Please check out the following resources, websites, and documents for information that is good to know!

AmeriCorps Education Awards

AmeriCorps members who complete a year of service earn an Education Award of $5,550

AmeriCorps Montand Ed Awards

Download the AmeriCorps Montana Member Education Award Fact Sheet

Since 1994, AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps VISTA members completing their service in the state of Montana have earned more than $16 million in Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards. Education awards earned through AmeriCorps can be used toward furthering a member’s education whether through a traditional four year college or other courses such as those offered at Sage Technical Institute and Aerie Backcountry Medicine.

Some of the more surprising data presented in the map above is the large dollar value of education awards being distributed to New York, Pennsylvania and Georgia. These three states stand out in the data due to the presence of either federal lenders, or large federal loan processors. Consequently, many of the dollars reaching Montana institutions (coming in in the form of federal loans) are not represented in this data.

Upon earning an Education Award, AmeriCorps Alumni have seven years to use it to attend school, purchase education supplies, or to pay off student loans. Those who are 55 and older when they serve can transfer their Education Award to children or grandchildren. Education awards can be used at Title IV colleges and universities as well as trade schools, apprentice programs, and outdoor education programs.

Learn more about Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards at edaward.org.

See the list of Education Awards to Montana Institutions from 1995 to January 2012.

Governor Schweitzer’s Energy Intern Program

 

Energy Interns in Montana…

Gain work experience related to their studies,

Earn money for college, and

Contribute to the state’s booming energy sector!

EnergyIntern.com

For the last two years, Governor Schweitzer’s Energy Intern Program has provided work opportunities for Montana college students through a unique partnership between Montana schools, businesses, and government. Since the first intern started in May of 2011, 99 interns have contributed over 18,000 hours to Montana’s burgeoning energy sector. When the program ends in December 2012, it will have distributed over $232,000 in scholarships to financially needy students from Montana’s public and tribal colleges.

Bowen Humphrey and Craig Brewer, interns at the UM Sustainability Office, presenting at the Governor’s Innovation Day

Energy Interns have worked on a variety of projects across Montana including conducting water sampling, developing recycling initiatives, creating monitoring tools for home energy use, testing fuel cells, leading hydropower dam tours, teaching sustainable agricultural practices to youth, and so much more. Read about all the Energy Intern projects at energyintern.com/about.

Energy Interns have served at 60 host sites across the state. From nonprofits to electric cooperatives to the US Army Corps of Engineers- host sites have covered the spectrum of energy-related fields. Find a map of all the Energy Intern host sites at energyintern.com/host-site.

The first energy interns with Governor Schweitzer in 2011

Governor Schweitzer’s Energy Intern Program was funded by a US Department of Education grant. The program was conducted by the Governor's Office of Community Service, in partnership with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development as well as the Department of Commerce’s Energy Promotion and Development Division.

National Service in Montana

Natinoal Service Logos

National Service truly makes a difference in Montana but understanding how it works can be confusing. National Service programs include AmeriCorps, AmeriCorps VISTA, and Senior Corps. AmeriCorps members serve through 12 different programs under three different umbrellas- AmeriCorps State, AmeriCorps National, and AmeriCorps NCCC. AmeriCorps VISTAs serve through one of five VISTA projects. Senior Corps’ three programs are RSVP, Foster Grandparents, and Senior Companions. All National Service programs are funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

CNCS Flow Chart

Download the flowchart of National Service programs in Montana.

Nationals Service Contacts

Learn more about all National Service programs by visiting www.nationalservice.gov.

AmeriCorps in Montana

AmeriCorps members serve all across Montana. This map shows where current AmeriCorps members are serving, but note that not all members serve full time for a year. Contact information listed is for their host site or parent organization. Those interesting in applying to serve as an AmeriCorps member should visit www.americorps.gov.

View AmeriCorps in Montana in a full screen map

Citizen Service Before Self Honors

Citizen Service Honors

Nominate an Unsung Hero for Citizen Service Before Self Honors, a National Award Given by Medal of Honor Recipients

Heroes are made everyday. A hero could be a family member, neighbor, friend, or coworker, who has heroically risked his life to save another’s, or the hero may have sacrificed his time and resources selflessly to help another in need.

Take a moment and recognize these unsung heroes for a national award. The Citizen Service Before Self Honors award is presented to three United States citizens each year by members of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society who themselves have received the nation’s highest award for valor—the Medal of Honor.

Citizen Service Before Self Honors recognizes and honors those ordinary Americans who have clearly demonstrated a willingness to sacrifice for others. The sacrifice may include a single act of extraordinary heroism at risk to one’s life, or through a prolonged series of selfless acts on behalf of their fellow citizens.

You can nominate a hero from your community by completing the nominations form online at www.CitizenServiceBeforeSelfHonors.org. Nominations must be received by Friday, December 28, 2012. All nominations will be considered, and a panel of Medal of Honor recipients will select three individuals to receive Citizen Service Before Self Honors at a national awards ceremony on March 25 2013, in conjunction with National Medal of Honor Day at Arlington Cemetery in Arlington, VA.

Help America’s greatest war heroes, Medal of Honor recipients, find citizen heroes—unsung heroes who deserve to be recognized nationally.

AmeriCorps NCCC RFA

NCCC

AmeriCorps NCCC members with ServeMontana Staff, May 2012

Apply to Host an AmeriCorps NCCC Team!

Could your organization use a team of hardworking young people dedicated to improving communities like yours?

AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) is currently accepting applications from prospective NCCC Sponsors!

NCCC

What is NCCC?

The mission of AmeriCorps NCCC is to strengthen communities and develop leaders through team-based national and community service. The AmeriCorps NCCC Pacific Region Campus is based in Sacramento, California and serves Washington, Oregon, Nevada, California, Wyoming, Montana, Hawaii, Alaska, Idaho, Utah, and the Pacific Territories.

NCCC engages teams of 9-12 members in 3-9 week service projects that address critical needs related to natural and other disasters, infrastructure improvement, environmental stewardship and conservation, energy conservation, & urban and rural development.

Who can apply?

  • Nonprofits
  • Faith-based Organizations
  • Local and County Governments
  • Federal Government
  • National or State Parks
  • Indian Tribes
  • Schools or School Districts

Examples of past projects throughout our region have included:

  • Construction of low-income housing
  • Disaster response and recovery
  • Fuels reduction
  • Disaster preparedness education and outreach
  • Camp improvements
  • Tax preparation for low-income families
  • Weatherization and replacing traditional light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs
  • Trail construction and maintenance
  • Food bank program support
  • General facilities improvement and beautification projects

Learn More:

The AmeriCorps NCCC Pacific region accepts project applications on a rolling basis. NCCC teams serve four rounds starting November 2012. Check the schedule below to see when your application is due. Note that your project must fit within a project round. If you are a new project, you will need to submit a project concept form one month before the application deadline.

Application Deadline Schedule
Round 1 (Early Nov. to mid Dec.)  Deadline: August 2, 2012
Round 2 (Early Jan. to mid March) Deadline: September 5, 2012
Round 3 (End March to end May) Deadline: December 17, 2012
Round 5 (Early June to Early July ) Deadline: February 4, 2013

Please download the Class 19 Pacific Region RFA for application instructions.

Learn more about AmeriCorps NCCC at www.americorps.gov/NCCC.

Find the project application form here.

Contact:

Deanne Reeves
AmeriCorps NCCC Pacific Region
916-640-0317
dreeves@cns.gov

VISTA Summer Associate Program

Apply Today!

Gain Job Skills, Earn Money for College, and Make a Difference!

AmeriCorps VISTA

There are 34 open positions for AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associates in Montana. During 8-10 weeks of service, you can help with summer feeding programs, assist with summer education programs, build community-school partnerships, or support veterans and military families.

The AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associates is a great opportunity for Montana college students to participate in service over the summer, earn a living allowance, get great experience and receive an education award!

Find a Summer VISTA Associate Position at www.americorps.gov.

Download the fact sheet.

Find a local VISTA Project Contact.


Continue Reading

New Partnership to Strengthen Disaster Services

FEMA-AmeriCorps Partnership to Strengthen Response and Recovery Efforts Following Disasters

Dear Service Leader,

We are pleased to launch a new chapter in the history of national service with today’s announcement of a partnership with FEMA to strengthen the nation’s ability to respond to and recover from disasters and expand career opportunities for young people.

This innovative partnership builds on our long history of working with FEMA and will create a new unit of AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) devoted solely to disaster preparedness, response, and recovery efforts. The five-year agreement provides for an additional 1,600 AmeriCorps NCCC members annually to supplement our current NCCC force.

The members will strengthen the nation’s disaster response capacity and increase diversity of the disaster workforce, while providing educational and economic opportunities for young people as they consider their future careers. Just like current NCCC members, the members of this new unit will serve for a 10-month term with an option to extend for a second term. Once trained by CNCS and FEMA, members will provide support in areas ranging from working directly with disaster survivors and supporting disaster recovery centers to managing volunteers and sharing disaster preparedness information with the public. The first members of FEMA Corps will begin serving in September 2012 and the program will reach full capacity within 18 months.

This innovative partnership is a win all around - benefiting communities and individuals affected by disasters; disaster response organizations; young people who serve; and the taxpayer. The partnership will: 

  • Provide a trained and reliable resource dedicated to support disaster operations, while enhancing the reliability and diversity of the entire emergency management workforce.
  • Achieve significant cost savings to the taxpayer. When the program is at full operational capability, and in an average disaster year, the initiative is expected to see a savings of approximately $60 million per year.
  • Prepare thousands of young people for careers in emergency management and related fields by providing training, experience, and educational opportunity
  • Strengthen our nation’s culture of service and civic engagement by mobilizing corps members and community volunteers to provide critical disaster services.
  • Advance the Administration’s management goals of working across government, managing across sectors, and promoting efficiency.

You can learn more about this initiative from our press release.

This is an important partnership for both CNCS and FEMA that will allow us to continue to focus on the work we do to support disaster survivors and impacted communities during their greatest time of need. As AmeriCorps NCCC expands its disaster response capacity through this initiative, we will continue to strengthen disaster services through AmeriCorps State/National, VISTA, Senior Corps and our other initiatives and programs. As always, we appreciate the outstanding work of the national service network in disaster recovery and response, and many other critical challenges facing our nation.

Today is a day to celebrate an exciting new chapter for CNCS and the national service field that reflects a proud history and bright future of supporting Americans during their greatest time of need.

Best,

Robert Velasco

Acting CEO

Corporation for National and Community Service

To learn more about FEMA Corps or to apply (individuals aged 18-24), please see the AmeriCorps website at http://www.nationalservice.gov or FEMA's website at http://www.fema.gov/

2012 - Corporation for National and Community Service

Building Organizational Effectiveness

Montana Nonprofit Connections

News Release

The Big Sky Institute for the Advancement of Nonprofits (BSI) announces the availability of its Montana Nonprofit Connections Directory of 52 Montana nonprofit organizational development consultants, a major com ponent of BSI ‘s new website. During these difficult economic times, funders are recommending the use of consultants and capacity building to help nonprofits deal with the challenges they face.

The Directory can be searched by 12 areas of consultant expertise such as board development, financial management, fundraising, communications/marketing and public relations, organizational and program planning and human resources, as well as by consultant/company name and business location [read more]

Please feel free to distribute this information via your electronic/print newsletters, listserves, or via email to your organization’s members.

Information provided by:

Bill Pratt, Projects Director

Big Sky Institute for the Advancement of Nonprofits

406-443-5860

bpratt@bigskyinstitute.org

www.bigskyinstitute.org

 

NCCC in Montana

AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) is a 10-month, full-time, team-based residential program for men and women ages 18 to 24 years of age who want to get ahead and leave their mark on society. NCCC is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that improves lives, strengthens communities, and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. NCCC Teams periodically serve in Montana out of the NCCC Pacific Region Campus located in Sacramento, CA.

A NCCC team is currently serving with Rural Dynamics Inc. in Great Falls. They will be in Montana from 1/9/12 to 3/9/12 and are working on preparing taxes and providing public assistance for Native American and rural communities.


Selected NCCC Highlights and Accomplishments in Montana since 2000*
  • Over 86, 170 service hours on more than 35 projects
  • Service valued at over $1.7 million
  • More than 600 volunteers recruited or coordinated
  • Approximately 49,800 acres of land in which fire was suppressed or contained
  • Over 1,420 acres of brush or undergrowth removed to prevent fires
NCCC has collaborated with Montana organizations including
  • Rural Dynamics Inc.
  • Camp Marshall
  • Montana Heritage Preservation and Development Commission
  • Montana Area VII Agency on Aging
  • Musselshell Valley Community Foundation

Read about NCCC in the Billings Gazette 12/10/11

Interested in sponsoring a NCCC Team?

NCCCNCCC teams, made up of 9–12 members, address needs related to the 5 focus areas: natural and other disasters, infrastructure improvement, environmental stewardship and conversation, energy conservation, and urban and rural development. These dedicated and energetic young adults, trained in CPR, first aid, disaster response and wildland firefighting (each year a percentage of eligible members are trained as Type II Firefighters), spend their service term helping citizens, preparing for/responding to natural and other disasters, and serving communities by constructing and rehabilitating housing, building trails, cleaning up streams, and addressing other pressing local needs through direct service. Rounds typically last six to eight weeks. Project sponsors can be nonprofit and faith-based organizations, government entities (federal, state, and local), public and private schools and universities, and Native American Tribal Councils.

For Round 4 (end of May to end of July), concept forms are due Feb 1, 2012 and Applications are due February 27, 2012. Contact Chelsea Rae Rendleman at CRendleman@cns.gov ifyou would the like the full Class XVIII request for proposals (RFP).

Learn more about NCCC sponsorship here.

Download the December 2011 NCCC Pacific Region Newsletter.

*Data provide by NCCC Program Office Press. Contact Mary Aurora Grandinetti, 916-717-9989 with questions.

Youth Serve Montana Scholarships

Recognizing Montana High School Senior Students for Volunteering

The Governor’s Office of Community Service and Montana Campus Compact, announced today that the 2012 Youth Serve Montana Scholarships are now available for up to 70 Montana high school seniors. It is the 7th year for this exciting scholarship opportunity aimed at students who have completed 100 hours of volunteer service in their community by April 16, 2012.

Students who apply and qualify may receive $1,000 dollars toward continued education at one of Montana Campus Compact’s twenty public, tribal, private, community, or community colleges and universities.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to recognize our students’ enthusiasm for volunteering,” said Jan Lombardi, Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Community Service. “The Youth Serve Montana Scholarships are a great way to honor students who invest their time and talents in Montana, and want to stay here for college.”

Applications, proof of volunteer service, and enrollment to a Montana post-secondary institution must be submitted to the Governor’s Office of Community Service by noon April 16, 2012.

The application form, additional guidelines, and a scholarship FAQ can be found here.

“Students who volunteer gain valuable job skills and invest in their community,” said Stefani Hicswa, President of Miles City Community College and member of the Montana Campus Compact. “These scholarships provide us the opportunity to reward student leaders throughout Montana for making a difference.” President Hicswa also serves on the Montana Commission on Community Service.

The 2012 Youth Serve Montana Scholarships have been made available through a partnership with the Governor’s Office of Community Service and Montana Campus Compact, the largest higher education network in Montana. Montana Campus Compact includes 20 of Montana's two-year, four-year, public, private, tribal, and community colleges and universities, with a state network office located in Missoula.

Weatherization Events on Fort Belknap and Blackfeet Reservation

AmeriCorps members with the Montana Energy Corps program will be holding weatherization events on the Fort Belknap and Blackfeet Reservation this week as part of the Governor’s Warm Hearts Warm Homes Initiative.

Events

Lodge Pole- 12/15/11, 10am-12pm, Tribal Office

Hayes- 12/15/11, 1pm-3pm, Tribal Office

Browning- 12/17/11, 11am-2pm, Community Senior Center


Media Advisory

Contact: Todd Hunkler, 406-533-6651, National Center for Appropriate Technology
December 13, 1012
For Immediate Release

NCAT Energy Corps Provide Weatherization Assistance on the Fort Belknap and Blackfeet Reservations

Volunteers Roll Up Their Sleeves to Weatherize Homes and Distribute Materials

[BUTTE, MT]—Montana Energy Corps members will be holding three weatherization events on the Fort Belknap and Blackfeet reservations to reach those in need of weatherization assistance in the area.

The Butte-based National Center for Appropriate Technology’s (NCAT) Montana Energy Corps AmeriCorps program has planned three weatherization fairs in North central Montana to reach those in need of assistance with high home energy costs this winter. AmeriCorps members will be distributing weatherization kits to individuals at the events and will be signing up those that need help installing materials. Events will be held on Thursday December 15th from 10am – 12pm in Lodge Pole and 1-3pm in Hayes. Each of these events will take place at the community tribal offices. On Saturday December 17th from 11am – 2pm the Energy Corps will be holding a final weatherization event in Browning at the Community Senior Center.

Energy Corps members will also be providing hands on weatherization assistance to several area households on Saturday the 15th and Sunday the 16th. With the help of community volunteers including Blackfeet housing staff, the Energy Corps plans to weatherize close to 60 homes in the Browning area over the two day span. These projects have been planned with help from Energy Corps members and staff from Opportunity Link in Havre, Montana and serve as one example of the many projects that have been completed in the area by Energy Corps and Opportunity Link. Continue Reading

Montana reaches the $10 Million mark in total Education Awards

CNCS_BrandAccording to data provided on the Corporations for National and Community Service website (NationalService.gov) Montana institutions have now received payments in excess of 10 million dollars from Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards.

The $10 million mark represents a total of coming into the state since 1994 the year the National Service Trust began distributing education awards to AmeriCorps State and National, AmeriCorps VISTA and AmeriCorps NCCC members. The Segal Education Award is available to individuals who successfully complete a term of AmeriCorps service to be used to help them pay for furthering their education.

Currently the value of the education award for AmeriCorps State and National members ranges from $5,550 for those serving 1,700 hours to $1,175 for individuals completing 300 hours of AmeriCorps Service. For AmeriCorps VISTA and NCCC the current education award is $5,550 for all members completing a full year of service.

Of this $10 million just over half ($5.4 million) was distributed to the Montana University System. Over $800,000 went to the state’s seven Tribal Colleges; $387,000 to community colleges; and $282,000 to the states private colleges. Of the remainder of funds more than $2.6 million went to aiding students in paying down student debt and interest accumulated.

2011 Flood Disaster PA and IA Map

Public Assistance (PA) and Individual Assistance (IA) Declared Counties and Indian Reservations.  

Click here to view a map of counties and Indian Reservations eligible for federal assistance.   

On May 22, 2011 Governor Schweitzer signed Executive Order NO. 5-2011 proclaiming an emergency to exist in the state of Montana including the Indian Reservations within the state; on June 17, 2011 a Presidential Declaration was declared.  The Public and Individual Assistance Declarations for the 2011 flooding were staggered.  As of today, August 24, 2011 Montana has received all designations. 

Public Assistance (PA) covers publically owned infrastructure (roads, bridges, schools...).

Individual Assistance (IA) provides assistance to individuals and or families for immediate needs and damages to privately owned property.

 

Learn More about NCCC

Could your organization use a team of hardworking young people dedicated to improving communities like yours?

AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) is currently accepting applications from prospective NCCC Sponsors!

What is NCCC?

NCCCThe mission of AmeriCorps NCCC is to strengthen communities and develop leaders through team-based national and community service. The AmeriCorps NCCC Pacific Region Campus is based in Sacramento, California and serves Washington, Oregon, Nevada, California, Wyoming, Montana, Hawaii, Alaska, Idaho, Utah, and the Pacific Territories.

NCCC engages teams of 9-12 members in 3-9 week service projects that address critical needs related to natural and other disasters, infrastructure improvement, environmental stewardship and conservation, energy conservation, & urban and rural development.

Who can apply?

  • Non-profits
  • Faith-based Organizations
  • Local & County Governments
  • Federal Government
  • National or State Parks
  • Indian Tribes
  • Schools or School Districts

Continue Reading

AmeriCorps to Peace Corps

A Great Career Path!

Both AmeriCorps members and Peace Corps Volunteers receive tangible benefits such as career training, financial support for college, and graduate school opportunities. Additionally, serving in AmeriCorps and Peace Corps prepares Americans for leadership positions both at home and abroad. There are many benefits of serving with AmeriCorps and Peace Corps.

Peace Corps Continuing a Life of Service

OVERSEAS EXPERIENCE

Americans who go from AmeriCorps to Peace Corps build on the experiences and skills developed at home by applying those skills in another community overseas. Volunteers return to the U.S as global citizens with leadership, language, teaching, and community development skills.

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

Peace Corps is a life-defining leadership experience. Living and working abroad for 27 months has tremendous impact. It requires hard work and dedication, and in return tangible and intangible benefits are gained – both for the Volunteer and the people they serve.

LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

Continue Reading

NCCC Accepting Project Applications

NCCCAmeriCorps NCCC Pacific Region RFP for Class XVIII

November 2011 - July 2012

AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) invites potential Project Sponsors in California, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Montana, Wyoming, Hawaii (and the Pacific Territories), and Alaska to apply for our teams of developing leaders as we kickoff our Class 18 at the Pacific Region Campus located in Sacramento, CA.

The NCCC Pacific Region Campus deploys to serve on projects lasting an average of 6-8 weeks. Teams are available during four project rounds (see materials below); project round start and end dates listed are subject to change, and proposed projects need not fill the entire round. Assignment of teams to projects is contingent on the availability of sufficient funds for our program and the availability of teams. Continue Reading

Nancy’s Garden

Nancy's GardenAnnouncing Nancy’s Garden
in our Montana Schools!

Nancy's Garden is the newest feature of the Governor and First Lady's Math & Science Initiative. Nancy's Garden provides a gardening experience for every 4th grade student by supplying grow boxes, seeds, lesson plans and instructions for each classroom. This opportunity will help create the next generation of gardeners growing their own food in Montana. Young students will get excited about studying math and science, engaged in healthy eating, and interested in future careers in our state.

Nancy SchweitzerEach participating 4th grade classroom will receive grow boxes and classroom materials including a teacher's guide, seeds, and posters.

Please see the map below for the participating schools and use the OPI Find-A-School service for contact information.

Volunteers are encourage to contact your local school to see how you can be involved in this hands-on educational opportunity for Montana 4th graders.

Learn more about the Governor and First Lady’s Math & Science Initiative at mathscience.mt.gov! Continue Reading

CERT Basic Training Updates Announced

This notice is provided by FEMA's Individual & Community Preparedness Division to highlight community preparedness and resilience resources and activities recently announced by federal agencies and Citizen Corps partners.

CERT Basic Training Updates Announced by FEMA

FEMA's Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) National Program Office is pleased to announce the release of updated materials for the CERT Basic Training course.
What are the changes? The updated course is the same effective training as before, with the units and topics organized in the same way. However, edits were made throughout all of the course materials including the Participant Manual, Instructor Guide, and the PowerPoint files. These changes are intended to assure that protocols are up-to-date and that the content is as clear as possible for those taking the training. Since there are many edits throughout the training, CERT instructors are encouraged to review all of the updated materials.

Who made the changes?

Continue Reading

Be Red Cross Ready

It’s important to prepare for possible disasters and other emergencies. Natural and humancaused disasters can strike suddenly, at any time and anywhere. There are three actions everyone can take that can helpmake a difference … 

Get a Kit - Make a Plan - Be Informed

Be Red Cross Ready Checklist

  • I know what emergencies or disasters are most likely to occur in my community.
  • I have a family disaster plan and have practiced it.
  • I have an emergency preparedness kit.
  • At least one member of my household is trained in first aid and CPR/AED.
  • I have taken action to help my community prepare.

For more information on disaster and emergency preparedness, visit RedCross.org

National Service Serving Military and their families and Veterans in Montana

CNCS_Brand

The Montana Campus Compact VISTA Project also had a VISTA member help to develop the Valley Veteran Service Center in Hamilton Montana. This center is to help foster, encourage and promote aid the procurement of benefits available to the veteran. This center acts as a “one stop shop” because there is a nationally certified service officer to file VA health and other benefit claims as well as provide the veteran with information about other services the veteran is eligible. The center continues to run mainly on RSVP volunteers and other community volunteers and is funded by donations.

Cascade County Foster Grandparent Program has 4 Foster Grandparents serving with the Malmstrom Air Force Base Child Development Center in Greeat Falls, helping children to reach their age-appropriate skill level.

Missoula Aging Service RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program), Foster Grandparent Program, and Senior Corps volunteers who are also Veterans have partnered with the University of Montana Social Work Department for a unique World War II Oral History project. The volunteers have each been paired up with UM students to tell their experiences, events, and remembrances while in military service during WWII. Once the stories are completed, the students will gift families of these retired Veterans with the results – a rich legacy of significant events, intimate experiences and historical references during a turbulent period for families and our nation.

Continue Reading

Spring Smoke Alarm Message

Spring forward and advance your personal fire safety:

Daylight savings time begins this Sunday, March 13. While we all know this to be the time to move our clocks forward, we encourage you to also use this opportunity to check your smoke alarms and make sure they are operational. In addition, if your battery operated smoke alarms are 10 years old or older, they need to be replaced.

Every day in this country, needless deaths occur from a fire in someone’s home. These deaths are very often young children and older adults.  A properly installed and maintained smoke alarm is the only thing in your home that can alert you and your family to a fire 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Whether you’re awake or asleep, a working smoke alarm is constantly on alert scanning the air for fire and smoke.

Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement, and both inside and outside of sleeping areas. Spring forward and advance your personal fire safety by insuring that smoke alarms are properly placed and functioning in your home.  

For more information on smoke alarms and fire prevention, visit the USFA website at: http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/campaigns/smokealarms/alarms/index.shtm

American Red Cross Month

Red Cross MonthMarch is Red Cross Month, and the American Red Cross is asking people to join them in helping those in need by volunteering their time, making a donation, taking a class, or giving blood.

For nearly 100 years, U.S. Presidents have called on people to support the American Red Cross and its humanitarian mission. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first to proclaim March as Red Cross Month in 1943. Since that time, President Obama and every president since have issued proclamations designating March as Red Cross Month.

The American Red Cross of Montana responded and provided assistance in 132 disasters last year. The chapter processed 787 emergency military calls, and trained over 17,761 Montanan's in first aid and water safety classes.

To learn more how to join or support the American Red Cross of Montana, please call

1-800-ARC-MONT (1-800-272-6668).


Events Continue Reading

Youth Serve Montana Scholarships

Scholarship Logo2011 Youth Serve Montana Scholarship

Recognizing Montana High School Senior Students for Volunteering in their Communities 

The Governor’s Office of Community Service and Montana Campus Compact, announced today that the 2011 Youth Serve Montana Scholarships are now available for up to 100 Montana high school seniors. It is the 6th year for this exciting scholarship opportunity aimed at students who have completed 100 hours of volunteer service in their community, by April 8, 2011.

Each student who applies and qualifies can receive $1,000 dollars toward continued education at one of Montana Campus Compact’s (19) public, tribal, private, community, or technical colleges and universities.

Continue Reading

Notice of Federal Funding Opportunity

2011 AmeriCorps State Formula Grant Application

Notice of Federal Funding Opportunity & Request for Proposals

Deadline April 27, 2011

Thank you for your interest in an AmeriCorps State Formula Grant. This webpage contains information pertaining to the Request for Proposal (RFP) process for 2011 AmeriCorps State Formula grants funded by the federal Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) through the Montana Governor’s Office of Community Service (OCS). The Montana Commission on Community Service serves as the body to review and recommend funding to the Corporation for National and Community Service. 

Funding Purpose: to maximize the power of national service and volunteering through establishing AmeriCorps programs to improve lives by addressing unmet needs in communities across Montana. 

In the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act of 2009, Congress directed CNCS to focus AmeriCorps and National Service in areas where service can make a major impact, including improving education; energy conservation; the health of all Americans; economic opportunity for economically vulnerable individuals; increasing service by and for veterans; and providing disaster services. In accordance with the Serve America Act the Governor's Office of Community Service seek to: (1) Direct the power of national service to solve a common set of challenges, (2) Expand opportunities for all Americans to serve, (3) Build the enduring capacity of individuals, organizations and communities to effectively use service and volunteering to solve community problems, and (4) Embrace innovative solutions that work. 

Applicants should read all application materials, including attachments and linked documents, and attend the technical assistance call (AmeriCorps 101) prior to submitting any documents to the Governor’s Office of Community Service. 

Continue Reading

Governor Schweitzer’s Energy Interns

EnergyIntern.com

On behalf of the Governor’s Office of Community Service, in partnership with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and the Department of Commerce, Energy Promotion and Development Division we would like to invite students to apply for an Energy Internship and businesses or organizations to host an Energy Intern in energy- related fields involving:

  • Project Development and Management
  • Engineering
  • Research
  • Marketing
  • IT Development
  • Finance
  • Communications
  • Education
  • Conservation and Environment
  • Legal

Continue Reading

Reasonable Accommodation Resources

Reasonable accommodations enable qualified individuals with disabilities to fully participate all service programs and activities. 

Once a person requests an accommodation, it is important to discuss with that individual what functional limitations or barriers exist that are preventing that person from fully participating in your program.  Often, people with disabilities know what they need and how to secure it. If the person is not sure what they need or where to secure accommodations, the Governor's Office of Community Service is here to help.

Below is a list of resources you may find helpful when seeking information about accommodations:

Continue Reading

Meet the Symposium Trainers and Special Guests

Meet the ServeMontana Symposium 2011 Trainers and Special Guests!

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The Importance of Putting People First

Words Matter

The following guidelines are suggestions for using language in a more sensitive manner that avoids reducing individuals to a series of labels, symptoms, or medical terms. Advocating for media representatives to be aware of how they use language regarding individuals with disabilities and their families does not suppress freedom of speech. Rather, these suggestions are intended to guide media representatives about how words really do make a difference.

The Importance of Putting People First

When communicating about individuals, it is good practice to avoid putting a label or condition prior to an individual's name or title. Think of all the times you have read or heard something similar to the following examples:

Resources for Reporters

Media Matters is an initiative designed to increase awareness about the importance of culturally sensitive language and images when reporting about individuals with disabilities and their families.

The following resources provide journalists with the tools they need to communicate effectively and appropriately about individuals with disabilities and topics related to disability issues.

The American Press Institute

http://www.americanpressinstitute.org/pages/toolbox/
This online resource includes a "Reporter's Toolbox" that provides current information about reporting on issues that relate to diverse populations, including individuals with disabilities.

The American Psychological Association

http://www.apastyle.org/disabilities.html
The Committee on Disability Issues in Psychology has created a useful set of guidelines for writing about disabilities in APA journals. While journalists often rely on the Associated Press Stylebook for grammar and language usage, the APA's guidelines provide additional information about using "non-handicapping" language.

The Associated Press

http://www.apbookstore.com
The Associated Press Stylebook is widely used among journalists, and includes a section on disabilities.

National Center on Disability and Journalism

http://www.ncdj.org/join.html
The National Center on Disability and Journalism (NCDJ) is an independent journalism organization with a mission to educate journalists and educators about disability reporting to produce more accurate, fair and diverse news reporting.

What is NCCC?

Could your organization use a team of hardworking young people
dedicated to improving communities like yours?

What is NCCC?

The mission of AmeriCorps NCCC is to strengthen communities and develop leaders through team-based national and community service.  AmeriCorps NCCC’s Pacific Region Campus is based in Sacramento, CA but serves Washington, Oregon, Nevada, California, Wyoming, Montana, Hawaii (and the Pacific Territories), Alaska, Idaho, and Utah.  NCCC deploys teams of 9 -12 members to serve on service projects lasting an average of 6-8 weeks (although shorter time frames or rotational teams may be available).

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Governor’s Energy Internships

COMING IN JANUARY 2011

Governor Schweitzer’s Energy Interns

The Office of Community Service, in partnership with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and the Department of Commerce, Energy Promotion and Development Division, is seeking businesses and organizations in Montana’s numerous energy-related fields to host college students to make a difference in Montana.

One of Montana’s most exciting economic growth potentials is energy development. Montana has world class energy resources: wind…oil & gas…solar…bio-fuels…biomass…geothermal…
coal…and more. Utilizing our vast energy resources, and our business-friendly environment, Montana is poised to lead the nation in clean, green energy development. Together we can help the nation wean itself from foreign oil, meet the challenges of global climate change while creating economic growth opportunities here at home. Continue Reading

Transfer Your Segal Education Award

Good News!  As of December 16, 2010, eligible members may transfer the Segal Education Award to a child, grandchild or foster child using the My AmeriCorps Portal. 

AmeriCorps LogoLetters will be sent to eligible members notifying them that they may transfer the award. If you have questions, please contact the National Service Hotline at 1-800-942-2677 or you can email epayments@americorps.gov. The Hotline is staffed by customer service representatives from 8:00-8:00 EST. Continue Reading

Emerging Leaders Wanted!

Emerging Leader Showcase Call for Nominations

The Montana Transition Project is looking for examples of young people, age 18-30, in Montana who have a developmental disability according to the Montana definition and have creatively organized their supports to:

  • Live in the community (on their own or with family or friends) and/or
  • Work in the community (including owning their own business) and/or
  • Access inclusive education (high school, college, trade school, community classes) and/or
  • Participate in recreation and leisure activities that are inclusive (that is, alongside people without disabilities) Continue Reading

Winter Storms and Extreme Cold

Power Outage - One of the primary concerns is the winter weather's ability to knock out heat, power and communications services to your home or office, sometimes for days at a time.

While the danger from winter weather varies across the country, nearly all Americans, regardless of where they live, are likely to face some type of severe winter weather at some point in their lives. That could mean snow or subfreezing temperatures, as well as strong winds or even ice or heavy rain storms. The National Weather Service refers to winter storms as the “Deceptive Killers” because most deaths are indirectly related to the storm. Instead, people die in traffic accidents on icy roads and of hypothermia from prolonged exposure to cold. It is important to be prepared for winter weather before it strikes.

Step 1: Get a Kit

Build a Kit: An Emergency Supply Kit which includes items like non-perishable food, water, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, extra flashlights and batteries. Continue Reading

Disability and Inclusion Resources

Ensure Your Project is Inclusive of People with Disabilities

Creating an inclusive environment ultimately begins with the actions and attitudes of the individuals who are already a part of that environment. A Project Coordinator should always be thinking in terms of what people can do, not their limitations. There are several elements needed in order to create an inclusive environment.

An inclusive environment:

  • Ensures the respect and dignity of all individuals
  • Does not pry into people’s past medical histories
  • Keeps private information private
  • Fosters a safe environment in which people can speak and listen
  • Willingly and proactively provides accommodations
  • Is accessible
  • Sees a disability as another element of diversity
  • Is flexible

Remember: there is no one way to create an inclusive service environment; rather it is a continuous process that is always evolving! Continue Reading

2010 Tribal Relations Report

2010 Tribal Relations

Governor Brian Schweitzer released the 2010 Tribal Relations Report highlighting the State of Montana and Tribal Nations major efforts to work together during this past fiscal year. 

2010 Tribal Relations Report 

The Tribal Relations Report

is produced annually in fulfillment of MCA 2-15-143 to highlight the State of Montana’s major activities and interactions with the eight American Indian sovereign governments in Montana. The report is due by September 15 of each year to provide an overview of the major accomplishments that occurred during the course of the previous State fiscal year. 

This year’s report is organized into four main sections: (1) Strengthening the State-Tribal Relationship; (2) State Agreements Impacting Tribal Governments; (3) State Programs Impacting Tribal Populations; and (4) Appendix “A.” 

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InciWeb for Fire Updates

For information on current fires in Montana, check out the Incident Information System at inciweb.org.

InciWeb is an interagency all-risk incident information management system. The system was developed with two primary missions:

  1. Provide the public a single source of incident related information
  2. Provide a standardized reporting tool for the Public Affairs community

A number of supporting systems automate the delivery of incident information to remote sources. This ensures that the information regarding active incidents is consistent, and the delivery is timely.

Summer Food Service Program

The School Nutrition Programs unit administers school-based child nutrition programs throughout Montana on behalf of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Office of Public Instruction's Health Enhancement and Safety Division. The Summer Food Service Program is one of the many School Nutrition Programs in Montana.

Did you know?

Montana has ranked #5 in the nation for increasing participation in the Summer Food Service Program. From 2008 – 2009, participation increased by 14.6%. Read the full report here. Still, only 16 out of every 100 kids eating free or reduced price school meals also eat free meals during the summer.
You can help increase this number by using some of the resources outlined in the Summer 2010 newsletter.

Click here for a PDF of the Summer Outreach Newsletter from the Office of Public Instruction.

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