Why Service-Learning?

What is Service Learning?

Service-learning is a research-based teaching and learning strategy that engages youth in service to meet learning objectives and address real-world issues.


Service-Learning and the Common Core State Standards

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) provide a framework of the academic knowledge and skills that all students need in order to be ready for college and career success upon leaving high school. The Standards are NOT a curriculum. They establish the goal (or destination) for what students should know and accomplish in each grade. Teachers, administrators and schools determine how best to help their students reach the standards.

Service-learning is a particularly effective strategy for accomplishing the goals of the CCSS for many reasons, including the opportunity to use critical thinking and collaboration to address real-world issues. Service-learning goals parallel CCSS, and the student-driven stages of the service-learning process prepare students with skills for college and career. Read more about the Common Core State Standards at http://www.corestandards.org/.


What Are the Benefits of Service-Learning to Students, Schools, and Communities?

youth Gain...

  •  21st century skills: critical-thinking, problem-solving, leadership, decision-making, collaboration, and communication
  •  Real-world experience connected to academic subjects.
  •  Greater sense of the purpose for learning.
  •  Deeper understanding of themselves and empathy and respect for others.
  •  Opportunities to explore skills and interests and to network for career readiness.
  •  Guided practice in taking action as socially responsible global citizens.
  •  Increased self-efficacy as they address community needs.


  • Deeper connection between academic knowledge and real-world applications.
  • Increased pro-social behavior and student engagement.
  • An effective drop-out prevention strategy.
  • A focus for school improvement.
  • Improved school climate.
  • Positive school-community relationships.


  • Energy and creativity of youth in addressing community needs.
  • Opportunities to build positive relationships between community members and schools.
  • New perspectives on youth as assets, not liabilities.
  • New generation of caring and experienced citizens, activists and volunteers - tomorrow's civic leaders.
  • Increased public awareness of key issues.