From Community Service to Service-Learning
The main difference between traditional volunteer projects and Service-Learning projects is intentionally linking the service to learning objectives or 4-H project work. In community-based settings, the learning objectives are found outside of the school curriculum.
Add these Service-Learning components to take your volunteer project to the next level!
- Add opportunities for youth to investigate and identify community needs
- Include youth in all aspects of the project planning and implementation process. To learn more about the importance of including the “youth voice” in Service-Learning projects, check out Learn and Serve America’s Youth Voice Guidebook.
- Provide purposeful opportunities for young people to reflect on both the service project and the Service-Learning process (visit Steps of Service-Learning for more information on this process)
- Incorporate opportunities for youth to demonstrate and celebrate their success
4-H Citizenship and Service-Learning
4-H citizenship projects provide a great opportunity to incorporate elements of Service-Learning. In fact, many of these projects might already be considered Service-Learning!
The 4-H citizenship curriculum incorporates many of the elements of Service-Learning. A comprehensive list of 4-H citizenship project manuals and resources can be found on the Citizenship Project Page.
Project leaders and young people who are interested in adding an element of Service-Learning to their group are also encouraged to check out the following resources:
- Ready, Set, Serve! Service-Learning Lesson Plans for 4-H Meetings
- Helping Hands: A 4-H Leader Guide to Service-Learning Projects
- 4-H Service-Learning Standard and Best Practice Guide
Share Your Service-Learning Story
Once you’ve completed your Service-Learning project, share your story on the National Service-Learning Clearinghouse!