WASHINGTON, D.C. –Senator Lisa Murkowski’s resolution to designate April 20, 2007 as National and Global Youth Service Day, S. Res. 158, last night passed the Senate by unanimous consent. For the past five years, Senator Murkowski has offered this resolution in the Senate as a way to raise public awareness of the valuable contributions young people make to their communities throughout the year. Since being introduced by the Senator in 2003, the resolution has passed each year with unanimous approval and strong bipartisan support. “The participation of youth in community service is not just a nice idea for a way to spend a Saturday afternoon,” said Senator Murkowski. “Youth who are engaged in volunteer service, according to recent studies, do better in school than their classmates who do not volunteer. Youth who engage in volunteering and other positive activities are also more likely to avoid risky behaviors, such as drug and alcohol use, crime, and promiscuity.” In Alaska, the following groups will engage youth in community service activities in observance of National and Global Youth Service Day: 1. Anchorage’s Promise, which works to mobilize all sectors of the community to build the character and competence of Anchorage’s children and youth is again sponsoring the annual Kids’ Day event in Anchorage this year. Seventy different non-profits and businesses will provide free kid-friendly activities to help families build an understanding of the importance of safe places for kids, providing a healthy start and future, the value of having a caring adult in the life of each youth, and why effective education can ensure that all youth have the skills needed to pursue college, vocational training and the field of work that they are interested in. 2. Eielson Youth Programs will sponsor a Knit-a-Thon to benefit the women’s shelter and the senior center. Volunteers will help instruct pre-teen and teenage knitters and will also knit projects. All participants are also asked to bring personal hygiene items to be donated to the shelter/center as part of the project. 3. Aurora Elementary School on Elmendorf Air Force Base will be sponsoring a canned food drive in conjunction with a school dance. The price of admission to the dance is one can of food. 4. Alaska Winter Stars, members of the cross country ski teams from both Alaska Pacific University and University of Anchorage Alaska, will be hosting a fitness challenge and pledge booth at Kids Day this year. The goal is to bring awareness to the importance of good health and physical activity. Participants will be given the opportunity to test their fitness level and sign a pledge promising to be more active. More than 5,000 youth are expected to participate. 5. On April 8th, the annual Prudential Alaska Spirit of Community Student Volunteer Service Recognition Ceremony will honor more than 150 Alaskan students for making a difference through outstanding volunteer service on National Youth Service Day. This ceremony highlights the outstanding partnerships between Alaskan nonprofit organizations and the business community. The ceremony is conducted in partnership with the Points of Light Foundation, President's Council on Service and Civic Participation, USA Freedom Corps, Prudential Financial, Corporation for National Service, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, Prudential Jack White Vista Real Estate, Key Bank of Alaska, Anchorage Daily News, Wells Fargo Bank, Anchorage Municipal Light & Power, Home State Mortgage, Alyeska Title Guaranty Agency, Jewel Lake Tastee Freez, Friends of Alaska Prudential Youth Leadership Institute, and other caring community organizations and individuals. 6. Teens in the Alaska Youth for Environmental Action program of the National Wildlife Federation will be urging individuals to take the “3-2-1 Pledge”—change three incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescents, turn the thermostat down two degrees in cold weather, and unplug one appliance when not in use. The “3-2-1 Pledge” project has a goal to collect 5,000 signatures by April 2007. That goal will reduce carbon emissions in Alaska by an estimated 19.8 million pounds annually! Alaska Youth for Environmental Action are working in six communities: Sitka, Yakutat, Homer, Juneau, Anchorage and Fairbanks. 7. “Nerf Balls for Soldiers of Foreign Turf” - Students across Anchorage are invited to help build positive relations between our soldiers and the children they come in contact with in Iraq. Youth are encouraged to bring or purchase a new Nerf toy to the Egan Center during Kids Day. Funds will be used to raise money for more shipping, and the Nerf Balls will be shipped to Iraq for soldiers to use for relationship building. 8. “Pen Pal Cards For Kids” - Clark Middle School students will help Anchorage’s Promise Kids Day participants make cards and letters for children that can be used to encourage those who are over seas or in local hospitals. 9. “Boy Scouts – Scouting for Food Project” Boy Scouts of Troop 205 in Anchorage will be collecting canned food at Kids Day events for donation to the Alaska Food Bank. 10. Students from the West High School Junior ROTC and King Career Center Public Safety and Security Assistants programs will be on hand for Kids Day to help monitor exit doors, assist with handing out door prize tickets, and monitor elevators for safety. Students will also have the opportunity to mentor with adults in a variety of settings such as First Aid, Search and Rescue, Fire Fighters, and Egan Center Security. 11. Cook Inlet Tribal Youth Council will share Alaska Native Heritage by demonstrating Native games and by encouraging healthy active lifestyles at three locations in Anchorage on April 20th. 12. Summer Reading Program Work Party involves teen volunteers from the Anchorage Municipal Libraries in stuffing 4,000 bags with materials for the summer reading program. This program will help maintain student progress in reading by keeping kids reading all summer long. 13. The Girl Scouts Susitna Council will be planting 95 tree seedlings in honor of Girl Scouts of the USA’s 95th anniversary. The seedlings will be planted at the Bureau of Land Management’s Campbell Creek Science Center in June. Every tree planted produces oxygen, removes air pollution, and fights soil erosion. In addition, the act of planting tree seedlings will instill a sense of stewardship among Girl Scouts that will be passed on to future generations. Future of Life, an organization whose mission is to ensure the future of life on earth for all species, is providing 95 tree seedlings to each Girl Scout council across the United States, beginning in April and scheduled to coincide with the planting season for each area. The goals of National and Global Youth Service Day are to mobilize youth as leaders in identifying and addressing the needs of their communities; to support youth in community service and civic engagement; and to educate the public, the media and policymakers about the year-round contributions of young people to their communities. On this day, young people across the United States, and in more than 100 countries around the world, will participate in community service projects. ###