How to get Students to Practice Service Learning in 3 Easy Steps
Expecting kids to naturally be giving, kind and compassionate is a big ask from kids in the world we live in today. Children copy behavior they see around them- in their homes, schools and community. What we know right now is this includes a world with a lot of stress, anxiety, depression, separation, war, need and so much more. This is a great time to introduce students to ways to practice service learning for many reasons.
We wouldn’t expect a child to be a good athlete or a great reader without repetition, practice, and support. It’s no different for growing a generation of caring, compassionate, generous and yes – philanthropic young people. We need students to practice service learning in order to get good at it.
Service Learning in Schools
Schools are working towards including kindness and empathy in the classroom but assigning “giving” as homework just doesn’t work. Instead, incorporating service learning in schools leads to engaged and empowered active citizens. This is methodology we embrace and encourage at 365give.
The term “service learning” is a type of educational activity that combines community / school service with academic instruction. It allows students to gain knowledge and skills by engaging in meaningful service activities that have a positive impact on their community. It not only benefits the community, but it also benefits your students physical and mental health, well-being, and even their grades
There are many benefits to incorporating service learning into any grade’s curriculum. These projects provide students with:
- Valuable real-world experience
- Encouraging them to think critically
- Develop important skills in problem-solving,
- Social interaction
- Development of interpersonal skills
- Inclusive and expands knowledge of diversity
Service learning also allows students to make meaningful contributions to their local communities, which lead to
- Increased self-esteem
- A sense of purpose
- Foster empathy and understanding
- Build a sense of civic responsibility and global awareness.
- Increase happiness and well-being
- Increases mental and physical health
For these reasons, service learning is an important part of any teacher’s curriculum to create a culture that encourages and fosters inclusion, well-being, and happiness.
3 Easy Steps to Engage and Empower Your Students in Service Learning
- Start by introducing the concept to your students. Explain the value importance of community involvement. Show them examples of projects and discuss the positive impact they have had.
- Create a service learning project that is tailored to the interests and abilities of your students. Make sure that the project will be age-appropriate and achievable within the allotted timeframe.
- Set up a timeline for the project and provide the necessary resources and materials. Provide guidance and support throughout the process to ensure the project is successful. Encourage the students to ask questions and make suggestions to ensure that it meets the needs of the community.
The Key to Service Learning
The key to service learning is letting kids choose how they want to give. This is a form of self-directed learning. It allows them to take ownership of their service vs another homework project on their long list of assignments.
Studies published in the Journal of Adolescent Research and the Journal of Experiential Education found that when students were given the opportunity to choose their own service projects, they reported higher levels of:
- A greater sense of ownership over their service
- Higher Levels of satisfaction
- Understanding impact of their service
- Increases health and happiness
When students are able to choose the projects and activities that align with their interests and passions, they are more likely to be invested in the learning process and to see the relevance of their service to their own lives. This can lead to a deeper understanding of the issues and problems facing their community, as well as the skills and knowledge needed to address them.
Additionally, research has shown that service learning that is student-centered and self-directed can lead to the development of important life skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making. Another study published in the Journal of Experiential Education found that students who engaged in this type of learning reported higher levels of skill development in these areas compared to students who engaged in more traditional forms of service learning.
We are here to get you started and it really is as easy as 1,2,3. Sign up today for our school program.
Check out these posts to learn more!
Enhance Your Students Social Emotional Learning with These Giving Lessons