Chip Howard for AZ Governor Campaign Committee

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ARIZONA CIVIC FORCE

Following her retirement to Arizona, my mother often said that if she could spend a few hours each day nurturing a small child on her lap, reading children’s books, and giving children love, she would find great fulfillment in life.  Unfortunately, she did not find a forum in which she could experience this joy of making life better for a child in need.  The need was there but she didn’t have an easy way to find it.  As governor, I will make sure that those who want to give back to the community have plenty of easy opportunities to do so.

ARIZONA CIVIC FORCE

Following her retirement to Arizona, my mother often said that if she could spend a few hours each day nurturing a small child on her lap, reading children’s books, and giving children love, she would find great fulfillment in life.  Unfortunately, she did not find a forum in which she could experience this joy of making life better for a child in need.  The need was there but she didn’t have an easy way to find it.  As governor, I will make sure that those who want to give back to the community have plenty of easy opportunities to do so.

I was raised largely by adult men in my community, who were willing to give of themselves for the next generation.  When I had difficulty in high school math, a brilliant engineer down the street tutored me at his kitchen table to provide a learning experience that I couldn’t have achieved in the classroom alone.  This gentleman gave his time freely and expected nothing in return, other than the satisfaction of knowing that he made a difference for the next generation.  This example of the American spirit is how we give of ourselves to make the community better.  Most of us realize that it is not only the recipients of the giving who benefit—the givers themselves find purpose and fulfillment when they contribute in ways that make the world a better place.
Givers themselves find purpose and fulfillment when they contribute in ways that make the world a better place. - Dr. Chip Howard

Givers themselves find purpose and fulfillment when they contribute in ways that make the world a better place. - Dr. Chip Howard

I was raised largely by adult men in my community, who were willing to give of themselves for the next generation.  When I had difficulty in high school math, a brilliant engineer down the street tutored me at his kitchen table to provide a learning experience that I couldn’t have achieved in the classroom alone.  This gentleman gave his time freely and expected nothing in return, other than the satisfaction of knowing that he made a difference for the next generation.  This example of the American spirit is how we give of ourselves to make the community better.  Most of us realize that it is not only the recipients of the giving who benefit—the givers themselves find purpose and fulfillment when they contribute in ways that make the world a better place.

ARIZONA CIVIC FORCE PLAN

In Arizona, there are many avenues of public volunteerism that could greatly enhance our state.  First and foremost is in the education system.  In my administration, we will form what I call the Arizona Civic Force—a massive mobilization of citizens who will assist in schools, tutor students, mentor youth, and mentor families.  The degradation of the family has laid the burden of many childhood and adolescent issues on the schools and those burdens extend well beyond the education process.  However, revolutionary improvement in education must include these more-holistic elements in order to actually be effective and produce results.  Through the Civic Force program, we will address these issues and produce positive results.

 The Big Question – How Will We Do This?

The Civic Force will be essentially a directory and placement service for volunteers.  The State will provide the training and registration of our volunteers and coordinate the program.  The implementation of the program will be done locally by the entities that best know how to meet the local needs.  Those entities will be individual schools, cities, community outreach organizations, food banks, recreation programs, etc. In other words, any legitimate group that serves a community need.

For training our volunteers, we will replicate and expand on what is already working for smaller groups that are presently doing this.  Each volunteer will receive a basic training of a couple days.  Those that will engage in specific roles (child literacy, teacher assistance, family mentoring, etc.) will receive a more advanced training of one to five weeks, depending on the responsibilities of their role.  After such training, they will be registered and available for service in their communities.

 The Bigger Question – How Much Will It Cost?

Very little.   This is not going to be a typical bureaucratic money-pit program.  We are not going to do a two-year multi-million-dollar study to figure out how to do this because other people have already figured it out.   We will get results, and quickly.  The training will be conducted by the community colleges.  We have facilities convenient to citizens all around the state.  We already have faculty and plenty of university graduate students with specialized skills in need of teaching internships.  For those with no convenient community college campus, we will have an internet-based training program similar to credit courses that already exist.  We have plenty of universities and computer programmers on the payroll.   The resources are already there and paid for.  Now we are going to use them.

ARIZONA CIVIC FORCE PLAN

In Arizona, there are many avenues of public volunteerism that could greatly enhance our state.  First and foremost is in the education system.  In my administration, we will form what I call the Arizona Civic Force—a massive mobilization of citizens who will assist in schools, tutor students, mentor youth, and mentor families.  The degradation of the family has laid the burden of many childhood and adolescent issues on the schools and those burdens extend well beyond the education process.  However, revolutionary improvement in education must include these more-holistic elements in order to actually be effective and produce results.  Through the Civic Force program, we will address these issues and produce positive results.

The Big Question – How Will We Do This?

The Civic Force will be essentially a directory and placement service for volunteers.  The State will provide the training and registration of our volunteers and coordinate the program.  The implementation of the program will be done locally by the entities that best know how to meet the local needs.  Those entities will be individual schools, cities, community outreach organizations, food banks, recreation programs, etc. In other words, any legitimate group that serves a community need.

For training our volunteers, we will replicate and expand on what is already working for smaller groups that are presently doing this.  Each volunteer will receive a basic training of a couple days.  Those that will engage in specific roles (child literacy, teacher assistance, family mentoring, etc.) will receive a more advanced training of one to five weeks, depending on the responsibilities of their role.  After such training, they will be registered and available for service in their communities.

 The Bigger Question – How Much Will It Cost?

Very little.   This is not going to be a typical bureaucratic money-pit program.  We are not going to do a two-year multi-million-dollar study to figure out how to do this because other people have already figured it out.   We will get results, and quickly.  The training will be conducted by the community colleges.  We have facilities convenient to citizens all around the state.  We already have faculty and plenty of university graduate students with specialized skills in need of teaching internships.  For those with no convenient community college campus, we will have an internet-based training program similar to credit courses that already exist.  We have plenty of universities and computer programmers on the payroll.   The resources are already there and paid for.  Now we are going to use them.

THE FORCE MULTIPLIER

IN THE SCHOOLS

It is widely declared that classes are too large and children do not get enough individual attention (we have the second-largest class sizes of any state).  We are going to fix that.  The teachers will have trained volunteers available to assist in the classroom.  Also, volunteers will be available to work individually with students to provide personalized instruction in challenging topics.  All of this will be at the direction of the individual teachers.  This is what I consider to be a Force Multiplier in that it will extend the reach of the teacher beyond group instruction and fill gaps that require individualized attention.  In other words, students who might otherwise fall behind because they cannot grasp certain concepts during whole-group instruction will be given the extra help they need to succeed.
Is this a new concept?  No!  Is the scope of the program new?  Yes!  There are efforts to do exactly what I have described already underway in Arizona.   For example, HandsOn Greater Phoenix has enlisted a force of 23,000 volunteers and offers “hands-on service and progressive training” to those who want to make a difference and create positive change in their communities. This organization has partnered with another non-profit, Experience Matters, which recruits Baby Boomers to assist in schools through two programs: Boomers Serving Arizona Schools and HandsOn’s educational program, Your Experience Counts.  Both of these non-profits also recruit and manage AmeriCorps members—individuals who spend a year of their life meeting community needs through a Federally-funded national progressive organization that is essentially the domestic equivalent of the Peace Corps.

Such organizations do not have the capacity, nor do I believe is it their proper place, to oversee volunteerism across the state of Arizona.  However, it is our deficiency that results in their presence.  They are filling a vacuum that we have not.  Our state has dropped the ball, and organizations like these have done what they can in their localities to pick up the slack.  The Arizona Civic Force will not only fill the vacuum, but I believe we will do it better and on a much larger scale.  One thing that our program will not be is a forum for progressive indoctrination and as such, will have no federal-funding strings attached.

Citizens of Arizona will not only participate in our program, once we have the framework established, we will relish in the opportunity.  Take the City of Scottsdale’s volunteer program for example.  Scottsdale has 6800 registered volunteers that perform services such as summer reading, children’s story time, youth coaching, Youth Corps, youth community service, educational outreach, even adult probation.  Scottsdale gets results!  Child Crisis Arizona has 2532 volunteers directly and indirectly helping children in shelters.  The will is here today and it is very real, but we need to carry the program to all communities and all areas of need.

Such organizations do not have the capacity, nor do I believe is it their proper place, to oversee volunteerism across the state of Arizona.  However, it is our deficiency that results in their presence.  They are filling a vacuum that we have not.  Our state has dropped the ball, and organizations like these have done what they can in their localities to pick up the slack.  The Arizona Civic Force will not only fill the vacuum, but I believe we will do it better and on a much larger scale.  One thing that our program will not be is a forum for progressive indoctrination and as such, will have no federal-funding strings attached.

Citizens of Arizona will not only participate in our program, once we have the framework established, we will relish in the opportunity.  Take the City of Scottsdale’s volunteer program for example.  Scottsdale has 6800 registered volunteers that perform services such as summer reading, children’s story time, youth coaching, Youth Corps, youth community service, educational outreach, even adult probation.  Scottsdale gets results!  Child Crisis Arizona has 2532 volunteers directly and indirectly helping children in shelters.  The will is here today and it is very real, but we need to carry the program to all communities and all areas of need.

Just imagine how much better Arizona will be when we mobilize so many giving citizens to fill the gaping holes that we leave wide open.  Imagine the future we will provide for our children when Arizona finally takes their educations seriously and channels all of our available power to make their opportunities exceptional.  Imagine how much better we will understand and appreciate each other when our service program bridges social, cultural, economic, and ethnic divides.  As your Governor, it won’t require imagination, it will become a reality.

Just imagine how much better Arizona will be when we mobilize so many giving citizens to fill the gaping holes that we leave wide open.  Imagine the future we will provide for our children when Arizona finally takes their educations seriously and channels all of our available power to make their opportunities exceptional.  Imagine how much better we will understand and appreciate each other when our service program bridges social, cultural, economic, and ethnic divides.  As your Governor, it won’t require imagination, it will become a reality.

Chip Howard for AZ Governor Campaign Committee

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