In 1986, the Governor's Office on Service and Volunteerism formed as the Office on Volunteerism (Chapter 13, Acts of 1986). It was placed under the Office of the Lieutenant Governor in January 1997 and adopted its present name in 1998 (Chapter 22, Acts of 1998).

The Governor's Office on Service and Volunteerism supports and promotes service and volunteer efforts that engage Marylanders to strengthen their communities. By combining traditional volunteerism with the modern programs of AmeriCorps and Maryland's Promise, the Office helps meet pressing needs in the areas of education, health, the environment, and public safety (Code State Government Article, secs. 9-1301 through 9-1310).

Work of the Office is carried out through five main units: Administration; Grants; Maryland's Promise; Programs; and Volunteerism. The Governor's Commission on Service and Volunteerism assists the Office.


Administration oversees Communications, Community Outreach, and Training and Technical Assistance.

The Governor's Office on Service and Volunteerism provides training and technical assistance to volunteer organizations, "Communities of Promise," and national service programs throughout Maryland. Technical assistance includes telephone and on-line consultations, site visits, workshops, presentations, and printed materials.


Following the President's Summit for America's Future, in April 1997, Maryland created the Maryland's Promise Program. The Program mobilizes volunteers, and public and nonprofit organizations to mentor, protect, nurture, train, and serve children. From Maryland's Promise, "Communities of Promise" are formed throughout the State to determine how best to help children, and strengthen local volunteer networks.


Programs coordinates Americorps, Maryland Reads, and Maryland's Promise.

AmeriCorps, the domestic Peace Corps, offers individuals the opportunity to spend a year serving in Maryland communities. In return, AmeriCorps members receive an education award to help pay college costs or or repay student loans. Maryland has twenty-five AmeriCorps programs serving communities from Western Maryland to the Eastern Shore.

Access AmeriCorps seeks qualified persons with disabilities for Maryland national service programs. Initiated by the Governor's Office on Service and Volunteerism, this program recruits and provides reasonable accomodations to AmeriCorps members with disabilities.

Maryland Reads is the State response to the President's America Reads challenge in 1996 to get all children reading well by the end of 3rd grade. Using federal grants, Maryland Reads sets up literacy partnerships in communities using AmeriCorps members, other volunteers, schools, parents, and caregivers.

The first Maryland Reads partnership started in fall 1998 with after-school literacy tutoring at Police Athletic League centers throughout Baltimore. Two more programs began in fall 1999: one in Frederick County and one managed by the University of Maryland, College Park for children in Charles and Prince George's counties. Both programs tutor elementary school students in reading and writing.

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July 18, 2000   
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