President Obama signed the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act today, which could quadruple the size of AmeriCorps over the next eight years. The president was joined by the $5.7 billion bill's namesake (Ted Kennedy) and former president Bill Clinton, who started the nationwide volunteer program in 1993.
The new law creates four new service programs: the Clean Energy Corps, the Education Corps, the Healthy Futures Corps, and the Veterans Service Corps. It also increases the amount of money volunteers receive toward their educations. And seniors who participate can transfer $1,000 toward the education of a family member.
Supporters hope that having volunteers work on crucial projects will rejuvenate the country and perhaps save us money. According to one study, each dollar invested in AmeriCorps yields a $4 return. Sounds like a good investment to me!