The A STAR! in Western Maryland program at Frostburg State University was recognized recently by Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich as one of four programs in the state that are "successfully meeting community needs through their partnerships with public and private entities."
A STAR!, working through FSU and funded in part through the AmeriCorps program, provides direct services to low-income families at 10 sites across Allegany, Washington and Garrett counties.
The recognition came during the Governor's announcement recently of the formation of the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives in order to unify and strengthen community and volunteer services across Maryland.
The Executive Order creating the Office of Community Initiatives said of A Star!, "Through partnerships with several organizations, they have advanced literacy, improved access to health care and implemented substance abuse prevention programs in juvenile service facilities."
“Community-based organizations have a track record of helping good people overcome great struggles,” said Gov. Ehrlich. “During tough fiscal times, community problem solvers should be empowered to better serve Marylanders in need. Our new office will unify government’s community and volunteer resources, making it easier, not harder, for them to fulfill this important mission.”
The Governor's Office of Community Initiatives will unify the previously overlapping missions of several State agencies. The office's responsibilities will include:
-- Coordinating community and volunteer service activities within Maryland;
-- Developing the Governor’s policy agenda for improving community programs;
-- Reviewing legislation to ensure that community organizations are given equal access under the law in the competitive process for public and private funding;
-- Conducting a review of state programs in cooperation with state departments and agencies to identify legislative and regulatory barriers that impede the delivery of community-based social services to Marylanders in need.
For more information about A STAR!, call the FSU Center for Volunteerism and National Programs at (301) 687-4210.