Arkansas' September 11,2011 Day of Service & Remembrance




Across the state of Arkansas, thirty-seven organizations comprised of seventeen AmeriCorps VISTAS, six Foster Grandparent, eleven RSVP, and three Senior Companion projects will participate in the September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance 10th Anniversary Challenge by engaging in a reading project that will reach an estimated 20,000 children across the state. Each project will recruit volunteers in their own communities. Collectively 1,000Arkansas volunteers will read to children from ages four through eight years old in classrooms, afterschool programs, homeless shelters, Head Start centers and faith based facilities.  

Volunteers from the partner organizations will be reading stories about American Heroes, which inspire children by their acts of heroism everyday. A collection of books has been researched and recommended by the State Project Leader.  Each of the thirty-sevenArkansaspartners will purchase books that will be used by the volunteers.  A special effort will be made to recruit volunteers that are active or veterans of Armed Forces, Law Enforcement, Fire Departments, Ambulance Workers, Survivors of 9/11 and other willing volunteers.  The selected books will be read to the children and volunteers will share stories of American Heroes.  Honor will be shown to those who lost their lives and all who came forth to serve in response to the tragedies of 9-11-2011.

Not only will seeds of heroic service be planted in the minds and hearts of the children who are touched by this project, but the participating volunteers will walk away from this project with a renewed, recharged outlook on our country’s greatest assets, our children. These children will be the next generation of American Heroes. The volunteers will have cherished memories of this special day when they were a part of group of Arkansans sharing themselves with 20,000 young people.

 A State Project Leader has been selected to oversee this project. Periodic conference call planning meetings will be held with the thirty-seven partner organizations.  They will be furnished with the recommended reading material list, the project procedures, a spreadsheet for data collection, PSA’s for local media, and press release templates. Across the state ofArkansas, the PSA’s, new releases in community newspapers, talk radio and television guest spots will be utilized to promote the reading project.  Local media will be invited to document the dedication of the books to the community and school libraries by Our American Hero volunteers.  The Project Leader will collect all the data to be entered into a database with the total number of volunteers, classrooms, children impacted and locations of all the reading events.

 After  the project has been completed, the collection of books will be dedicated in memory of those who lost their lives and families affected by the 9-11-2001 tragedy. These books will be donated to the individual community libraries or school libraries for others to read for years to come. Inside each book cover will be a dedication page with ourArkansasstory of how 1,000 volunteers from 37 partner organizations came together across the state to read to 20,000 kids in honor of 9-11-2001.