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Youth Development

Service-Learning is a form of experiential learning whereby students apply content knowledge, critical thinking and good judgment to address genuine community needs.
~Minnesota Department of Education

Service-Learning is based on the belief that students are an asset to their communities, and have something valuable and essential to offer those around them.  Engaging in Service-Learning Projects in school allows students to see needs in their communities and to, as a group, engage in efforts to meet those needs through service projects that are student-initiated and student-led.

Research shows that service-learning:

  • Improves Academic Achievement: When explicitly tied to academic standards and learning objectives, service-learning positively impacts student outcomes on measures of academic achievement, including standardized test scores.
  • Increases Student Engagement: Service-learning engages students by helping them make critical connections between classroom lessons and real-world applications.
  • Improves Social Behavior: Service-learning participants are less likely to engage in risky behavior, and more likely to build social skills like communication, teamwork, and problem solving.
  • Builds Civic Skills: By giving students the responsibility to identify and meet pressing needs, service-learning builds civic skills and commitment in young people that last a lifetime.
  • Strengthens Community Partnerships: Service-learning brings students into the community, and the community into schools. In this way, students develop a sense of belonging and responsibility, and communities view youth as valuable assets.