- The Youth Volunteering Survey (Corporation for National and Community Service, 2005) surveyed 3,178 twelve- to eighteen-year-olds about their volunteer activities, experiences with school-based service-learning projects, and involvement with school, family, religious congregations, and community associations. The survey found that of all youth in the United States, an estimated 15.5 million teens—55 percent of all youth—participated in volunteer activities in 2004, contributing more than 1.3 billion hours of service.
- The teen volunteer rate (55 percent) is almost twice the adult rate of 29 percent (CNCS, 2005).
- As of 2005, high-school students were more likely to volunteer than junior high school students—58 percent compared to 49 percent, respectively (CNCS, 2005).
- Compared to adult volunteers, teens tend to serve fewer hours and with less regularity. For example, in 2005, one study found that the average youth volunteer contributes 29 hours of service each year, compared to 52 hours per year among the adult volunteer population (CNCS, 2005).
- A 2005 study found that youth tend to volunteer most often with three types of organizations:
- Religious congregations
- Youth leadership organizations, such as the Boy & Girl Scouts, the 4-H Club, Kiwanis (Key Club and Builders Club), and the National Honor Society (CNCS, 2005)
- According to the 2006 National Civic and Political Health Survey, seven percent of 15- to 25-year-old Americans participated in 10 or more community engagement or political activities within the previous year (Lopez, et al, 2006). When compared to their peers who report no civic engagement activities, this group was more likely to be African-American, urban, attend church regularly, from a family with parents who volunteer, a current student (in college or high school), and from college-educated homes (Dávila & Mora, 2007).
Source: Corporation for National and Community Service (2010),
Retrieved from http://www.volunteeringinamerica.gov/Infographic.cfm
Character and Civic Education
The Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools’ Character and Civic Education (CCE) group administers various programs in character and civics education. These programs include providing financial assistance for character and citizenship education activities in elementary and secondary schools and institutions of higher education, and reporting on issues and programs, disseminating information, and providing technical assistance to state agencies and state and local correctional institutions.
Helping Your Child Become a Responsible Citizen (PDF, 43 Pages)
This pamphlet provides information about the values and skills that contribute to character and good citizenship, including guidance on what parents can do to help their elementary-, middle-, and high school-aged children develop strong character.
This portal, built and maintained by the Federal Interagency Team on Volunteerism (FITV), connects prospective volunteers with natural and cultural resources agencies.
Corporation for National and Community Service
The Corporation is the nation’s largest grantmaker supporting service and volunteering. Through Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America programs, the Corporation provides opportunities for Americans of all ages and backgrounds to express their patriotism while addressing critical community needs.
Corporation for National and Community Service. (2005). Building active citizens: The role of social institutions in teen volunteering. Brief 1 in the Youth Helping America series. Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://www.nationalservice.gov/pdf/05_1130_LSA_YHA_study.pdf (PDF, 24 Pages)
Dávila, A., & Mora, M.T. (2007). An assessment of civic engagement and educational attainment. College Park, MD: The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement (CIRCLE). Retrieved from http://www.civicyouth.org/PopUps/FactSheets/FS_Mora.Davila.pdf (PDF, 4 Pages)
Lopez, M.H., Levine, P., Both, D., Kiesa, A., Kirby, E., & Marcelo, K. (2006). The 2006 civic and political health of the nation: A detailed look at how youth participate in politics and communities. College Park, MD: Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE). Retrieved from http://www.civicyouth.org/PopUps/2006_CPHS_Report_update.pdf (PDF, 37 Pages)
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