Service Learning

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?

 Service-Learning projects:

  • 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.

Contact Us

Brenda Allen
4-H Program Specialist

(515) 294-1567


Iowa AmeriCorps State of Promise
Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service


Susan Hollenkamp
Program Director - Iowa AmeriCorps 4-H Outreach Program

(515) 294-9722

Share |