Student service learning combines classroom instruction with community service to address community needs.
Students take what they learn in the classroom and apply that knowledge to real-world problems in their communities. Service learning enhances the learning experience by:
- teaching critical thinking skills to solve complex problems in the context of real-world situations
- encouraging civic responsibility and community action
- promoting cooperation and teamwork
- building character
Service learning supplements reading, writing, and classroom discussions. It is also ideal for students who learn better by doing hands-on activities rather than simply sitting in a classroom.
What is Not Service Learning?
Service learning differs from community service (volunteering) by requiring structured and guided classroom learning. Students then apply this knowledge directly to a problem or need in the community.
Service learning also should not be confused with mandated community service hours required for graduation or as a form of punishment.
Find Service Learning Opportunities
Service learning may be available at K-12 schools, colleges and universities, and faith-based or community organizations. Ask a counselor or other staff member about opportunities. Also check out the following: