What is Service Learning?

Service learning is a form of experiential education through which students learn as they address real needs in their own communities. Through Service Learning, students engage in a community service project that:

  • Meets actual needs
  • Is coordinated with the school and community
  • Is integrated into academic curriculum
  • Provides time for thinking, talking, and reflecting
  • Provides opportunities to use newly acquired skills and knowledge in the community
  • Enhances what is taught in school by extending student learning beyond the classroom
  • Fosters development of a sense of caring for others
  • Encourages ethics of citizenship, social action and true democracy

Adapted from Alliance for Service Learning and Education Reform (ASLER) Standards

Benefits to Students
  • Students make a difference in their community by meeting a real need
  • Develop positive feelings of self-worth
  • Develop good citizenship skills
  • Develop job skills
  • Gain exposure to the world of work Benefits to schools
  • Enhanced school climate
  • Enriched curriculum
  • Allows for performance-based evaluation
  • Fosters student/staff/community relationships
Benefits to the Community
  • Receive a valuable service
  • Address unmet needs
  • Students become invested in their community

Adapted from Vermont STW Work-based Learning Manual

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