CHARLESTON, W.Va. _ One in four West Virginia residents volunteer every year, and many of them are choosing to do so at their local schools, according to Volunteering in America: State Trends and Rankings.
The study was conducted by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency whose programs include Senior Corps, AmeriCorps and the Learn and Serve America program. The study tracked volunteer efforts for all 50 states and the District of Columbia between 2002 and 2005 and found that the commitment to volunteering was steadily on the rise.
Learn and Serve America provides a grant to the West Virginia Department of Education to encourage schools to engage thousands of West Virginia students in community services linked to academic achievement and the development of civic skills. In West Virginia, 2,627 students participated in the program during the most recent school year.
West Virginia saw the number and proportion of people who volunteered between 2004 and 2005 increase by 2.4 percent. West Virginians volunteered an average of 52 hours a person a year, higher than the national average.
The typical volunteer in West Virginia is a white female, age 46 who volunteers an average of 40 hours, often as a coach, referee, tutor, teacher or mentor. About one-fourth of volunteers give time to educational or youth-related organizations.
For more information contact Sallie Harrington, assistant director of the Learn and Serve Programs, at 304-558-7881.