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Health Center Today, March 30, 2010

AHEC Awarded Summer of Service Grant to Establish Earth Service Corp Program

By Patricia Harrity

Northwestern CT AHEC logoNorthwestern CT AHEC (Area Health Education Center) was awarded a three year Summer of Service grant from the Corporation for National and Community Learn and Serve America. The three year grant, in the amount of $50,000 per year, will establish an Earth Service Corps Summer of Service Program with 100 middle school students at two sites in Connecticut including The Greater Waterbury YMCA’s Camp Mataucha and the Willimantic Public Schools 21st Century Community Learning Center summer program. The Earth Service Corps Summer of Service Program collaborative partners are Northwestern CT AHEC, the Greater Waterbury YMCA, Eastern CT AHEC and Willimantic Public Schools.

Northwestern and Eastern CT AHEC are two of four regional centers that make up the Connecticut AHEC Program located at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. The Connecticut AHEC Program provides continuing education resources for an array of health professions, recruits under-represented and disadvantaged persons into health care careers, and conducts health promotion activities.

The Earth Service Corps Summer of Service program will engage 100 middle school students in 100 hours of community service. Participants will be guided through a service learning project where they will make a direct and positive impact on the local environment. Students who complete the Earth Service Corps Summer of Service Program are eligible for a $500 educational award provided by the National Service Trust.

The Summer of Service program was established as part of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act enacted in April 2009. The Summer of Service Program supports collaborative efforts to establish service learning programs during the summer months engaging middle school students. This experience will motivate youth to become more civically engaged and aspire to obtain higher education.