Creating Community Connections
Service learning is “a teaching and learning approach that integrates community service with academic study to enrich learning, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities” (Learning In Deed, 2005). Service learning has a dual function to enrich students’ understanding of curricular objectives and to address needs within the local community. Unlike community service, service learning is explicitly linked to the curriculum, allowing students to make real-world applications within a meaningful and familiar context.
Service learning is an engaging and interactive process for students. Before participating in the actual service project, students use a variety of resources to identify needs within their community that correlate to their unit of study. With support from established community partnerships and the site-based coordinator, teachers scaffold this process of exploration enabling students to develop problem solving skills and exercise higher order thinking strategies. Service learning also enhances instruction by infusing the use of technology and integrating a multitude of curricular objectives.
Our Schoolyard Habitat plays a vital role in the implementation of service learning. Outdoor education allows all students the opportunity to unplug and use the natural world to meet curriculum objectives in all subject areas.
Please feel free to contact Susan Spranger with any questions or comments…firstname.lastname@example.org
Exemplary Project Coordinator