Obama urges citizens to undertake national service

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama has signed a $5.7 billion national service bill that triples the size of the AmeriCorps service program over the next eight years.

It also expands ways for students to earn money for college.

The service law expands ways for students and seniors to earn money for college through their volunteer work. It aims to foster and fulfill people's desire to make a difference, such as by mentoring children, cleaning up parks or buildings and weatherizing homes for the poor.

It includes a provision to bring volunteers to the "colonias" found along the Texas-Mexico border. The poor communities often lack basic services such as running water and sewer systems.

The law exempts such communities from having to help pay volunteers' costs, such as living allowance and health care.

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