Service-learning guides and opportunities

What is service-learning?
Service-learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with classroom curriculum, allowing students to connect academic studies with real-life solutions in order to strengthen communities.

How does it work?
Within the classroom, students identify community needs and apply their skills and studies to research solutions. Then they plan service activities, implement the activities, and evaluate and reflect on the experiences and impact.

Who does it?
Data gathered from educators in the 2016-17 school year revealed 442,452 students participated in at least one school-led service and/or service-learning activity. An overwhelming majority of responding schools reported that school-led service and/or service-learning activities have a positive impact on their students’ development and ability to benefit their community

What kinds of resource are included here?
This collection includes two kinds of resources: planning guides and classroom resources to help educators and school leaders develop service-learning in their classrooms and school communities, followed by links to organizations that provide opportunities for educators and school leaders who want to integrate service-learning into their classroom curriculum.

How can I learn more about implementing a program in my school? 

This collection is shared by Service in Schools, an initiative of the NYC Department of Education in partnership with NYC Service, Office of the Mayor. Service in Schools strives to expand the number of NYC students engaged in transformative community service and service-learning experiences that enable them to use their voice, skills, and critical thinking to affect positive change in their communities and the world.

Service in Schools provides direct assistance to schools to develop and improve their community service and service-learning programs, professional learning workshops for educators interested and ready to implement service-learning, leadership programs for students, and resources to create and enhance schools’ community service and service-learning programs.

Email ServiceinSchools@schools.nyc.gov to have a member of the team visit your school to learn about your service projects and see the impact your students are making on the community.

Please note that the files in this collection cannot be downloaded from WeTeachNYC because they link out to an external site.

Included Resources

When students understand the five stages of service learning, they become more adept at the process. They can also apply this framework to diverse situations. With this learning experience, Cathryn Berger Kaye, M.A., CBK Associates, author of The Complete Guide to Service Learning, provides teaching tools to guide your students in understanding each of the five stages. You will find this adaptable to different grades and ages. For more information on developing service learning programs, explore the resources shared on Cathryn’s site, CBK Associates.

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