Here are some descriptions and examples of clear expectations for positive and high quality service-learning experiences.
- MEET A RECOGNIZED NEED IN THE COMMUNITY
Community needs are related to health, education, environment, or public safety. Students identify needs, devise a plan to address those needs, and implement their project. Students may engage in direct, indirect, or advocacy projects.
Direct Service: Students are able to engage with recipients face-to-face.
Examples: tutoring other students, serving meals at a homeless shelter, working with the elderly in a nursing home, etc.
Indirect Service: Students can work as part of a team or individually providing service.
Examples: food and clothing drives, marathons or fundraisers, environmental projects, etc.
Advocacy: Student can help persuade people to act in a new way, and educate others about particular issues.
Examples: lobbying, speaking, writing letters to legislators or editors, preparing and displaying posters to an identified audience, writing and preforming informative plays, creating education materials for a target group,
The Core of Student Service Learning
1. Achieve curricular objectives through service learning
Students use their classroom knowledge and apply what they have learned to real life situations. Service-learning experiences should meet existing course outcomes, and help students develop writing, reading, speaking and listening skills assessed through Maryland assessments.
2. Reflect throughout the service-learning experience
Reflection activities such as journaling, discussions, preforming and writing allow students form a deeper understanding of how service learning can help our community and how it correlates to what they are learning in school.
3. Develop student responsibility
Service-learning allows students to take leadership roles and ownership of projects being utilized. Students learn important school, job and life skills and they come together as a team members to use problem solving skills make a difference in their community.
4. Establish community partnerships
Experiences with service-learning give students an opportunity to learn more about their community, explore possible career opportunities, and work with diverse groups and individuals.
5. Plan ahead for service-learning
Teachers, students, and community organizations need to come together to collaborate and plan effective projects. Students Should take an active role in determining their community needs, planning, developing and implementing the projects in order to help their community.
6. Equip students with knowledge and skills needed for service
Students must understand the issue they will be addressing. To help them prepare they can research, read articles, and listen to guest speakers to learn more about the issue. Students need to learn project specific skills as well as explore issues related to citizenship and civic engagement.