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June 3, 1998

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I will get things done for America, to make our people safer, smarter, and healthier. I will bring Americans together to strengthen our communities. Faced with apathy, I will take action. Faced with conflict, I will seek common ground. Faced with adversity, I will persevere. I will carry this commitment with me, this year and beyond. I am an AmeriCorps member ... and I am going to get things done.

The AmeriCorps Pledge

Today, President Clinton travels to Cleveland, Ohio and discusses national service at the annual City Year convention. The President will announce that 1,000 colleges have agreed to participate in the America Reads Challenge, and the creation of up to 1,000 new AmeriCorps positions to specifically pursue the goals volunteerism outlined at last year's Presidential Summit on Volunteerism in Philadelphia.

A Presidential Commitment to National Service. When he came into office in 1993, President Clinton outlined a vision for a national service program which would allow young people to serve our nation. The result of that vision is AmeriCorps, which is bringing people of different racial, ethnic, and economic backgrounds together in the name of service and common goals. AmeriCorps has helped over 90,000 young people serve their communities, and engage in a variety of intensive service areas, including:

  • Youth Mentoring. AmeriCorps members help children succeed by tutoring, mentoring, and leading after-school programs. Last year alone, AmeriCorps members tutored over 500,000 children, mentored 95,000 more, recruited 39,000 volunteer tutors, and helped immunize over 64,000 children;
  • Disaster Relief. AmeriCorps members trained in disaster relief have provided assistance in the aftermath of tornadoes, hurricanes, fires, and floods, in over 30 states;
  • Public Safety. Working with local police and neighborhood groups, AmeriCorps members have created or expanded more than 3,100 public safety patrol groups, and trained over 109,000 people in violence prevention;
  • Building Houses. AmeriCorps members have served with Habitat for Humanity and other groups to build or renovate 5,600 homes and placed more than 32,000 homeless people and families in permanent housing.

Expanding Opportunities. The President is continuing his efforts to involve communities in national service, and today will announce that:

  • 1,000 Colleges and Universities have joined the America Reads Challenge, committing themselves to support college students who serve as reading tutors for preschool and elementary school children;
  • Up To 1,000 New AmeriCorps members will be created and utilized to meet the goals of the President's Volunteer Summit, helping to give our nation's youth the five key resources they need to succeed: a caring adult, a safe space, a healthy start, an effective education, and a chance to give back.

Continuing National Service Into the 21st Century. The President is calling on Congress to reauthorize AmeriCorps so the mission of service that has allowed so many people to give to their communities can extend into the 21st Century.

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