Eligibility, Guidelines for Summer-Service Plan Outlined

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WASHINGTON--President Clinton's "summer of service'' initiative plans to fund programs operated through partnerships between higher education institutions and such entities as public and private schools, youth corps, health- and social-service providers, government agencies, and community groups, the Administration announced last week.

In the March 8 Federal Register, the Commission on National and Community Service outlined eligibility and proposal guidelines for the $15 million program, which Administration officials have said is designed to demonstrate the potential of national service, inspire young people, and provide community improvements.

Funding for the summer program has not yet been appropriated by Congress; it is included in President Clinton's proposed fiscal year 1993 supplemental spending bill, which lawmakers began work on last week.

But the call for proposals went out last week so that interested parties would have time to develop them by the April 1 deadline. The Administration hopes to make awards two weeks later, and recipients are expected to put them into operation soon afterward.

Mr. Clinton first announced the summer program in a March 1 speech in which he outlined his plan for a National Service Trust Fund. (See Education Week, March 10, 1993.)

Further details surfaced last week in a letter from the White House to parties involved in the trust's development.

The Administration intends to involve states in its national program and to ask governors to establish state national service commissions that would oversee service programs in their states, the letter said.

The letter also said that three types of grants would be available from the trust: single-year grants for start-up costs, multi-year grants for program operation, and grants to established programs. The federal government will determine what programs qualify for funding, develop a national training program, and evaluate and monitor programs.

It also said the program would provide participants with a minimum wage and health- and child-care benefits if applicable. Postcollegiate servers could earn as much as $10,000 in loan forgiveness for each of two years of service; others would receive a post-service stipend of $5,000 for each of two years of service to apply to education or training.

A Trial Run

The summer program, said Catherine Milton, the executive director of the commission, will help "all of us learn more about aspects of national service so that when the larger program is ready, we'll be able to draw from our experiences.''

Of the $15 million Mr. Clinton has requested, $10 million would be available for grants in four to 10 areas around the country. Each area, which may include several service programs, must engage between 50 and 500 young people between the ages of 17 and 25 in community service.

Participants would receive at least a minimum wage and a $1,000 stipend at the end of the summer.

While the program is to be open to recent college graduates, college students, recent high school graduates, high school students, and non-college-bound youths, priority will be given to projects that solicit volunteer help from middle school students.

Over all, 1,800 servers are expected to participate for at least eight weeks.

The Administration intends to use the remaining $5 million to boost participation in successful youth corps programs, provide summer training that aims to help precollegiate teachers integrate service into the curriculum, and to fund summer-associate positions in the Volunteers In Service To America, or VISTA, program.

The Administration also plans four-day training session for project directors and supervisors, tentatively scheduled for May 21-24; a five-day training session for participants, tentatively scheduled for June 21-25; and a Washington, D.C., summit on national service, which is likely to take place during the second or third weekend in August.

Vol. 12, Issue 25

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