print-only banner
The White House Skip Main Navigation
In Focus
News by Date
Federal Facts
West Wing

 Home > News & Policies > August 2002

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
August 31, 2002

Fact Sheet: September of Service

Today in his radio address to the Nation, President Bush called upon all Americans to take part in a 'September of Service' by renewing, expanding or establishing their commitment to doing good.

  • The President encouraged America's students to begin a service activity or project this school year and introduced a new guidebook for educators to help them enlist America's young people in service to their communities and develop the habits of civic participation, responsibility, and service that are essential to American democratic life.
  • More than 130,000 public and private elementary and secondary schools, homeschools, and after-school programs around the country will receive copies of the Students in Service to America guidebook, a CD-ROM, posters and other teaching and community resources.
  • The President also announced that the Corporation for National and Community Service will dedicate the time and talents of 25,000 AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps volunteers to support student service activities and service-learning programs around the country.

Responding to Evil with Acts of Kindness

  • To help Americans respond to the evil we experienced on September 11 with acts of good, President Bush asked all Americans to serve their neighbors and their Nation. He created the USA Freedom Corps to help Americans of all ages - baby boomers entering retirement, seniors, professionals in the middle of their careers, families, and particularly, young people - answer his Call to Service.
  • As America observes the one year anniversary of the terrorist attacks that gave rise to the Call to Service, the President is encouraging more Americans to respond to the terrorist attacks with acts of good, and suggesting that they engage in volunteer service as a way of honoring the victims of the terrorist attacks.

Early Habits of Service

  • Like the members of the generations who came before them, America's young people have time and talents that they can share with those in need. Young people also have the unique capacity to build habits of service that will last for decades to come, and to experience service as part of their education and development as citizens of a democratic society.
  • To motivate more American students to get involved in their communities and develop these skills, the President is encouraging every American student to begin service projects or activities this school year.
  • To help young people get involved and stay involved, the U.S. Department of Education and Corporation for National and Community Service, as part of the USA Freedom Corps, developed a guidebook, CD-ROM and website in cooperation with the Points of Light Foundation - Students in Service to America, Engaging America's Students in a Lifelong Habit of Service.
  • The guidebook, CD-ROM and website offer research, guidance, tools, and other resources for planning service activities and service-learning programs to the adults who work with young people in schools, after-school programs, and through community groups and organizations. The information is designed to help them offer America's students the opportunity to meet vital community needs, develop their personal character, and learn about America's civic traditions and institutions.
  • Educators are being encouraged to expand upon a tradition of volunteer service in schools that involves individual service projects, service projects organized by student groups or faculty members, and formal service projects that link to academic lessons - the method known as service-learning. According to the U.S. Department of Education, service in schools has been growing over the past decade.

Honoring the Victims

  • September is a time of excitement and activity in classrooms across the country as teachers and students return to school. This year, educators will face an additional challenge as they begin the new school year - engaging their students in academic, reflection and memorial activities in connection with the first anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
  • Through its participation in Students in Service to America, the Points of Light Foundation offers educators access to hundreds of volunteer centers around the country to help them engage their students in answering the President's Call to Service. This September, and through the end of the year, the Points of Light Foundation also offers them the opportunity to designate student service projects as memorials to individual victims of the terrorist attacks through the USA Initiative.
  • The USA Initiative was established by Congress in 2001, and signed into law by President Bush. The Act calls for the creation of living memorials through service to those who lost their lives on September 11. Administered by the Points of Light Foundation, the USA Initiative offers educators a way to designate new or ongoing hands-on service projects such as food drives for local pantries, tutoring projects, park cleanups, community gardening, or playground building as USA Initiative activities.

New AmeriCorps and Senior Corps Support for Student Service

  • The Corporation for National and Community Service will dedicate 25,000 of the new AmeriCorps and Senior Corps positions requested by President Bush earlier this year for volunteers who will work with schools, after-school programs, community organizations and other groups to support student service activities linked to lessons on civic skills, character and responsibility, and academic skills and knowledge.
  • Approximately $20 million in grant funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service included in its current budget request will go to support these AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps volunteers. This is in addition to the more than $43 million the President requested for the Learn and Serve America program, which works to give young people opportunities to serve through service-learning in schools, community-based organizations and colleges and universities.

For More Information

For additional information on Students in Service to America go to or And for more information on the USA Initiative go to