Service-learning is a strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and self-reflection to support a variety of goals: (1) enhancing academic learning, (2) teaching civic responsibility, (3) developing 21st century skills, (4) increasing global awareness, and (5) strengthening communities.
Today, elementary, middle, high, and postsecondary schools across the nation participate in service-learning with the support of federal, state, district, and foundation funding. It is estimated that more than 4.2 million students participated in service-learning during the 2007-2008 academic year in approximately 20,400 schools. Of these participants, high schools were most likely to engage students in community service or to include service-learning as part of their curriculum.1
Service-learning is beneficial for students, organizations, and communities. All students, including those with disabilities (e.g., emotional and behavioral disorders, learning disabilities, moderate and severe intellectual disabilities, students with hearing and vision limitations), can be involved in and benefit from service-learning.2
Illinois High School Addresses Teen Traffic Safety Through Service-Learning Approach
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens, accounting for approximately one-third of all teenage deaths (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2010). Per mile driven, teen drivers ages 16 to 19 are four times more likely than older drivers to be involved in a crash (CDC, 2009).
Stopping the Summer Slide with Energy Express
Under the leadership of the West Virginia University Extension 4-H Youth Development, Energy Express is a research based summer reading and nutrition program for children living in rural and low-income West Virginia.
AmeriCorps NCCC: Strengthening Communities and Developing Leaders
The National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) is one of the three programs that form AmeriCorps, a network of national service programs that engage Americans in service to address critical community needs within the United States. AmeriCorps NCCC is a full-time, team-based residential program for men and women ages 18-25.
Map My Community is a tool designed specifically to assist you in locating resources in your community to help you build and strengthen your youth program. Get ideas for new partnerships, identify gaps in your community, and learn about resources to avoid duplication of effort.
FindYouthInfo.gov is the U.S. government Web site that helps you create, maintain, and strengthen effective youth programs. Included are youth facts, funding information, and tools to help you assess community assets, generate maps of local and federal resources, search for evidence-based youth programs, and keep up-to-date on the latest, youth-related news.