"One of the roles of government is to ask people to serve today," said Bush. "Once again, I'm asking our fellow citizens to serve your community and to serve your country by finding a program that will make a difference. It doesn't matter how big or small. What matters is your love and your energy and your participation." http://www.bgca.org/news/20030130.asp And he back it up with his actions Washington, D.C. — In its first-ever such grant competition, Learn and Serve America has announced grants totaling more than $4 million to support activities that teach students about and engage them in efforts related to the homeland security needs of the nation. The grants will go to 10 agencies and nonprofit organizations, including six state departments of education, which will then make "sub-grants" to local organizations and education agencies. All told, scores of organizations will receive funds, and tens of thousands of young people will become better prepared to deal with emergencies. http://www.nationalservice.org/news/pr/060704f.html It sounds almost too good to be true. Could anything be wrong with such noble motives and selfless service? There could be--when service supports a hidden agenda, or when it ceases to be voluntary. Involuntary service involves coercion, and coercion can take many forms. Peer pressure, implied social obligations, and classroom assignments are subtle ways of coercing students to postpone their studies or change the emphasis of their education. However, when "volunteer" service is planned by the government, assigned by educators, and required for high school graduation or college admission, it borders on violating constitutional rights. http://www.crossroad.to/Books/BraveNewSchools/6-Service.html#_ednref14 "....community service is a mandatory part of the curriculum in more than 200 public and private schools nationwide," wrote Lori Aratani in a 1994 article titled "Out of the Classroom, Into the Community." Basing her observations on a New York research program called the National Center for Service Learning in Early Adolescence, she continued, "Thousands more support voluntary community service projects, and some even make it a graduation requirement."