What is Service-Learning?
Service-Learning is a strategy that integrates community needs, intentional learning objectives, and structured opportunities for reflection. Service-Learning projects take community service or volunteer projects to the next level by emphasizing both service and learning to create a more meaningful experience for youth.
For more information, check out, Service-Learning in Community-Based Organizations: A Practical Guide to Starting and Sustaining High-Quality Programs.
How Does Service-Learning Differ from Community Service?
- Are developed by youth and focus on what they see as important community needs
- Help the community while providing a powerful learning opportunity for youth
- Allow youth to connect learning outcomes and skills to real world experiences
- Are typically not “one-time” efforts
Community Service – Youth prepare and serve a meal at a local homeless shelter.
Service-Learning – Youth research homelessness in their community and contact local homeless shelters to learn about the types of services they provide. Youth then decide together on a service project that will support this community need. After planning and completing the service project, youth reflect upon both the Service-Learning process and the service project.
4-H Program Specialist