City of Nacogdoches ready to launch high impact service plan

     In September, 2010, the City of Nacogdoches joined a network of communities from across the nation committed to engage citizens to address critical city needs through impact volunteerism. The Cities of Service program, founded in New York City in 2009, grew out of support for the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act in 2009. This coalition of communities, driven by public and private partnerships, aims to leverage citizen service as a reliable, viable tool to achieve measurable impact on pressing local challenges by developing a high-impact service plan. “Give Back, Nac!” is the City of Nacogdoches’ service plan.

     The focus of the initiative, the “Color Me READ” Readers’ Club, aimed at improving literacy in grades Kindergarten through Third Grade, with emphasis on reading, parent education, and bullying, starts Thursday, June 14 and ends August 9. City leaders will host a weekly story time featuring selections that are geared to promote reading proficiency, interaction, and incorporate the concept of bullying in an age-appropriate setting. A mentoring session, for parents of the participants, will be conducted simultaneously during the children’s story time. These sessions will be conducted by trained volunteers who will offer ideas and information on how to help their children with reading readiness, social skills, and to understand the concept of bullying, its forms, and recourse. The City of Nacogdoches “Color Me READ” summer reading club pilot program has become a realization due to partnerships with the Nacogdoches Independent School District, the dedication of private citizens, and the volunteer Chief Service Officer.

     The high-impact service plan, “Give Back, Nac!” was developed with the support of the Cities of Service coalition and its member networks.

     On Thursday, June 7, 2012, Mayor Roger Van Horn will formally announce the community initiative to the public during the Launch Event, from 5:30 – 7 P.M., at the Judy B. McDonald Public Library. There will be light refreshments and an Obstacle Challenge bounce toy set up in front of the library. The participants in the “Color Me “READ” Readers Club will receive awards at the end of the summer session. The summer reading club is free to all children, Kindergarten through third grade.

     For additional information on the summer program contact Linda Flores, Chief Service Officer at 559-2577 or visit www.citiesofservice.org for information on Cities of Service.

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