Kansas State Department of Education

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Brief History

 1933 Although community service ahs always been a value of Americans, larger federal initiatives to promote service did not occur until the 1930s with President Franklin Roosevelt's Civilian Conservation Corps.  These men worked for the government to improve the environment, build roads and bridges, and other outdoor construction work in an effort to improve public goods while also supporting the families of these men, most of whom were unemployed.
 1961 President John F. Kennedy implemented the Peace Corps program to send Americans to serve in developing nations around the globe. Building on this idea, President Lyndon Johnson created the VISTA program (Volunteers in Service to America) in 1964 where volunteers help out in developing communities inside the United States.
 1974 Volunteerism grew in the 1970s especially as year-round service programs were established for adults and youth.  With the creation of the Youth Conservation Corps, many young persons devoted their summers to helping communities and people.
 1990 Congress passed the National and Community Service Act that created the Commission on National and Community Service to manage service-learning programs, service programs for higher education, youth programs, and to develop national service demonstration models.
 1993 The Kansas Volunteer Commission formed as a result of the 1993 National and Community Service Trust Act which changed the structure of the National Commission to create the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).  The function of this program was to oversee the AmeriCorps, Learn and Serve America, and Senior Corps programs nationally.  In addition, the legislation asked each governor to establish state commissions on community service to administer these national programs as well as promote volunteerism in their respective states.
 1993 Governor Joan Finney created the Kansas Commission on National and Community Service.
 2003 The Commission changed the name to the Kansas Volunteer Commission.
 2009 President Barack Obama signed the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, reauthorizing and expanding national service programs.
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