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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!

  1. Add opportunities for youth to investigate and identify community needs
  2. 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.
  3. 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)
  4. 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:

Share Your Service-Learning Story

Once you’ve completed your Service-Learning project, share your story on the National Service-Learning Clearinghouse and connect to share resources! 

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