At the "Presidents' Summit" on volunteerism in Philadelphia on Sunday, President Clinton pledged that federal agencies would lead the way in encouraging Americans to volunteer in their communities.
Standing with former Presidents Bush and Carter and Colin Powell, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who is chairing the summit, Clinton said the Defense Department would "mentor, tutor and teach more than one million children" in the next four years. The Transportation Department and the private companies it serves will do the same for a million more children, Clinton said.
Clinton also pledged that agencies would "adopt" more than 2,000 schools. In the America Reads program, Clinton said, the government would recruit more than one million tutors to help children learn to read.
"This is not the time to say, 'Are you substituting for government?' " said Powell. "This is not the time to ask, 'Is there more that government should be doing or less that government should be doing?' This is a time for each and every one of us to look into our own heart, to look into our own community, find someone who is in need, find someone who is wanting, find someone who is looking up to us, and for each and every one of us to reach down, to reach back, to reach across, to lift up a fellow American and put him on the road to success in this wonderful country of ours."