The goal of service learning is to empower youth to become engaged in their personal, social and working lives.
- Service Learning Requirements:
- Identify an area of need in the community
- Volunteer with at least 1-5 organizations for a total number of 40 hours
- If volunteering with 1 or 2 organizations, you must find 3 other similar organizations and explain their goals and processes.
- Interview at least 2 people/families helped by this service
- Interview questionnaires must be written out before hand. Interviews should be recorded.
- Organize and conduct fundraiser for the organization (this could be for money, supplies, or other volunteers)
Service Learning is not:
- An episodic volunteer program
- A stand-alone unit or activity within a curriculum
- Logging a set number of community service hours in order to graduate
- Compensatory service assigned as a form of punishment by the courts or by school
- A paid experience
- One-sided: benefiting only students or only the community (Eyler & Giles, 1999)
- Service Learning versus Service
- Service Learning integrates academic study with the service experience, helping participants reflect on larger social issues and see the service experience in terms of social, economic or educational justice instead of “charity.” The experience makes learning intentional through the use of reflective writing, group discussions and other activities. Finally, the Service Learning experience is created through collaborative efforts between community partnerships and youth. Community can be defined in a variety of ways.
- Community Service does not typically include an academic component, nor does it offer academic credit. This type of service is not viewed as part of a framework, pedagogy or philosophy to learn about a larger social issue or improve an injustice. While student learning is likely to take place, this is not the focus of community service. Planning is typically the responsibility of the school or an agency with little to no input from students.
- Volunteerism does not typically connect to classroom instruction or learning. While a worthwhile activity, participants do not learn about larger social issues in any organized fashion. There is no focus on reflection, building partnerships or improving knowledge and skills.
- Community–Based Learning does not involve service of any sort, but is often confused with the other three key terms included here. Community-based learning uses the community to learn about an issue, but there is no contribution to the betterment of the community nor is there any solution offered if a social issue is explored.