*Some people who donate community service
are compelled to do so
by an organization...
Some of this required service is assigned;
however, the person giving the service may be involved
in the selection and planning of the service project.
- *Colleges. Colleges and universities often require their students to do community service. Community service may also be an unofficial requirement for acceptance to the college.
- *High Schools. Some high schools require seniors to do a senior project as a requirement for graduation. Those projects may involve community service. Washington State lawmakers passed a 2014 law which gives school districts and their school boards the authority to keep or discontinue the 2008 culminating senior projects as a graduation requirement beginning the class of 2015. Many of these past projects have involved community service.
- Youth Organizations. Some youth organizations, such as Camp Fire, 4-H, and Girl and Boy Scouts promote service projects. For example, Boy Scouts are required to do community service to advance to the rank of Eagle Scout.
- Families. Many families enjoy participating in community service. Some parents even require a certain number of hours of service in order for their children to be enrolled in a sports team or other activity.
- Businesses. Employers often encourage their staff to participate in community service, or to donate to a charitable organization.
- *Criminals. People convicted of crimes may be required to give community service in exchange for, or as part of, their sentencing fine.
- Service learning programs have become common throughout the country. As of 2011, 30% of elementary and secondary schools offered service learning. A full 90% of universities also offer service learning programs. (Shelley Billig, VP of RMC Corporation, a Denver-based education reform research organization)
- When done well, service learning raises test scores and connects curriculum with real world experiences in ways that help students see the value in their education. It provides students with opportunities for character development that traditional book learning does not. (Amy Meures, communications director for the National Youth Leadership Council, an organization that supports educators in their service learning efforts.)
- Most college students can register for service-learning courses tied to almost any major. Service-learning classes (sometimes called "engaged learning") let students apply book learning to real world knowledge and situations. Students have a deeper level of understanding of course material if they have had an opportunity to engage with the material in an applied way.
- Each school creates its own courses based on community needs. For examle, linguistics students may provide translation services at health clinics for immigrants. Education majors may help with tutoring and reading programs in schools. Journalism students may help immigrants write their personal stories for community publications.
- 81% of high school students say they are bored in school. The most frequently cited reason for boredom is that students don't see how what they are learning in school is relevant to their lives. Service learning can help bridge the gap between the theoretical and the practical. (Amy Meures, communications director for the National Youth Leadership Council, an organization that supports educators in their service learning efforts.)
- 83% of elementary school students who participate in service learning meet or exceed curriculum standards. (Andrew Furco, professor of organizational behavior, Univ. of Minnesota)
- High school students who participate in service learning are 22% more likely to graduate from college than those who do not. Additionally, students who participate in service learning projects score 6.7% higher in reading achievement and 5.9% higher in science achievement than those who do not. (Alberto Davilla, professor of economics, University of Texas-Pan American)
- Working to solve real world problems helps students feel like their school work is significant and valuable. When students feel empowered to solve problems in the real world, they bring that empowerment back into the classroom and use it to work on their math problems. (Britnie Powell, 6th grade teacher in a Charter school where more than 80% of students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, Salt Lake Center for Science Education, Rose Park, Utah)
- Low-income students who serve others on a regular basis appear to do as well or better than higher income students who do not serve. Lower-income students involved in service learning are 37% more likely to receive high grades than their peers who do not participate. They are also 20% more likely to report taking an active interest in learning, complete homework assignments, feel connected to their school and consistently attend class. (Britnie Powell, 6th grade teacher in a Charter school where more than 80% of students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, Salt Lake Center for Science Education, Rose Park, Utah)
As a teacher, my job isn't just to teach kids how to read and write and do math. It is also to teach them how to be good human beings - to see the good in each other and to be aware of the world around them. (Britnie Powell, 6th grade teacher in a Charter school where more than 80% of students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, Salt Lake Center for Science Education, Rose Park, Utah) ("Service Learning improves scores, teaches character," Mercedes White, Deseret News, February 26, 2012, email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
- As of 2011, 30% of elementary and secondary schools, and 90% of
universities, offered service learning programs. (U.S. Department of