Start Your Own Service Learning
Many national organizations can help school districts develop high-quality service learning activities, and most states have Learn and Serve programs in their state departments of education that districts can easily access.
Elson Nash, Learn and Serve’s associate director for program management, says interested school districts should also take advantage of administrative training offered by the Education Commission for the States. “The best way to get connected is to talk to peers about the challenges of doing service learning right and how to build and align it with state standards.”
Joseph Follman, director of Florida Learn and Serve, advises districts to first form a core group to be trained in concepts and pedagogy and to ensure that key policy and educational goals are understood. “It must be seen by all stakeholders as an effective means to ends that they have,” he says.
In the early planning stages, members should visit schools where well-designed projects are running and gain insight about what service learning entails.
Helpful resources include: