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What is Service Learning?

Service learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.

 

Service-Learning, Schools, and the Common Core State Standards*

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) provide a framework of the academic knowledge and skills that all students need in order to be ready for college and career success upon leaving high school. 

Service-learning is a particularly effective strategy for accomplishing the goals of the CCSS for many reasons, including the opportunity to use critical thinking and collaboration to address real-world issues. Service-learning goals parallel CCSS and the student-driven stages of the service-learning process prepare students with skills for college and career. 

 

 

What are the Benefits of Service Learning to Students, Schools and the Community?*

Students gain...

  • 21st century skills: critical-thinking, problem-solving, leadership, decision-making, collaboration, and communication.
  •  Real-world experience connected to academic subjects.
  •  Greater sense of the purpose for learning.
  •  Deeper understanding of themselves and empathy and respect for others.
  •  Opportunities to explore skills and interests and to network for career readiness.
  •  Guided practice in taking action as socially responsible global citizens.
  •  Increased self-efficacy as they address community needs.

 

Schools gain...

  • Deeper connection between academic knowledge and real-world applications.
  • Increased pro-social behavior and student engagement.
  • An effective drop-out prevention strategy.
  • A focus for school improvement.
  • Improved school climate.
  • Positive school-community relationships.

 

Communities gain...

  • Energy and creativity of youth in addressing community needs.
  • Opportunities to build positive relationships between community members and schools.
  • New perspectives on youth as assets, not liabilities.
  • New generation of caring and experienced citizens, activists and volunteers - tomorrow's civic leaders.
  • Increased public awareness of key issues.

 

 

*source:  http://www.generationon.org/educators/lessons-resources/why-service-learning