For 63 years, the National Civic League has celebrated the successes of community-based problem solvers through its All-America City Award program. In 2013, for the second year in a row, the awards program will have a special focus—community efforts to assist returning veterans and military families find access to jobs, housing, health care, education, and other critical services, among other issues.
“NCL has always been committed to grassroots problem solving and civic engagement at the local level,” noted NCL president Gloria Rubio Cortes. “With the special focus we are trying to leverage our flagship awards program to raise awareness of and encourage action on specific challenges and needs in communities.”
Last year AAC spotlighted the critical issue of early childhood literacy. More than 120 communities and regions joined a national network of funders, schools, libraries and local governments pledging to get more students reading proficiently by the time they finish third grade. NCL has been applauded for its role valuable in facilitating the launch of a national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.
To qualify as a finalist for the All-America City Awards, each community must fill out an application listing three community improvement projects. In 2013, communities are encouraged—but not required—to list at least one project for veterans and military families.
NCL is asking interested communities to submit their applications by March 11, 2013 (link here to request an application).
More than 600 neighborhoods, towns, cities, counties and regions have won this award; some have won it 5 or 6 times. The year-round program energizes communities to effectively address our nation’s most important issues. It culminates in a three-day workshop-intensive competition at which ten winners are announced.
AAC gives communities a unique opportunity to map its assets and identify successes and challenges by providing NCL’s Civic Index guide and gives people a forum to transform themselves and their communities.
AAC, this year will produce, a best practices report to help communities improve their current initiatives or establish new ones benefiting veterans and military families. It will be widely distributed with educational sessions. (NEW)