Mayor Chris Beutler is joining more than 1,500 mayors across the country to observe the second annual Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service, a bipartisan effort highlighting the impact of national service in tackling urban issues. The Mayor has issued a proclamation which will be presented at a free public celebration from 1 to 2 p.m. tomorrow at Aging Partners, 1005 "O" Street.
"National service is a vital resource for our City," said Mayor Beutler. "AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps volunteers make our cities better places to live. I am grateful for the dedication and sacrifice of these citizens, who are helping make our great city stronger, safer, and healthier."
Tomorrow's event will feature the debut of "Tah Ka Pal," a multimedia storytelling project led by AmeriCorps member Kelsey Lee. It was written and produced by seven Karen students attending Lincoln High School who tell stories about the Karen community. The Karen people are indigenous to the Burma (Myanmar)-Thailand border. Many Karen people have been displaced due to conflicts in Myanmar, and Lincoln has welcomed over 250 Karen refugees.
Speakers at the event will include Lincoln Parks and Recreation Director Lynn Johnson; Aging Partners Director June Pederson; State Program Director Julie Nash, Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS); and Cathy Plager, ServeNebraska Director.
Lincoln has seven AmeriCorps projects with 122 members. The City sponsors the Youth on the Move project with 35 members serving students at 21 locations, providing academic support, mentoring, service learning, nutrition and fitness. AmeriCorps members are located at recreation centers, Community Learning Centers, nonprofit agencies and schools. About 750 youth from low-income, minority and new American families have been served so far this school year.
Aging Partners, a division of the City of Lincoln, sponsors the Foster Grandparent program. Currently, 33 older volunteers serve over 110 students with special needs. Volunteers help children to learn how to read, provide one-on-one tutoring, mentor troubled teens, care for premature infants or children with disabilities, and help children who have been abused or neglected.
Beutler is one of 26 Nebraska mayors recognizing the day, which is sponsored by the CNCS, the National League of Cities, Cities of Service and the U.S. Conference of Mayors. As the federal agency for service and volunteering, CNCS annually engages more than five million citizens in service in 8,500 U.S. cities through AmeriCorps, Senior Corps and other programs. More information is available at nationalservice.gov/mayorsforservice.