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Service-learning 101. Introductions and General Overview Name City/School District School Mailing Address Email Regional Centers. Paper Free Presentation. You will be emailed this presentation For additional information go to

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service learning 101

Service-learning 101

Introductions and General Overview


City/School District

School Mailing Address


Regional Centers

paper free presentation
Paper Free Presentation
  • You will be emailed this presentation
  • For additional information go to


Adults who engaged in service-learning during their teenaged years are more likely than their peers to be politically and socially connected to their communities, serve as role models for young adults, and attain a higher level of education, according to recent research.


“…adults who engaged in service-learning during their school years were more likely than the rest of their peers to discuss politics or community issues and vote in an election year.”


Focus group participants also said that service-learning taught them the value of education and how school learning can be applied outside the classroom.


State of Service-Learning Research:

A Phenomenological Approach

by Marybeth Neal

The notion of “social capital” as presented by sociologist James Coleman and political scientist Robert Putnam is used to describe the practices and norms that contribute to and reflect civic engagement. These include social networks, high levels of trust and norms of reciprocity. The concept of “social capital” provided the basis for a national study called the Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey, a project of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. They found that social trust and social connectedness were much stronger indicators of perceived quality of civic life than income or educational level. Another related study, the 1998 final report of the National Commission on Civic Renewal, has developed an interesting index of national civic health based on 22 indicators including political participation, political and social trust, and membership in associations. Using the index, this study concludes that the nation is becoming increasingly disengaged from civic participation.


State of Service-Learning Research:

A Phenomenological Approach

by Marybeth Neal

David E. Campbell’s article, Social Capital and Service-learning, published by the American Political Science Association, makes the case that:

“Service-learning is a powerful strategy for increasing social capital.”

so what s that got to do with this

So what’s that got to do with this?

What SL is vs. What SL is not

Community Service and Service-Learning

Service-Learning as a Teaching Method

Principles of Effective Practice

  • Service-learning is a teaching method that enriches learning by engaging students in meaningful service to their schools and communities. Young people apply academic skills to solving real-world issues, linking established learning objectives with genuine needs. They lead the process, with adults as partners, applying critical thinking and problem-solving skills to concerns such as hunger, pollution, and diversity.
  • Picking up trash on a riverbank isservice.
  • Studying water samples under a microscope is learning.
  • When science students collect and analyze water samples, document their results, and present findings to a local pollution control agency … that is Service-Learning.
community service
Community Service???
  • Service-learning is initially a difficult concept for people to understand. That is because people immediately think of volunteerism. People need to understand the distinction between community service and service-learning.
  • Service-learning is a method of teaching which connects classroom content to the community in a way that is helpful to others. The primary emphasis is on enriching the learning that happens as students apply their knowledge to a community context.
  • By contrast, the primary purpose of youth community service is to provide service to the community and to foster citizenship and an ethic of service.
sl standards for quality practice
SL Standards for Quality Practice
  • Meaningful Service
  • Curriculum Integration
  • Reflection
  • Diversity
  • Youth Voice
  • Reciprocal Partnerships
  • Progress Monitoring
  • Duration and Intensity
constantly evolving education
Constantly evolving education

Current Practice

Next steps


Take the simulations to the real world

Engage students in civil discourse, solve REAL problems, intern as an active citizen

Incorporate work “soft skills”

Build character in the process

  • Problem Based Education
  • Character education
  • Real-life learning
  • Simulations and project based classrooms
types of service learning
Types of Service-Learning


  • Students in a business class prepare taxes for the elderly.
  • Students in a health class set up a free health fair for members of the community.
types of service cont
Types of Service - Cont’


  • Students in a math class work with measurements to assist in a habitat house.
  • Students in a drama class perform a play to raise money for a charity.
  • Students in a science class do a stream clean up and learn to test water quality.
types of service cont19
Types of Service - Cont’

Advocacy and Research

  • Students in a civics class write letters to the editor to support some issue affecting their community.
  • Students research, write, and distribute a book about fire safety within their school district.
service learning preparation
Service-Learning: Preparation
  • Identify need
    • Community Needs Survey
    • Research
  • Analyze what can be done
  • Link need to curriculum
  • Plan outcomes to need
  • Train participants in particulars of action
service learning action
Service-Learning: Action
  • The actual service
    • Feeding the homeless
    • Cleaning up the stream
    • Planting flowers in community park
    • Raising funds for UNICEF
    • Tutoring grade school students
    • Visiting a nursing home for craft day
service learning reflection
Service-Learning: Reflection

Most Important Element of Service-Learning

    • Should be done throughout Cycle
  • Types of Reflection
    • Journal
    • Group Discussion (facilitated by Teacher)
    • Peer Group Discussion
    • Painting, Drawing, etc
    • Interpretative Dance
service learning celebration
Service-Learning: Celebration
  • Recognition
    • Local Media
      • Newspaper
      • Radio
      • Television
    • School
      • Award Ceremony
  • Demonstration of knowledge or skills learned
      • Presenting to the Administration/School Board
project examples
Project Examples

Empty Bowls

  • Hunger and Homelessness
    • Arts
    • Social Studies
    • Science
    • Computer Skills
project examples26
Project Examples

Big Time Basketball

  • Basketball clinic for elementary students
    • Physical Education
    • Computer skills
    • English/Language arts
project examples27
Project Examples

Project Faith

  • Health and Human Needs
    • Science
    • Social Studies
    • English/Language Arts
    • Hospice Training
    • Computer skills
project examples28
Project Examples

Stream Team

  • Environment
    • Science
    • Math
    • English/language arts
project examples29
Project Examples

Carry On Suitcase Project

  • Domestic Violence
    • Social Studies
    • English/Language Arts
    • Math
grant awards for service learning
Grant Awards for Service-Learning
  • Three-Year Cycle
    • 1st year - $8,000 grant award with 100% In-Kind Match
    • 2nd year - $7,000 grant award with 90% In-Kind Match and 10% Cash Match
    • 3rd year - $6000 grant award with 80% in-kind match and 20% cash match
service learning mini grants
Service-Learning Mini Grants
  • Student written
  • Limited time frame and budget
    • One semester
    • Up to $1,000
  • No money may go to salaries
  • Must meet the Essential Elements of Service-Learning.
  • Available online
service learning teacher mini grants
Service-Learning Teacher Mini Grants
  • Teacher written
  • Limited budget
    • From $1,000 - $2,500
    • No large equipment purchase (over $1,000)
  • Can be submitted anytime during the school year but must be expended by June 15.
peace jam
Peace Jam
  • Peace Jam is an event where several Nobel Peace Prize laureates come and speak to students from around the world about how he/she earned the Nobel Peace Prize

Operationally Simple…

  • All the tools needed for a school to conduct a successful fundraiser
      • Student and teacher training tools, management templates
      • Posters, photos, flyers, public service announcements

A New School in Kenya

  • Cost : $9,000 raised from 5 California High Schools
  • 8 students and two teachers traveled to help with completion
  • State Minister of Education attended commemoration

Cows for Orphanage

  • 120 students at Kenyan orphanage with no protein
  • Challenge to Jordan Middle School in Palo Alto to fund two cows
  • Cows will produce milk for eight years

Desks for School in Malawi

  • Cooperate with Kisimu Education Fund
  • Desks for 74 students in first-ever primary school
  • Funded by students at Burlingame High School