob Alden because his level of committment to Volunteer San Diego has been above and beyond the normal call of duty for a Board President. Between attending every event, djing and singing, and even throwing his own VSD benefit parties, Bob leaves enormous shoes to fill.

Thank you Beth, Debra, Eric and Bob!

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Service-Learning: One Solution to the Dropout Crisis

The National Dropout Prevention Center puts out a monthly webcast exploring ways to keep youth in school. This month's episode introduces Service-Learning as a strategy to keep students more engaged in the curriculum and therefore less likely to dropout. The NDPC "has long advocated service-learning as a teaching methodology with considerable potential to prevent dropouts." This webcast gives an overview of service-learning and how to "effectively incorporate specific strategies to promote youth engagement in the service-learning process in order to foster their resilience."

Listen to the webcast here, and for more of their resources relating to dropout prevention, click here.

Volunteer San Diego is proud to support Service-Learning in San Diego County. Check out the Educators section of our website or for more information on incorporating Service-Learning into your classroom.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Bob Alden in the Community Spotlight

Our Board President Bob Alden has the honor of being the 2nd VSD member to be interviewed for Sign on San Diego's Community Spotlight. Scroll down to the June 6th entry to hear Bob's take on "the state of volunteerism in our region and how volunteering has evolved in recent years."

Sue Carter, our Executive Director, was previously interviewed on May 9th. Look for more VSD related Hijinks on the Community Spotlight soon!

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Friday, June 20, 2008

New Flex Online Orientation

For those of you interested in becoming a Flex Member but haven't had a chance to make it out to one of our orientations, now you can attend online! Flex Members can participate in projects once a week, once a month, or once in a while. The one-time nature of the Flex program makes it the perfect way to test out many different opportunities and find the one that best matches your interests.

Important: make sure you are logged in to the VSD site before beginning the orientation. The system will not activate your Flex Member status if you are not logged in.

Click here to become a Flex Member today!

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Engaging Students in Service Training this Tuesday

Coming up on Tuesday, June 24th is another installment of our popular Service-Learning trainings, Engaging Students in Service: The Comprehensive Service-Learning Experience. Students are a great source of volunteer power because many of them need to complete service hours as a requirement for their school, and this training covers ways volunteer managers can incorporate youth volunteers into their programs.

This hands-on training is an “All-in-One.” You will receive our introduction to service-learning, as well as two additional “In Focus” workshops exploring service-learning in the context of on-site projects and character education. There is a $50 fee for all attendees to this training.

For more information on what is covered at this training and to sign up, click here.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Help I've Got a difficult Volunteer!

Fear not, help is on the way! Join us Wednesday the 18th, 11:45-1:15 for this month's DOVIA brown bag. Bring your best ideas, experiences, strategies, energy, enthusiasm, business cards and lunch!

Learn how to deal with difficult volunteers, resolve conflicts successfully, give directions effectively, and how to let a volunteer go. DOVIA Brown bags are a great opportunities to meet volunteer professionals in San Diego County and to work together and find solutions to common problems.

If you are interested, please sign up on our website. Free to members; $5 for non-members.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Intergenerational School brings Older Volunteers into Schools

NPR ran a great story this morning about a school in Cleveland that brings young and old together through volunteerism. The Intergenerational School buses in folks in their 80s and 90s to read to children and talk about their life experiences. Some of the volunteers have Alzheimer's or dementia, but this hasn't proved to be an impediment to their work. In fact Dr. Peter Whitehouse, the founder of the school, believes that volunteering has numerous health benefits to Alzheimer's patients. Whitehouse has been working with Daniel George to study the effects of volunteerism:

Whitehouse and George say they see a change in volunteers such as 91-year-old Hardesty. She doesn't use the words Alzheimer's or dementia. Instead, she talks about her "problem." She says that when it developed late last year, it hit her hard.
"I thought I might as well quit," Hardesty says. "I was really down in the dumps about the whole thing. There was a time that I hated to go down to dinner because I just couldn't talk to people. It was awful." For a while she stopped going to the dining hall. Two things lifted her from that despair: a support group for people dealing with memory loss and her volunteer work at the Cleveland school.
"The kids, you know, we always find a lot of things to laugh about," says Hardesty. "Just having kids around has always been very good for me, so it was good thing."

If you have a few moments the story is worth a listen!

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Monday, June 09, 2008

VSD on Flickr

Want to be inspired? Check out VSD's new Flickr Page! Pictures of our youth service events, corporate volunteering programs and much more are starting to make their way to the internet. You can see some of the impact that volunteers have had on San Diego County in these photos, and be inspired to take on projects of your own!

If you have a flickr account, join our group! You can post pictures you've taken at volunteer projects and events on the VSD group page. Show everyone the difference you have made in your community.

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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Apply to be a SAVY Leader today!

The SAVY Leaders, a youth leadership council, don’t just participate in service projects, they plan, lead and reflect on those events, identify problems in the community, and work to develop effective and meaningful solutions.

Applications are being accepted until June 12th for the 2008-09 school year. If you are a high school student interested in making new friends and a difference in your community, the SAVY leaders are for you!

Download an application here.

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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

HOSD Art Contest

There are a few days left to submit your piece of original artwork to the annual Hands On San Diego Art Contest! If you are an artist or just wish you were, depict the fun and rewards of volunteering and your design could be worn by thousands of volunteers across the county! The art contest is open to people of all ages, with special categories for grades K-12. In addition to the Grand Prize, there are great prizes for the winner of each age category. Download the guidelines and submission form here, and be sure to get your entry in by this Friday!

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Monday, June 02, 2008

Looking for HOSD Site Captains

This September VSD is teaming up with VAVi to complete a series of recreation center makeovers throughout San Diego. There is much work to be done and your help is needed! Each rec. center needs a Site Captain. Site Captains are the backbone of these rec. center projects; we couldn't do this without you! Each Site Captain is assigned to one site. Your first task will be to further develop and plan for the projects that will take place at the site for Hands On San Diego. Visit the rec. center and meet with key staff to discuss the projects previously identified by VSD and VAVi.

Other responsibilities include coordinating projects, verifying supplies, managing volunteer teams and solving minor problems. Don't worry though, experienced VSD staff members will be there to guide you every step of the way; training will be provided. This is a great way to give back to your community and develop yourself as a leader. To sign up, contact: Claudia Barrett, 858-636-4124.

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