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Service Learning Activities

There are an enormous number of definitions of service learning, but they all seem to share some commmon ideas.

  • Yeah, at the heart it's performing a volunteer service.
  • But it means performing a service that applies and reinforces what the student is learning about a given subject. So it's not just an isolated afternoon of cleaning up trash. It's writing letters to the editor on a topic the students have studied in civics. It's bulding a handicap access ramp applying mathematical principles the students are mastering. It's putting on a puppet show for other kids about a health topic they are exploring.
  • It's also about being in tune with what a community really needs. So it's not the students just doing something because they think it's cool. It's taking time to figure out what is really needed by the people to be served.
  • It also provides students time to reflect on the service performed. This promotes the students' recognizing the value of the service and learning that took place, as well as to best allow the development of such qualities as empathy, self-esteem, confidence, social responsibility, etc.

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