Growing to Greatness 2004

National Youth Leadership Council
January 1, 2004
No votes yet
Your rating: None

The National Youth Leadership Council is a
locally-based national and international nonprofit
organization, advancing a mission of ?building vital,
just communities with young people through service-
learning.? NYLC programs reach constituents
from all 50 states and more than 20 countries.
From its beginning more than 20 years ago,
NYLC operations have been guided by a
three-fold vision:
For young people ? A belief that all young people,
from elementary school ages to adulthood, are
needed as providers of service and leadership to
their communities, nation, and world.
For learning ? That people learn in a variety
of ways, and that service-learning is an effective
teaching and learning philosophy and methodology,
yielding measurable achievement, civic
engagement, and personal/social/spiritual
development outcomes.
For community ? For societies to be democratic,
all members ? including every race, gender, faith,
and age ? must understand and practice the work
of democracy: service, advocacy, and political
engagement. Like the conversion of wind power
to electricity, NYLC?s wind generator logo is
a metaphor for directing the strengths of young
people in building their communities.
Action, Reflection: Praxis
All NYLC operations and materials are stringently
evaluated and grounded in research. One-third of
all full-time NYLC staff hold advanced degrees,
including three senior staff who have Ph.D.s.
Along with the multi-year G2G initiative, NYLC
is engaged in research-based development of
service-learning approaches to AIDS.
Global Vision, Local Roots
Our vision is rooted in programs and policies
originated by NYLC in Minnesota:
Convened first in nation statewide service
initiative (1984).
Staffed, chaired, and served as member of state
service commissions (1985-1992) (1995-2001).
Convened and helped convene state service
conferences (starting in 1985).
Advanced state youth development and service
legislation, and funding (1987, 1989).
Organized statewide campus service initiatives,
developed related legislation (1988-1993).
Convene National Service-Learning
Conferences (1989-ongoing).
Influenced federal service-learning legislation
in 1990 and 1993 through congressional
testimony, including authoring language for
National Service-Learning Clearinghouse.
Launched first national service-learning project
funded by W.K. Kellogg Foundation (1990).
Participant in White House conferences on
philanthropy and adolescent development.
Presented on service-learning to audiences in
14 countries.
Lead provider of training and technical
assistance for Corporation for National and
Community Service (1993-2001).
Developed ?Essential Elements of Service-
Learning,? establishing standards for servicelearning.
Presented lead testimony for National
Commission on Service-Learning.
Co-convener, with Points of Light Foundation,
of 2000 National Youth Summit.
Edited special editions on service-learning for
Phi Delta Kappan magazine (1991, 2000).
Lead co-sponsor, with Youth Service America,
of National and Global Youth Service Day.
Current Operations
Publications, training materials, and workshops.
National network of 400 peer consultants led
by five regional centers supported by State
Farm Insurance.
New service-learning teacher certification and
online courses.
Annual weeklong summer youth leadership
model in operation (since 1983).
Active Youth Advisory Council.
National Service-Learning Conference (2,700
people representing every state and 20 countries
attended in 2003).
Lead sponsor, with State Farm Insurance, of
?Project Ignition,? a national youth safe-driving
media campaign and contest for high schools.
HIV/AIDS Initiative funded by Ittleson and
W.K. Kellogg Foundations.
Serve. Learn. Change the World.?
Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
James C. Kielsmeier, Ph.D.
Letter from State Farm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Kathy Payne
Foreword . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
James C. Kielsmeier, Ph.D.
Preliminary Findings Community
Service and Service-Learning
in Public Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
James C. Kielsmeier, Ph.D., Peter C. Scales, Ph.D.,
Eugene C. Roehlkepartain, and Marybeth Neal, Ph.D.
Heads, Hearts, Hands: The Research on
K-12 Service-Learning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Shelley H. Billig, Ph.D.
Service to Others: A ?Gateway Asset?
for School Success and
Healthy Development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Peter C. Scales, Ph.D. and
Eugene C. Roehlkepartain
Learn and Serve America: Reflecting
on the Past, Focusing on the Future . . . . . 33
Amy B. Cohen, Robert Bhaerman, Elson Nash,
and Kimberly Spring
Service-Learning Policy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Jennifer Piscatelli
State Profiles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
California . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
Colorado . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
Florida . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
Hawaii . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
Iowa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
Maine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
Maryland . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
Massachusetts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
Michigan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
Mississippi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
Montana . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
New Jersey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
New York . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
Rhode Island . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
South Carolina . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
Texas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70
Washington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
Wisconsin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74
Profiles of Community-Based
Service-Learning in the United States . . . . 76
City Year . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
Common Cents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78
Communities in Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79
Constitutional Rights Foundation . . . . . . . . . . 80
Do Something . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81
Earth Force . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82
KIDS Consortium . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83
Lions-Quest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84
National Indian Youth Leadership Project . . . . 85
YMCA of the U.S.A. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86
Youth Service America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87
Youth Volunteer Corps of America . . . . . . . . . 88
Glossary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
Essential Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90
Resources/Organizations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92
can be great,
everybody can
Copyright ? 2004 by the National Youth Leadership Council. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a
retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior
written permission of the publisher. Printed in the United States.
e would like to thank all of those individuals and
organizations that made this report possible.
The idea of engaged young people building better communities
while learning was a great fit for Kathy Havens Payne
at State Farm.A former teacher and school board member,
Kathy knows what works in the classroom and in the larger
world of young people. She and colleagues have been
terrific partners in the G2G Report and in the several
other service-learning initiatives State Farm sponsors
with NYLC.
The articles by Shelley Billig of RMC Research, Peter
Scales and Gene Roehlkepartain of Search Institute,Amy
Cohen of the Corporation for National and Community
Service, and Jennifer Piscatelli of the Education Commission
of the States provide descriptions of service-learning?s
impacts on youths, their communities, and state and
national policy.
We?d like to thank Rich Cairn of Cairn and Associates, and
Nelda Brown, executive director of SEANet, for their work
in creating state profiles. And of course, we?d like to thank
the staff at the state educational agencies and the other
organizations who were interviewed for the state profiles;
their help was invaluable in reviewing the profiles for
publication.These profiles help greatly to understand the
?story? of service-learning?s development for each state and
illustrate examples of service-learning programming.
Larry Bailis, Alan Melchior and Thomas Shields of Brandeis
University collected data and wrote profiles for the national
community-based organizations.These profiles help remind
us of service-learning in the larger picture and the varieties
of ways that learning can take place with or without a
connection to formal schooling.We would like to
thank the representatives of the profiled organizations
who gave so generously of their time to provide data to
our researchers.
The national survey was a collaborative effort with our
editorial board and carried out with the ongoing guidance
of Peter Scales and Gene Roehlkepartain of Search
Institute, and Larry Bailis and Alan Melchior of Brandeis
University.We are most grateful to Gerald N.Tirozzi,
Executive Director of the National Association of
Secondary School Principals, and Rocco Marario, Director
of Student Activities, for writing a letter of endorsement
encouraging principals to complete the survey.We?d also
like to thank Ellen Tenenbaum of Westat for her expert
shepherding of the national survey and her stalwart corps
of interviewers, which undoubtedly contributed to our
remarkable response rate of 91 percent.
Within the National Youth Leadership Council, research
director Dr. Marybeth Neal helped design and ably implemented
the project. Megan McKinnon, project coordinator,
efficiently took the larger vision and translated it into the
reality of deadlines, contracts, and editing final versions.
Maddy Wegner, director of publications, also contributed
her editorial skills to this project, for which we are
very grateful.
Lastly, I?d like to thank our editorial board for their encouragement
and support of this project.As we look forward in
this multi-year project, we hope to build on this sense of
community, uniting around our common concern to
document the scope, scale, and quality of service-learning
with care and rigor.
James C. Kielsmeier, Ph.D.
President/CEO, NYLC
Project Director, G2G
2 G2G
Editorial Board
Larry Bailis
Brandeis University
Shelley Billig
RMC Research
Nelda Brown
Sharon Buddin
Ridge View High School/NASSP
Columbia, SC
Amy Cohen
Corporation for National &
Community Service
Kate Cumbo
Colorado Department
of Education
Marty Duckenfield
National Dropout
Prevention Center
Joe Follman
Florida State University
Andy Furco
University of California ?
Tony Ganger
YMCA of the USA
Silvia Golombek
Youth Service America
Barbara Gomez
Teddy Gross
Common Cents New York
Joe Herrity
Iowa Department of Education
Don Hill
Youth Service California
Barbara Holland
National Service-Learning
Michelle Kamenov
Minnesota Department
of Education
Dick Kraft
Professor Emeritus
University of Colorado ? Boulder
Alan Melchior
Brandeis University
Sarah Pearson
American Youth Policy Forum
Stan Potts
University of Wisconsin ?
River Falls
Rob Shumer
St. Paul, MN
Dear Reader:
State Farm? and the State Farm Companies Foundation are very pleased to introduce Growing to
Greatness, the 2004 annual State of Service-Learning Report.
Documentation of service-learning, where it has been, where it is currently and explorations of how
it might proceed into the future can guide us in helping to build strong communities where citizens
of all ages are engaged as active contributors to the common good. As the leading provider of auto,
boat and home insurance and as a leader in life and financial services, State Farm? is very interested
in building such a positive future.
We are excited and inspired for what we see here in the first report from this multi-year project.
The recently completed National Survey of K-12 School Principals, with its remarkable 91 percent
response rate, will be a rich trove of data for many years to come.The percentages of schools with
community service and service-learning indicate that these strategies for improved civic engagement,
academic achievement and positive youth development are holding their own despite
budgetary cutbacks in schools. For the schools with service-learning, 50 percent of principals
reported an increase in service-learning at their schools over the past five years, while only four
percent reported a decrease.
The article by Billig relates the most recent research on service-learning impacts.The article by
Scales and Roehlkepartain documents the central importance of service-learning as a ?gateway?
aspect, which, if present in the lives of our youths, helps bring about other positive assets that
contribute to healthy youth development in a democratic society.The policy scan by the
Education Commission of the States reveals promising developments in the area of state policies.
The article on Learn and Serve America, and the state and national profiles tell the story of
deepening service-learning practice and suggests the variety of possibilities that exist for servicelearning
programming. A glossary at the end, resources and reference to the Essential Elements
of Service-Learning for Effective Practice and Organizational Support will help this report
become a convenient and hopefully inspiring reference work for your nearest bookshelf!
State Farm Companies Foundation and the associates and agents of State Farm share this vision
and are proud to sponsor the National Youth Leadership Council in this project.
Kathy Payne
Public Affairs Manager ? Education Excellence
State Farm Insurance
?I thank State Farm
for their wisdom and
foresight in funding this
project. I encourage all
readers to join together
to create future reports
documenting this
powerful strategy for
teaching and learning.?
G R O W I N G T O G R E A T N E S S 3
4 G2G
his year, as we celebrate Dr. King?s 75th
birthday and reflect upon the 50th anniversary
of the historic Brown vs. Board of Education
legal case, let us recommit ourselves to the creation
of the ?beloved community? to which Dr. King
devoted his life.The service-learning field is
indeed ?Growing to Greatness.? In so doing, all of
us are helping to ensure that the day soon comes
when Dr. King?s belief that ?everybody can be
great because everybody can serve? is a belief
shared by all.
~Anthony Welch, Chair,
National Service-Learning Partnership
Growing Hope
Growing to Greatness 2004 presents tangible
evidence of an emergent way of thinking about
and engaging young people that is taking hold
across the nation ? and beyond. Needed and
recognized as contributing members of society,
young people are responding to the call to serve
and learn as part of schools, colleges, and all
manner of community- based organizations.
Growing evidence, shared by several disciplines
and collected across a diverse range of settings,
documents young people actively learning and
making real differences in communities.
A primary catalyst for this dramatic shift in our
understanding of youth is service-learning, a
strategy for engaging students in useful service
linked to learning objectives.Annual G2G reports
will capture the scope and scale of young people
contributing and learning through servicelearning,
civic engagement, character education,
and youth development approaches.
Inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.?s words and
life, G2G documents the capacity of all youths to
be great ? to serve, learn and change the world.
A season of service, learning and leadership has
been inaugurated by recent generations of young
people.This is their story ? bringing to life King?s
definition of greatness and hope for the world.
Why G2G?
G2G is a counterpoint to our preoccupation
with expecting the worst from young people and
measuring only their inadequacies.Too often the
media spin on young people is that they just don?t
?measure up.? Adolescent, juvenile, teenager ?
words freighted with negative baggage suggest
that to be young is to be incomplete or a problem
to society. Academic test results highlight youth
deficiencies or achievement gaps between groups.
Top-line indicators of health predominantly
underscore youths? use of drugs, alcohol,
and tobacco.
Every pre-modern youth generation once had a
clearly defined transition period from childhood to
full adult responsibility. In contrast, schooling today
fills time for most young people, but not their
need for engaged learning and useful, contributing
roles. Disengaged from school, marginalized in
dead-end jobs, too many young people turn to
outlets yielding short-term gratification and
long-term pain.
The modern service and service-learning
movement is a response to the loss of meaning,
alienation, and lackluster learning many young
people experience in schools and work settings.
Two decades of focused service-learning and
youth development advocacy, research and
program growth have had an impact ? but we are
far from our goal of engaging all young people as
contributing members of society. G2G reports and
ongoing data collection will begin to capture what
we know about service-learning for the purpose of
expanding program practice and quality.
G2G is grounded on the premise that all young
people are ? or can become ? contributing
members of society, and what they contribute and
how they learn while serving needs to be widely
documented, understood, and valued.We are
interested in factors that encourage effective
service-learning practices; hence, we will have an
annual focus on what we are learning through
local and national research on service-learning.
(For more information on the rationale for G2G,
see the special report of the Generator, Spring
2003, available at: and inside back
cover, this issue).
G R O W I N G T O G R E A T N E S S 5
Service-Learning: An Ecological Approach
Service-learning is a distinctive philosophy, way
of teaching, and community development strategy
dependent on a variety of surrounding variables.
Like plant communities that depend on an
abundance of water, soil nutrients, and light to
thrive, service-learning requires a community of
support. Funding availability, the climate of
volunteerism for all age groups, opportunities
for volunteer community service, supportive
school/organizational policies ? all are indicators
of the health of service-learning.
G2G 2004, for example, includes a summary
article on the activities of the Learn and Serve
Program of the Corporation for National and
Community Service (CNCS), the largest single
service-learning funding source. How CNCS
fares is a major predictor of future practice.
Similarly we looked at policies that support
service-learning through an ECS policy scan,
and asked questions about community service
on the National Principals Survey.
The Future of G2G
Annual reports will be released along with a
cumulative online record of data collected. For
example, the April 2003 Introduction (Generator
Vol. 21, No. 3) to G2G 2004 is currently online.
This year?s full report will also be available online
and printed copies are available through NYLC.
A distinctive national survey such as the
2004 Principal Survey is planned for each year
(see Kielsmeier, Scales, Roehlkepartain, and Neal,
this issue).We also anticipate articles on servicelearning
in various contexts, such as faith
communities, higher education, and
international locales.
We are looking ahead to measurement of the
specific impact that young people are having
on their communities: Can we document that
tutoring improves achievement? Can we make
a correlation between students? participation in
service-learning and their likelihood of voting
and/or volunteering in political campaigns?
We will try.
We Need You
For service-learning and the community of
related factors to thrive, young people need to
be understood as change agents and builders of
civil society as creators of their own learning and
development. To tell this story in the years ahead
we need your help now!
Please read and respond to this report with a
critical eye. Tell us where we need to add examples
of exemplary programs or where related
research on the contributions of young people is
documented.We are eager to report on the range
of community and school district surveys showing
how youths are ?growing to greatness.?
To reach GTG staff at NYLC, please contact
Jim Kielsmeier
Saint Paul, Minnesota
March 2004
G2G is grounded
on the premise that
all young people are ?
or can become ?
contributing members
of society,
and what they contribute
and how they learn
while serving needs to be
widely documented,
understood, and valued.
6 G2G
Study at a Glance
This nationally representative study of principals
and other administrators in K-12 public schools
in the United States in January 2004 found the
69 percent of K-12 public schools engage
students in community service, reaching an
estimated 15 million students.
30 percent of K-12 public schools engage
students in service-learning, reaching an
estimated 4.5 million students.
9 out of 10 principals in schools that offer
service-learning say that it has a positive
impact on students? civic engagement,
personal and social development, and schoolcommunity
Principals in schools with service-learning
in low-income communities are more likely
than principals in other schools with servicelearning
to say that it positively affects
students? academic achievement and school
8 out of 10 principals in schools that offer
service-learning say that it has a positive
impact on academic achievement, teacher
satisfaction, school climate, school engagement,
and community?s view of youth as resources.
Preliminary Findings
Community Service
and Service-Learning in Public Schools
James C. Kielsmeier, Ph.D., Peter C. Scales, Ph.D.,
Eugene C. Roehlkepartain, and Marybeth Neal, Ph.D.
Despite financial pressures and pressures to focus
on core subjects, public schools continue to engage
millions of young people in service to others.
Schools that use ?service-learning? as a strategy see
a wide range of positive benefits for the students,
the schools, and their broader communities.
These are preliminary findings from a National
Youth Leadership Council study of 1,799 school
principals1 in a nationally representative sample
of public elementary, middle, and high schools in
January and February 2004. (See Display 1 for
more details.) The study examines the scope and
nature of community service and service-learning
in U. S. public schools, highlighting the potential
and challenges of engaging young people as
resources through schools. (Further analysis and
information is available at
Community Service and Service-Learning
Engage Millions of Students
Based on this new study, we estimate that roughly
56,000 U.S. public K-12 schools (out of approximately
84,000 public schools) currently engage
about 15 million students in community service.
Furthermore, we estimate that roughly 23,000
public schools offer service-learning projects and
programs, engaging roughly 4.5 million K-12
students in some form of curriculum-based
service.2 Thus, community service has become
a widespread practice and expectation in U.S.
schools, and service-learning has a solid base of
committed schools and educators.
Our study found that 69 percent of public schools
involve students in community service projects
(Figure 1), which this study defined as service or
volunteer activities that are ?non-curriculum-based
and are recognized by and/or arranged through the
school.?These levels of involvement are consistent
with the patterns found in a 1999 federal study
(Skinner & Chapman, 1999). At that time,
64 percent of all schools provided community
service opportunities for students.
By cultivating young people?s community
involvement, community service sets the stage for
more intentional integration of service into the
curriculum through service-learning. Our study
defined service-learning as ?curriculum-based
community service done through the schools that
integrates classroom instruction with community
service activities.? About one-third of schools
(30 percent) currently engage their students in
service-learning, a level that is consistent with
the 1999 study (Figure 1). However, this new
study does point to meaningful declines in both
community service and service-learning
opportunities in middle schools.
G R O W I N G T O G R E A T N E S S 7
Maintaining their commitment to community
service and service-learning in the midst of
major budget cuts, a focus on ?basic? subjects
and teaching approaches, and required standards
of learning attests to the staying power of
community service and service-learning in
the life and mission of today?s schools. (Further
analyses are underway to determine the extent to
which principals see current trends in education
as supporting or hindering engagement in
Principals See Many Benefits
of Service-Learning
One of the reasons for the staying power of
service-learning is likely the wide-ranging
Display 1
About the Study
As part of its Growing to Greatness servicelearning
initiative, National Youth Leadership
Council commissioned Westat, Inc. (in
consultation with Search Institute and Brandeis
University), to conduct a national study of
community service and service-learning in U.S.
elementary, middle, and high schools.The survey
was made possible with the generous support of
the State Farm Companies Foundation, which
seeks to build strong communities by engaging
all citizens ? young and old ? as active
contributors to the common good.
Ellen Tenenbaum served as the project manager
for Westat.The sample and survey were designed
for comparability to the national survey of
service and service-learning conducted by
Westat for the U.S. Department of Education
in 1999. (See Skinner & Chapman, 1999.)
In January 2004, surveys were mailed to
principals of 2,002 public K-12 schools. Data
were collected by mail or follow-up telephone
interviews through mid-February 2004. In all,
1,799 schools participated, representing a
remarkable 91 percent response rate. Forty-seven
percent of participating schools were elementary
schools, 26 percent were middle schools, and
28 percent were high schools. Principals
responded for 52 percent of the schools, with
the rest of the sample composed mostly of
counselors, assistant principals, and teachers.
Only 1 percent of the respondents were
service-learning directors or specialists.
More complete information on the study and
its findings will be available in a detailed report,
which will be posted on
Figure 1
Trends in Use of Community Service and Service-Learning
in U.S. Public Schools
Percentages of school principals who say their school offers community service and service-learning.
* From Skinner, R., & Chapman, C. (1999). Service-learning and community service in K-12 public schools. National Center for Education Statistics:
Statistics in Brief (NCES 1999-043).Available at
** Community service was defined in this study as follows:?Community service activities that are non-curriculum-based and are recognized by and/or
arranged through the school.?
*** Service-learning was defined in this study as follows:?Curriculum-based community service done through the schools that integrates classroom
instruction with community service activities.?
83% 83%
32% 30%
46% 45% Community Service Opportunities**
Elementary schools
Middle schools
High schools
Service-Learning Opportunities***
Elementary schools
Middle schools
High schools
1999* 2004
Total Total
perceptions of benefits, they are consistent with a
wide range of research showing the positive impact
of service-learning on students, schools, and
communities (see Billig, this issue; and Scales &
Roehlkepartain, this issue).
Low-Income Schools Offer Less Service-
Learning, But See Greater Benefits
In a time when schools are being held particularly
accountable for engaging low-income students,
it is important to examine the utilization of
service-learning ? and its perceived benefit ?
in schools serving low-income students.While
schools serving mostly low-income students3 are
less likely to use service-learning (29 percent of
these schools offer service-learning, compared to
36 percent of other schools), those that do tend
to see greater positive impact on their students
than do schools serving students from higherincome
Low-income schools that do offer service-learning
tend to see a greater impact on students than other
schools in student achievement and school engagement,
as shown in Table 1. If these perceptions are
accurate, they suggest that service-learning could
be an important strategy for addressing these key
priorities connected to the federal No Child Left
Behind education initiative.
Quality of Service-Learning Programs
Is Mixed
Despite the ?critical mass? of schools engaging
students in service-learning and the perceived
positive impact of those efforts, many questions
remain about the quality of those experiences in
schools.The field of service-learning has identified
8 G2G
benefits that principals see resulting from servicelearning
? benefits that address specific
challenges and priorities faced by today?s schools.
The survey asked principals who report having
service-learning in their school whether it has a
very positive, somewhat positive, or little or no
positive impact on various student and school outcomes
(Figure 2).The vast majority of principals
believe that service-learning has a very or somewhat
positive impact on all 10 outcomes (including
students? academic achievement), with the highest
impact being on students? citizenship, personal and
social development, and school-community relationships.
While these findings are based on principals?
Community Service and Service-Learning in Public Schools
Figure 2
Service-Learning Perceived to Have a Broad, Positive Impact
Principals in schools with service-learning who say it has a very or somewhat positive impact in each area.
Very and
Students? citzenship/ 61% 92%
civic engagement 31%
School-community 60% 91%
relationships 31%
Students? personal and 58% 91%
social development 33%
School climate 45% 88%
School engagement 44% 88%
Community?s view of 49% 85%
youth as resources 37%
Teacher satisfaction 42% 85%
Academic achievement 32% 83%
Attendance 34% 74%
Parent involvement 26% 71%
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
Very Positive Somewhat Positive
G R O W I N G T O G R E A T N E S S 9
several critical principles for effective practice
(see, for example, National Youth Leadership
Council, 1999), yet most schools that say they
are doing service-learning are not meeting many
of these standards.
For example, most schools that do service-learning
say they primarily offer one-time events
(80 percent) or projects that last less than one
month (76 percent). Longer events ? which are
central to a more intentional service-learning
approach ? are much less common. Furthermore,
only a minority of schools (36 percent)
that do service-learning have student participation
in performing needs assessments to identify
possible projects ? a type of student participation
that is considered foundational to effective
service-learning. Further analysis will explore
these dynamics more fully, but they point to
ongoing needs for staff development and
institutional commitment to doing servicelearning
Little Funding, Infrastructure Available
to Support Service-Learning
Despite the perceived value and impact of
service-learning, it appears that most schools
that offer service-learning have relatively little
dedicated financial support, coordinating personnel,
teacher training, or incentives to support
their programs and projects. Indeed, it appears
that financial support for service-learning has
declined significantly in the past five years. Some
evidence of this lack of infrastructure support
includes the following:| Two-thirds of school principals (66 percent)
in schools that offer service-learning say
Table 1
Higher Impact Perceived in Low-Income Schools
Percent of principals in schools that offer service-learning who say it has a ?very positive? impact on
each outcome area, by the average poverty level of the students the school serves.
Schools Poverty Level*
Areas of Impact** Low Moderate High
Students? academic achievement 32% 28% 43%
School engagement 49% 40% 54%
* Low poverty: 0-24 percent of students are eligible for free- or reduced-price lunches. Moderate poverty: 25 percent to 54 percent of students are
eligible. High poverty: 55 percent or more students are eligible.
** Differences on other areas of impact were either not statistically significant or were only marginally significant, making them not meaningful due
to small sample sizes.
10 G2G
neither their school nor their district has a
written policy encouraging or requiring
service-learning.| Only 15 percent of schools that offer servicelearning
have a part-time service-learning
coordinator at the school or district level, and
only nine percent have a full-time coordinator.| Some financial help is available within about
half of the schools that offer service-learning.
Mini-grants for service-learning programs or
curriculum development are available in
49 percent of schools, and 51 percent of schools
have funds available to offset the costs of
service-learning projects or programs.| Sixty percent of schools or districts that have
service-learning support teachers in attending
service-learning training or conferences outside
of school. However, only 34 percent of schools
with service-learning have sponsored in-service
training in service-learning at the school or
district level in the past three years.| Very few schools make structural changes that
facilitate more effective service-learning. For
example, only 14 percent of schools that offer
service-learning reduce course loads for teachers
so that they can develop or supervise servicelearning,
and only 17 percent offer extra
planning time for service-learning activities.| Only about one in four schools track basic
data on the scope of their service-learning
efforts ? much less its relationship to key areas
of accountability, which makes it much more
difficult to make the case for service-learning
as a core educational strategy and priority.
Capitalizing on Widespread Support
and a Core Leadership Base
This study reaffirms the potential and power of
service-learning as a strategy for simultaneously
engaging young people in civic and community
life, promoting their healthy development, and
strengthening their education. It reveals a core
of school leaders who believe strongly in the
importance and power of service-learning ? even
in the face of pressure to focus time and resources
The potential for service-learning becomes even
clearer when these findings are paired with the
2000 Roper Starch Worldwide survey of American
adults.That study found that nine out of 10
American adults would support service-learning
in their local schools ? though only about
one-third of the adults were previously familiar
with the concept. In addition, parents with
students in schools are most supportive
(Roper Starch Worldwide, 2000).
Despite the consistent evidence of support for
student engagement in community service and
service-learning, the study highlights two critical
challenges.The first is the challenge of expanding
service-learning beyond the core group of onein-
three schools that offer students these
opportunities to serve and learn ? a level that
has remained unchanged across the past five years.
The second challenge lies in strengthening servicelearning?s
infrastructures, supports, and effective
implementation so that it can spread within and
beyond these schools to become an integral,
sustainable commitment of schools.
These findings only begin to reveal the learning
that will emerge from this new study. Among other
things, additional analyses will examine differences
across different grade levels of schools, variations
across different sizes of schools, barriers to servicelearning
implementation, available infrastructures
and supports in schools, and additional insights
based on the economic realities of students
being served.
As this wealth of learning enters the dialogue
of educators, service-learning advocates, policymakers,
and community members, these insights
will, we hope, stimulate more educators to
embrace service-learning as a powerful strategy for
enhancing student achievement and engagement.
Community Service and Service-Learning in Public Schools
This study reaffirms
the potential and power
of service-learning
as a strategy for
simultaneously engaging
young people
in civic and community life,
promoting their healthy
development, and
strengthening their education.
G R O W I N G T O G R E A T N E S S 11
Even more important, we hope that it helps to
fuel a broad and deep commitment to recognizing
and engaging young people as positive
resources for communities ? and their first steps
in being engaged, active, contributing citizens for
the nation and world. G2G
Billig, S. (this issue). Head, heart, and hands:The research on K-12
service-learning. In National Youth Leadership Council (2004).
Growing to Greatness:The State of Service-Learning Report. St. Paul,
MN: National Youth Leadership Council.
Hoffman, L. (2003). Overview of public elementary and secondary
schools and districts: School year 2001-02 (NCES 2003-411).
Washington D.C.: Center for Education Statistics, Institute of
Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, Downloaded
National Youth Leadership Council (1999). Essential Elements of Service-
Learning. St. Paul, MN: National Youth Leadership Council.
Roper Starch Worldwide (2000). Public attitudes toward education and
service-learning. New York: Author.Available at www.learningindeed.
Scales, P. C., & Roehlkepartain, E. C. (this issue) Service to others:
A ?gateway asset? for school success and healthy development.
In National Youth Leadership Council (2004). Growing to
Greatness:The State of Service-Learning Report. St. Paul, MN:
National Youth Leadership Council.
Skinner, R., & Chapman, C. (1999). Service-learning and community
service in K-12 public schools. National Center for Education
Statistics: Statistics in Brief (NCES 1999-043).Available for downloading
1. Half of the respondents (52%) were principals, with counselors,
office secretaries, assistant principals, teachers, and others together
making up the remainder of the sample. For simplicity, we refer to
the total sample as ?principals? in this article, since each person
completed the survey at the request of the principal.
2. These estimates are derived from this study?s findings and statistics
from the U.S. Department of Education on the number and average
size of public elementary, middle, and high schools in the
United States (Hoffman, 2003).
3. For this analysis, we grouped schools into three groups based on
the principal?s estimate of the percentage of students who are
eligible for the federal free- or reduced-price lunch program
(a standard indicator of poverty). Low-income schools were
those with 55% or more of their students qualifying for this
federal program.
12 G2G
f you were going on a weight-loss diet, as so
many of us have, you would ask a few hard
questions about any program that a friend or
physician suggested. First, you would want to know
what the diet is (?Atkins? South Beach? What?s
that??). Next, you would want to know if it works
(?How much weight have people lost on that diet?
Really?!?). Finally, you might ask,?What do I need
to do to make it work best?? ? Or perhaps,?How
do I know it will work for me?? (e.g., ?I don?t like
some of these foods.What should I do???But what
if I?m traveling? Then what do I do?? or ?I don?t
eat meat.What about me??) There are probably
lots of other questions you might ask, but these
are most likely the big three.
So it goes with service-learning. If you call an
educator, parent, or policy-maker who does not
know anything about service-learning, but cares
about education, they will probably ask you the
same three questions:| What is it? (the ?it? is service-learning);| Does it work? Does it produce the outcomes
we are seeking?| What does it take to make it work best? (And/or,
will it work for me?)
In this article, the research on service-learning that
has been completed in the past few years will be
summarized.The article will show how educators,
researchers, and the general public have begun to
define the ?it,? that is, the essence of servicelearning.
It will address how the research has begun
to converge on the effects that service-learning
appears to have on students in three domains:
cognitive (?heads?), affective (?hearts?), and
behavioral (?hands?), along with effects on schools
and communities. Finally, the article will look at
what the research has begun to discover on the
aspects of quality programming.That is, what do
we want to do within the experience of servicelearning
that helps us to maximize outcomes?
More plainly, how to make it work best? The paper
will culminate in a discussion about the conditions
under which different ?quality indicators? matter.
(How can I make it work best for me?) As you
will discover, none of these issues is easy, but
the research community is beginning to make
headway. In addition, researchers are recognizing
how important it is for their work to be translated
into advice for service-learning programs.This
article will attempt to do that, too.
Definitions of Service-Learning
Over the past several years, the literature shows
that there is still some misunderstanding among
researchers, the general public, and even practitioners
of what service-learning is and is not.The
biggest confusion appears to lie in the distinctions
between service-learning and community service.
Confusion Between Community Service and
Service-Learning. Pritchard (2002) provided both
insight and data to help draw the distinctions
between the concepts and to shed light on current
practice in the United States. He analyzed three
data sets: the 1999 U. S. Department of Education
study that examined prevalence of community
service and service-learning in public schools in
the United States, the ?Service-Learning Survey?
that examined prevalence in private schools, and
the 1999 National Household Education Survey
that examined prevalence in both types of schools.
These surveys showed that at least some students in
68 percent of all public schools, and in 88 percent
of all private schools, participated in either service
or service-learning. Rates were lowest in elementary
schools and highest in high schools. In terms
of student participation, the National Household
Education Survey showed that over half of the
public school students in the sample were found to
participate in service or service-learning and that
the percentages of private school students that
participated were even higher. Of those who said
they provided service, about half said they participated
in service-learning.The conclusion was that
Heads, Hearts, and Hands:
The Research on K-12
Shelley H. Billig, Ph.D., RMC Research Corporation, Denver
G R O W I N G T O G R E A T N E S S 13
about one quarter of all students participate in
service-learning and about three-quarters of all
schools participate in service-learning.
Pritchard (2002), however, goes on to show
that these statistics may be a little misleading
since they are based on different definitions of
community service and service-learning. In the
survey of public schools administrators, for
example, Pritchard reported that when respondents
were asked to use a definition of servicelearning
that included clearly identified learning
objectives, student involvement in selecting or
designing the service activity, a theoretical base,
integration of service with academic curriculum,
and student reflection, the percentage reporting that
their schools were engaged in service-learning fell to
32 percent.
In the private school study, respondents were
asked to say whether they were engaged in
service or service-learning, but no definitions
were given. In that study, only 9 percent
described their programs as service-learning.
Surprisingly, though, a large number who said
that they were engaged in community service
and not service-learning said that the community
service included curricular integration
(62 percent); connection to an academic class
(26 percent); student reflection (61 percent); and
students designing service projects (61 percent).
Same activities, same emphasis. Another indicator
that the two concepts were being confused with
each other was the way in which activities were
described as either community service or servicelearning.
The activity lists were nearly identical
for the two terms.Whether their programs were
called community service or service-learning,
most students engaged in tutoring, providing
companionship, working on environmental
issues, and distributing food or other goods. In
both types, educators focus on the relationship
between the community and the student
service provider.
Different objectives. The objectives identified
for the activity, however, differed somewhat, but
only among administrators. Community service
activities were more often associated with civic
engagement and caring/altruism while servicelearning
was more often connected to learning
critical thinking skills, problem-solving, and
other cognitive or academic outcomes.
Other researchers have found similar results when
examining the varieties of objectives associated
with service-learning. Ammon (2002), for
example, studied service-learning implementation
among teachers in California.While all of the
teachers called their approach ?service-learning,?
there were sizable variations in learning objectives,
activities, program components, and teacher
roles. In her study, more teachers mentioned
application of disciplinary knowledge and
awareness of social or civic issues as being part of
the defining characteristics of service-learning.
These teachers tended to be less focused on
social/personal development and career development
skills. However, there were 29 different
categories of objectives that were identified.
Probing these results, she found that the design
and implementation of service-learning activities
appeared to be influenced by:| The clarity and specificity of teachers? goals;| The degree to which the goals were discussed
with students;| The roles established for teachers and students;
and| The connection with activities and content in
specific curricular areas.
14 G2G
Conclusion. These analyses by Pritchard and
Ammon shed some light on the variations in
definitions apparent among different stakeholder
groups. A quick scan of the research literature
affirms this result: practitioners, policy-makers, and
researchers simply do not define service-learning
in consistent ways. So the answer to the question,
?What is service-learning?? appears to vary depending
upon whom you ask.
Effects of Service-Learning on
Participating Students
In 2000, a summary of the research literature
(Billig, 2000) showed that the evidence of the
positive effect of service-learning on participating
students was beginning to build in four areas:| Academic or cognitive domains ? that is, what
students were learning in terms of content or
higher-order thinking skills as a result of their
participation;| Civic domains ? that is, connection to society
and community;| Personal/social domains ? that is, personal and
interpersonal development in areas such as youth
empowerment, respect for diversity, self-confidence,
and avoidance of risk behaviors; and| Career exploration skills ? such as knowledge of
career pathways and workplace literacy.
The results summarized in that article have found a
good deal of support in more recent studies that
have been conducted. New studies in each of these
domains will be summarized next.
Cognitive/academic impact (?heads?)
Because service-learning generally occurs within
the school environment, there is great interest in
identifying the academic or cognitive outcomes
of participation.The emphasis on this aspect of
service-learning has grown in the current educational
context that strongly stresses school accountability
and standards-based education.The No
Child Left Behind Act of 2001 has been shown to
have a strong impact on schools and instructional
decision making through its accountability
provisions (Hess, 2003), especially in terms of the
relative emphasis of content area instruction (with
a heavier emphasis on reading/language arts and
mathematics) and on the need to devote less time
to subjects that are not considered to be part of
the core curriculum. However, many schools and
school districts (see, e.g., Berman, 2000; Education
Commission of the States, 2001) have embraced
service-learning as a key part of their educational
reform efforts, either as a strategy for cognitive
development, for revitalizing the civic mission of
schools, or for helping to develop character and
other traits.
There are still only a limited number of studies
that have been conducted to show the academic
impact of service-learning, though there are more
that are underway.The few studies that have been
performed have promising results.
Michigan Learn and Serve Study: A study of
Michigan Learn and Serve sites conducted by
RMC Research (Billig & Klute, 2003; Klute &
Billig, 2002) examined the impact of participation
on students? school engagement and on performance
on the state assessment, the Michigan
Educational Assessment Program (MEAP). Survey
responses on school engagement scales, and test
scores of students who were engaged in servicelearning,
were compared with a group of students
from similar sites who did not participate in
service-learning.The study had 1,988 student
respondents, 1,437 of which participated in
service-learning.Teachers who facilitated servicelearning
activities also responded to a survey to
determine the service-learning content and quality.
Results from this Michigan study showed that
service-learning students in Grades 7?12 were
more engaged cognitively in English language arts
than comparison students. No differences were
found in other areas of affective or cognitive
engagement, and service-learning students were
behaviorally less engaged than comparison students
(e.g., paying attention in class and turning homework
in on time). For younger students, Grades
2?5, there were statistically significant differences in
all aspects of cognitive engagement, with servicelearning
students more engaged than their nonparticipating
peers.This meant that service-learning
students were more likely to pay attention to
schoolwork, concentrate hard on learning, and try
as hard as they could in class.
The study also showed that service-learning was
positively associated with test scores on the MEAP
for students in the fifth grade. Compared to nonparticipating
students, statistical tests show that
service-learning students scored significantly higher
on the writing test, the total social studies score,
and three of the social studies strand scores:
historical perspective, geographic perspective, and
inquiry/decision-making.The differences in test
Heads, Hearts, and Hands: The Research on K-12 Service-Learning
G R O W I N G T O G R E A T N E S S 15
scores between the two groups also approached
positive statistical significance on the earth
science test. No significant differences were
found among students at the other grade
levels tested.
Philadelphia Need in Deed Study: In another
study by RMC Research, 6th-grade students
who participated in Need in Deed, a servicelearning
programmatic approach that was
implemented in Philadelphia, were found to have
statistically significantly higher test scores on the
Terra Nova, a standardized test, in the areas of
language arts and science.The same effects were
not found, however, for 4th- and 8th-grade
participants. Qualitative data revealed that some
of the differences might be explained by the
content of the service-learning activities and the
quality of the service-learning experiences.
California Comparison Study: A study by Furco
(2002) compared high school students who
participated in service-learning with students
who performed community service, those who
engaged in service-based internships, and those
who performed no service at all.The study
addressed several domains, one of which was
academic. For this study, academic outcomes
were defined in terms of mastery of course
content, thinking and problem-solving skills, and
attitudes toward learning. Data analysis showed
that students engaged in any type of service
had significantly higher scores on surveys that
measured attitude toward school, though some of
the differences may be explained by gender and
school site (where students generally were more
negative).The service-learning group scored
higher in all of the academic measures, though
significant differences were only found between
the service-learning condition and the ?noservice?
condition, and not between servicelearning
and community service or service-based
internships.Ammon, Furco, Chi, and Middaugh
(2001) found that the factors that seemed to be
related to higher academic impacts were clarity
of academic goals, clear connections between
goals and activities, reasonable scope, and support
through focused reflection activities.
New England CO-SEED Sites: RMC Research
(Klute, 2002) studied four sites in three New
England states to determine the impact of
participation in CO-SEED, an environmental
stewardship service-learning program, on state
achievement scores.The analysis showed that
New Hampshire students in the sixth grade had
significantly higher achievement scores on the
state assessments in the areas of language arts,
mathematics, science, and social studies than
their past averages. No differences were found
for 3rd-grade students.Vermont 6th-grade
participants also scored slightly higher and 2ndgrade
students scored much higher in reading
and word analysis. No other differences were
found.The author suggested that the differences
in outcome might have been related to the
degree of quality implementation at the sites.
There was also a general lack of agreement with
a survey item that asked whether participation in
projects related to the environment would help
increase scores on standardized achievement tests.
Alternative Schools Studies: Two studies were
performed with alternative school students as the
primary respondents of the study. Laird and Black
(2002a) compared the academic outcomes of
students in an alternative school in Michigan
that implemented the Literacy Corps, a servicelearning
tutoring program, with students who
were on the waiting list for the alternative
school. Literacy Corps participants had statistically
significant positive differences from
non-participants in overall grade-point average,
English grades, and math grades, and slightly
higher scores on the MEAP in science. Kraft and
Wheeler (2003) interviewed students and tracked
achievement of students in a Kansas alternative
school. Qualitative data showed a strong difference
over time in attitude toward school and
learning, and positive increases on a six-trait
then, does appear
to have a positive impact
on students? ?heads,?
helping them to engage
cognitively in school
and score higher in
certain content areas on
state tests.
16 G2G
writing assessment, changes in scores on a set of
reading level indicators, and grade-point averages.
No comparison groups or baseline measures were
used, however.
Study of ?At-Risk? Students: Hecht (2002)
conducted a study of Delaware students who were
educationally ?at risk? because they were retained
or administratively assigned to seventh or eighth
grade.These students read to pre-schoolers at a
local community center as part of their English
language arts class. In interviews, observations,
and document reviews, Hecht demonstrated that
students who engaged in service-learning found
unexpected enjoyment and fun in their participation.
All students described the program in positive
terms, showing that service-learning appeared to
increase their engagement in school.
Waianae, Hawaii, Study: Billig and Meyer (2002)
and Billig, Meyer, and Hofschire (2003) conducted
research on the Hawaiian Studies Program in
Waianae, Hawaii. Students in this program engaged
in a variety of service-learning rotations that
focused on connecting them with the community
and their cultural heritage. Compared to their
peers at the same schools, service-learning participants
were statistically significantly more likely to
think school was stimulating. At the ?trend level,?
they were also more likely to say that school was
interesting and fun. In focus groups, these students
most often said that their participation resulted
in learning practical knowledge and skills, and
learning about the Hawaiian culture.
Flint, Michigan, Study: A study by Smartworks
Incorporated (n.d.) surveyed service-learning
students in Flint, Michigan, in Grades 3, 5, 8, and
10 about their learning. More than two-thirds
reported that their participation helped them
understand what they were learning in school
and improved their academic achievement.
Other Studies of Impact of Participation on
Grade-Point Averages and Perceived Learning
Several other studies showed the impact of participation
on grade-point averages and general ratings
of young people?s learning. Surveys of Learn and
Serve participants in Wisconsin (Kirkham, 2001)
found that 97.9 percent of teachers who offer
service-learning said that students learned more
than what they would have learned through regular
instruction. Nearly half (46.4 percent) reported
that students? grades improved and 35.8 percent
reported that absenteeism decreased. High school
students who participated generally affirmed these
findings. On a survey, 77 percent said that they
acquired new skills, knowledge, and interests;
67 percent reported that they gained a broader
understanding of people and places; and 62 percent
said they had a better understanding of the
community and how it works. In their evaluation
of KIDS Consortium, Ritchie and Walters (2003)
showed that both middle and high school students
had statistically significant increases in their motivation
to learn, putting forth the necessary effort to
reach a goal, and understanding of everyday life.
Melchior and Bailis (2002) found that Learn and
Serve participants had strong impacts on school
engagement and math scores. Scales, Blyth, Berkas,
and Kielsmeier (2000) found that service-learning
students talked more with their parents about
school than did control students, but reported no
other differences on achievement variables between
the service-learning and control groups unless
dimensions such as the amount of reflection were
taken into account.
Studies of Student Problem-Solving: Three studies
were conducted that examined the impact of
service-learning on students? problem-solving
abilities and cognitive complexities.The studies,
conducted by RMC Research in Philadelphia,
Denver, and Waianae, Hawaii, examined the degree
to which students changed in the way they understood
and tried to solve community problems as
posed in scenarios on essay prompts. Repeated
?measures analysis? was performed and in each
case, strong positive results were found among
the students. After engaging in service-learning,
students were much more apt to view social or
community problems as systemic rather than
personal, become more action oriented in their
solutions, pose more solutions, and advance more
realistic solutions. In the Hawaiian study, students
also were more likely to become more empathic
and take a deeper, more analytic approach to the
problems. In the Philadelphia study, the younger
children had stronger results than older students.
Conclusion (Heads Up): While there are still too
few studies on the academic impact of participation
in service-learning, the trend revealed by these
studies is generally positive. Students who participated
in service-learning were found to have
scored higher than non-participating students in
several studies, particularly in social studies, writing,
and English/language arts.They were found to
be more cognitively engaged and to be more
Heads, Hearts, and Hands: The Research on K-12 Service-Learning
G R O W I N G T O G R E A T N E S S 17
motivated to learn. Studies show great promise
for service-learning as an avenue for increasing
achievement among alternative school students
and other students considered ?at risk? of school
failure. Studies on school engagement generally
show that service-learning students are more
cognitively engaged in school, but not necessarily
more engaged behaviorally. Studies of students?
problem-solving abilities show strong increases in
cognitive complexity and other related aspects of
problem-solving. Service-learning, then, does
appear to have a positive impact on students?
?heads,? helping them to engage cognitively in
school and score higher in certain content areas
on state tests. Some of these outcomes are
mediated by the quality of the program, to be
discussed later in this article.
Civic/citizenship impact (?hands?)
Recent evidence suggests that there is a growing
problem of civic disengagement among youths
in the United States, particularly those currently
in high schools.Young people in high school
report having little interest in civic and political
affairs and little knowledge of, or trust in, the
political system (Levine & Lopez, 2002; National
Commission on Service-Learning, 2002;Torney-
Purta, 2002). Results from a recent poll indicate
that many young people do not feel they can
make a difference, solve problems in their
communities, or have a meaningful impact on
politics or government (Lake Snell Perry &
Associates & The Tarrance Group, Inc, 2002).
Young people do not vote in percentages equal
to those in earlier generations (Levine & Lopez,
2002) and they are not connected to political life
in the same ways as those in the past (Flanagan,
2004; Kahne & Westheimer, 2002; Levine &
Lopez, 2002). Policy-makers and educational
leaders alike have noted the woeful lack of
interest in civic activities among youth and
express concern about the future of democracy
(for example; Education Commission of the
States, 2002; National Commission on Service-
Learning, 2002).
The 1998 National Assessment of Educational
Progress (NAEP) confirms that young people are
not knowledgeable about many of the social and
political institutions that govern American life.
This national assessment measured:| Student knowledge of government and
society;| Intellectual and participatory skills ? including
the ability to identify and describe, explain
and analyze; and evaluate, take, and defend a
position; and| Civic dispositions, such as willingness to
become an independent member of society;
assuming personal, political, and economic
responsibilities of citizenship, respecting
individual worth and human dignity;
participating in civic affairs in an informed,
thoughtful, and effective manner; and
promoting the healthy functioning of
American constitutional democracy.
Results showed that 65 percent of 12th-grade
students scored at the basic level, 26 percent at
the proficient level, and four percent at the
advanced level.Those who scored the lowest
were from schools with high poverty.
Interestingly, this decline in civic engagement has
been paralleled by an increase in volunteerism by
young people. Studies estimate that over half of
young people participate in voluntary service
(Skinner & Chapman, 1999). As Putnam (2000)
optimistically remarked,?A wide range of evidence
. . . suggests that young Americans in the
1990s displayed a commitment to volunteerism
without parallel among their immediate predecessors.
This development is the most promising
sign of any that I have discovered that America
might be on the cusp of a new period of civic
renewal, especially if this youthful volunteerism
persists into adulthood and begins to expand
beyond individual caregiving to broader engagement
with social and political issues? (p. 13).
The 2003 publication of the ?Civic Mission of
Schools? (Carnegie Corporation of New York
& CIRCLE, 2002) along with the ?National
Commission on Service-Learning Report,?
18 G2G
(2002) stimulated or at least re-energized the
national debate on the need for schools to play a
stronger role in preparing young people for rights
and responsibilities associated with U.S. democracy.
The ?Civic Mission of Schools? summarized the
discussions and recommendations of a group
of scholars and educators who examined the
declining engagement of young people in civic
engagement activities such as voting and working
on issue and election campaigns. Authors pointed
out that strong democracies need competent and
responsible citizens. Four goals for civic education
were specified:| Assist students to become informed and
thoughtful about American democracy through
an understanding of history and democratic
principles, including awareness and understanding
of public and community issues, primarily
through the development of skills that help
young people obtain and analyze information,
develop critical thinking skills, and enter into
dialogue with those who hold different
perspectives;| Increase students? participation in communities
either through membership or through service,
as a way of addressing cultural, political, social
and/or religious interests and beliefs;| Show students how to ?act politically? by facilitating
the acquisition of skills and knowledge
related to group problem-solving, public
speaking, petitioning, voting, and serving other
public purposes; and| Help students to acquire virtues such as concern
for the rights and welfare of others, efficacy,
tolerance, respect, and social responsibility.
Schools are considered to be the appropriate social
institution to accomplish these goals both because
they are the only institutions that have the capacity
and mandate to reach virtually every young person,
and because they are a key contributor to the
development of social norms.The school environment
can relatively easily be shaped to accomplish
these citizenship goals, particularly since schools
already address the cognitive and social foundations
for activities that research shows are related to
reaching these goals.The ?Civic Mission of
Schools? positions service-learning as a
?promising practice.?
The National Commission on Service-Learning
Report,?Learning In Deed,? also calls for schools
to take a strong role in helping students develop
civic knowledge and skills.This report casts its
recommendation in the form of reclaiming the
public purpose of education, and shows that
service-learning is an approach that is uniquely
poised to help young people acquire civic virtues,
especially when service-learning is designed
to encourage public dialogue and community
Typically, the area of civics and citizenship contains
calls for the acquisition of knowledge (most often
reflected in standards and measured by the National
Assessment of Educational Progress), skills, and
dispositions or virtues. Service-learning research
in the area of civic engagement and citizenship is
growing exponentially, especially in response to
these calls for increased civic education. Some of
the more recent studies are summarized next.
Colorado Learn and Serve Program: A study of the
impact of the Colorado Learn and Serve program
(Kim & Billig, 2003; Klute, Sandel, & Billig, 2002)
examined 35 classrooms and 761 students, about
half of whom participated in service-learning and
half of whom did not. Results for these students
showed a statistically significant difference in
connection to community, connection to school,
and civic responsibility for those participating
in service-learning relative to their nonparticipating
California Service-Learning Programs: Ammon
et al. (2001) in their study of CalServe Service-
Learning Partnerships conducted a pre-/
post-survey at 38 sites with schools engaged in
service-learning.This study found an increase in
civic engagement in some, but not all sites.The
differences in impact were attributed to differences
in programmatic goals; disparity in the ways in
which attitudes changed; the ways in which
previous service experiences were linked to
civic engagement; and the differences in student
thinking about good citizenship. Furco?s (2002)
study of California?s high school programs also
found a statistically significant difference in favor
of service and service-learning on students?
awareness of societal issues and willingness to take
active roles in the community.
Philadelphia Freedom Schools Junior Leader Study:
Freedom Schools have a rich history of helping
African-American students and others to connect
to their cultural heritage and to empower young
people to develop leadership skills and help their
communities, both through direct action and
capacity-building. An evaluation of the Freedom
Heads, Hearts, and Hands: The Research on K-12 Service-Learning
G R O W I N G T O G R E A T N E S S 19
Schools Junior Leader program in Philadelphia
(Billig, 2002a) showed how powerful this
approach can be. High school students were
selected through an application process, were
provided with intensive professional development,
provided tutoring to elementary school
students in the summer, and engaged in a
year-long service-learning project on issues
directly affecting the community.The evaluation
showed that over time, participants increased in
statistically significant ways on measures of
connectedness with community, connectedness
to American society, taking action and making
changes in their communities, developing a
realistic perspective about higher education
requirements, and acquisition of a variety of
leadership skills, including the ability to
plan projects.
Waianae, Hawaii, Study: In the same study
cited previously, researchers (Billig, Meyer, &
Hofschire, 2003;Yamauchi, Billig, Meyer, &
Hofschire, in press;) showed that service-learning
participants had statistically significant positive
outcomes on their feelings of contribution to the
school and to the community; had feelings of
being a valued part of the community by adults
and other students; had pride in school; understood
issues that affect the well being of the
community, and took actions to make changes in
the community. Service-learning students were
also significantly more likely to want to help
others and, at the ?trend level,? were found more
likely to be involved in activities that will make
people?s lives better.
Rural Community Study: Henness (2001)
conducted a study of service-learning in 11
Midwest rural communities. He found that
student social capital development (e.g., their
relationship with adult civic leaders and
community organizations) was much higher in
students who participated in service-learning
than those who did not.There were no
differences in human capital development in
terms of civic knowledge, skills, and values.
Relative Efficacy of Service-Learning: Several
studies have been conducted to examine the
effects of service-learning on civic engagement
relative to other school-based interventions.
Melchior and Bailis (2002) compared results
from their evaluations of Serve America, Learn
and Serve, and Active Citizenship Today (ACT).
Student participants in each of these programs
were in middle and high schools across the
United States. In each of these programs, students
engaged in service-learning, though there was
less service-learning in ACT than in the other
programs. However, the Learn and Serve program
participants were in schools that had ?fully
implemented? service-learning, while the Serve
America and ACT participants were randomly
selected. Results indicated that both the Serve
America and Learn and Serve programs had a
statistically significant positive impact on students?
civic attitudes and behaviors, particularly in
the areas of personal and social responsibility
for the welfare of others; personal and social
responsibility for community involvement,
service leadership, acceptance of diversity, and
communication skills. Impacts were greatest
among high school students.The greatest impacts
were in those areas that were directly affected
by service-learning rather than on broad social
responsibility areas.These researchers also found
that quality matters, and that sustaining participation
over time was associated with more lasting
impacts.ACT also had a number of positive
impacts, particularly in the area of communication
skills development.
Kahne, Chi, and Middaugh (2002) evaluated the
Constitutional Rights Foundation?s City Works
program, administering a pre-/post-survey to
students who participated in the program and
those in control groups.They also conducted
classroom observations and focus groups.These
researchers found statistically significant greater
Most but not all, of the
studies of service-learning
and its impact on
various measures of
civic engagement show
that service-learning has
positive results ?
particularly for the
domains of civic skills
and dispositions.
20 G2G
commitments to become a participatory citizen,
to justice-oriented values, and an interest in service
generally among City Works students compared to
non-participants. At the ?trend level,? they also
found that City Works participants had greater
personal responsibility, knowledge of social networks,
leadership skills, and civic efficacy.When the
researchers deconstructed the components of City
Works to see which type of intervention had the
greatest impacts, however, simulations and exposure
to role models were found to have a greater impact
than service-learning. Service-learning had a
positive impact, but the impact was in fewer areas
? specifically, the development of personal
responsibilities, social networks, and increased
commitment to service.The authors conclude that
the opportunities to work on issues that matter to
students and learn about aspects of society that
need changing were the key to producing broad
civic engagement impacts.
Environmentally Responsible Behaviors: Covitt
(2002) compared middle school students engaged
in service-learning on environmental projects
with non-participating peers to determine whether
service-learning participation was related to motive
fulfillment,?pro-social? behaviors, and civic outcomes
related to environmental responsibility.
The two different types of service-learning that
were implemented in these programs did not
produce positive differences on any of the
measures.The author suggests that there are factors
associated with pre-packaged service-learning
programs that may inhibit motive fulfillment and
achievement of desired outcomes, and differences
in the quality of implementation most likely
affected the results. Billig, Klute, and Sandel (2001)
in a study of CO-SEED, an environmental stewardship
program described previously, found more
agreement than disagreement from students that
they felt a greater connection to local communities.
Colorado elementary school students in another
environmental project, Earthwalk, were found to
significantly increase their desire to make a difference
in the community (Billig & Salazar, 2003).
Finally, students who participated in a Denver Zoo
service-learning program also significantly increased
their ratings on survey items related to young
people?s abilities to make a difference and indicated
that all young people should contribute. Differences
were also found on measures of the need to take
responsibility for the environment (Meyer, 2003).
Meta-analysis: Perry and Katula (2001) conducted
a ?meta-analysis? to examine the extent to which
service affects citizenship.These researchers found
that three dimensions of citizenship were impacted
by service:| Individual?s motivations and skills that include
civic and political involvement and community
attachment; cognitive capacities, and ethics;| Philanthropic and civic behaviors, defined as
non-political behaviors that produce public
benefits, such as volunteering and charity; and| Political behaviors, including voting, campaign
contributions, service on public boards or
commissions, and running for public office.
The meta-analysis examined both service and
service-learning, and both K?12 and higher education.
Perry and Katula describe the influence of
specific antecedents like parental education and
church attendance, the attributes of service such
as quality, the attributes of the server ? such as
intellectual stimulation, socialization, and practice
? and the degree of institutionalization of
practices on service and service-learning impacts.
They conclude that the type of service that
produces the most consistent positive results is
service-learning (p. 360).
Conclusion (Hands Up and Down): Most, but not
all, of the studies of service-learning and its impact
on various measures of civic engagement show that
service-learning has positive results ? particularly
for the domains of civic skills and dispositions.
The mixed results here have been analyzed by
the researchers as being related to the quality and
intention of service-learning programs.When
service-learning is intentionally oriented to a civic
outcome, it appears to produce that outcome most
of the time, especially for high school students.
However, for many programs, civic engagement
is not an intentional goal, and in those cases,
it appears that service-learning may not
accomplish civic outcomes as well as some other
deliberate interventions. As will be seen below,
quality matters.
Social/personal impacts (?heart?)
Over the years, the social and personal impacts
of service-learning have been most frequently
documented.Typical outcome areas that were
shown to be strongly related to service-learning
included self-efficacy, respect for diversity, selfconfidence,
collaborative skills, avoidance of risk
behaviors, and resilience (Billig, 2000). Over the
past few years, the number of studies in this area
has declined. Researchers in the social-emotional
learning field, however, have embraced service-
Heads, Hearts, and Hands: The Research on K-12 Service-Learning
G R O W I N G T O G R E A T N E S S 21
learning as a key strategy for accomplishing
the five core social-emotional competencies (selfawareness,
social awareness, self-management,
relationship skills, and responsible decisionmaking)
that all young people should develop
(Elias, 2003). Social emotional learning theorists
believe that ?social emotional learning provides
the skills while service-learning provides the
opportunities to apply the skills? (p. 1). Recent
studies by researchers in the realm of social/
personal impacts are presented next.
Ethics: Several studies of the impact of servicelearning
participation on ethics have recently
been conducted. In these studies, ethics were
generally defined as students? willingness to stand
up for what is right, the development of strong
moral values and judgments, willingness to
intervene for the sake of justice, and development
of a strong sense of right and wrong, good and
bad. Furco (2002) once again found that there
were statistically significant differences between
service and service-learning participants and
non-participants on all measures of ethics, with
far more positive ratings for those who
participate in service or service-learning.
Leming (2001) examined whether service-learning
reflection that contained an ethical reasoning
component impacted student ?agency? (feeling
that one could make a difference), social relatedness,
and political-moral awareness. Students with
the ethical component included within their
service-learning program were compared to
those who engaged in community service with
reflection but without the ethical component,
and with those who did not participate in
service. Leming found that after one semester,
high school students with the ethical component
in their service-learning program scored much
higher on the ethics measures (essays were scored
according to an ?ethical awareness? index) than
students in either of the other conditions. In
both service-learning conditions, students scored
higher than non-participants on measures of
social responsibility and anticipated future
participation in community affairs.There were
no differences on measures of self-esteem.
Resilience: A study of the Lions Quest program
by Laird and Black (2002b) examined students?
?risk? behaviors such as potential for dropping
out of school, use of alcohol and other substances,
and misconduct.They also conducted
surveys that documented degrees of participation
in service-learning and a checklist of personal
gains.This study found that 9th-grade students
who participated in service-learning classes had
statistically significantly more positive scores on
all measures of resilience, and that 12th-grade
service-learning students maintained a low risk of
dropping out compared to their nonparticipating
peers, including those identified as being at high
risk, initially.Those students who participated in
environmental service-learning projects had
higher scores on interpersonal attitude scales than
those who participated in other forms of service.
Those involved in human service projects started
out with lower scores and gained more than
others.This study also showed that those with
more service hours showed higher scores on
several areas, particularly measures of positive
community values and interpersonal competencies.
Ninth-grade students were also more likely
to decrease their cigarette smoking if they
engaged in service-learning.
Other Studies: The Hawaii study cited previously
(Yamauchi et al., in press) also showed statistically
significant impacts of service-learning on a
constellation of measures related to resilience,
leadership, and prevention of dropping out of
Researchers in the
learning field, however,
have embraced
service-learning as a
key strategy for
accomplishing the
five core social-emotional
(self-awareness, social
awareness, self-management,
relationship skills, and
responsible decision-making)
that all young people
should develop
(Elias, 2003).
22 G2G
school. Similar findings occurred in the ?Freedom
Schools Study? (Billig, 2002a) and the ?Denver
Zoo Study? (Meyer, 2003). In addition, the study
of Waianae students and Freedom Schools Junior
Leaders show strong positive results in terms of
connection to cultural heritage. Qualitative data
were also provided to support these findings.
In a pilot study of elementary schools, Johnson and
Notah (1999) found that 156 primarily Hispanic
students had positive, but statistically insignificant
effects from participating in service-learning on
students? self-esteem and personal responsibility.
Morgan and Streb (1999) showed that servicelearning
students showed greater empathy than
comparison groups. Scales et al. (2000) showed
positive impacts of service-learning on concern
for others? welfare and efficacy in helping others.
Meyer and Billig (2003) in the evaluation of
?Need in Deed? found that 4th-grade servicelearning
participants scored higher on measures
of altruism and empathy than non-participants,
though this result was not found for 6th-grade
students. Finally, Kirby (2001) performed a
meta-analysis of studies that addressed teenage
pregnancy prevention. He concluded that of all of
the programs studied, service-learning had the
greatest positive impact.
Conclusion (Big Heart): These studies affirmed the
strong evidence from earlier research summarized
by Billig (2000) that service-learning produces an
array of positive impacts in the area of pro-social
behaviors, acceptance of diversity, connection to
cultural heritage, development of ethics, and
strengthening of protective factors related to
resilience. Service-learning clearly helps students
to develop caring, altruism, and other social/
emotional learning associated with ?heart.?
Career Exploration: Several recent studies
affirmed the research that has consistently shown
the value of service-learning in helping young
people explore career options.Yamauchi et al.
(in press), for example, showed students in servicelearning,
relative to non-participating students, had
a stronger set of job- and career-related skills and
aspirations, including knowledge of how to plan
activities, desire to pursue post-secondary education,
and job interview skills. Furco (2002) found
strong statistically significant differences on formulation
of career plans and emphasis on finding a
career that was personally satisfying and/or
beneficial to others between the service-learning
and service groups and the non-participants.
Quality Matters
As indicated previously, many of the studies cited
here found that quality of service-learning matters
in terms of the relative impact of service-learning.
One of the studies that addressed the impact of
quality most directly was the study of academic
achievement of Michigan students (Klute & Billig,
2002; Billig & Klute, 2003). As part of the analysis
for this study, teachers were asked to rate their
service-learning programs on a variety of indicators
related to the ?Essential Elements of Service-
Learning? (NYLC, 1999) and other variables found
to be associated with quality in the research literature.
When the study controlled for quality, that is,
when the data on high-quality service-learning
schools were compared with the data on lowquality
service-learning schools, it was found that
low-quality schools had virtually no impact on
students and in some cases, produced lower scores
than the comparison schools with no servicelearning.
The quality variables that had the greatest
influence on outcomes were communication,
interaction with community members, and linkage
to standards. In both cases, when these variables
were present, students were more engaged in
school. Results were mixed for youth voice,
preparation for service work, and whether service
was mandatory or voluntary ? meaning that
sometimes these variables were associated with
higher scores and sometimes they were not.
Challenging tasks, use of assessment for improvement,
meaningful service tasks, valuing diversity,
use of reflection, and duration of service-learning
were not associated with school engagement in
this study.
The Philadelphia Need in Deed data (Meyer &
Billig, 2002) also suggest that quality of services
and fidelity to the model made a difference in the
results. Focus groups revealed that in some of the
cases where the impact was lowest, teachers did not
implement all of the service-learning activities or
did so without allowing enough student voice or
time for reflection.The Colorado Learn and
Serve evaluation (Klute et al., 2002), however,
did not find significant differences based on quality
in terms of school engagement or attachment
to community.
Melchior and Bailis (2002) found that quality
mattered in their study. In comparing outcomes
of high quality Learn and Serve programs with
Serve America and ACT programs, the high quality
programs were found to have much larger impacts.
Ammon (2002) also found that quality counts, but
Heads, Hearts, and Hands: The Research on K-12 Service-Learning
G R O W I N G T O G R E A T N E S S 23
in her study, quality was related to clarity of
teacher goals, dialogue between the teacher
and student about goals, and teachers? roles as
facilitators in understanding during reflection
processes. Covitt (2002) also found that quality
of implementation affected results.
Conclusion. It appears as though quality matters,
but more studies are needed to determine what
aspects of quality make the most difference. Early
results appear to indicate that linkage with standards,
intention design, clarity of goals, and direct
contact with the community are the strongest
predictors of impact on students.
Other Pertinent Research
There have been a few studies that have
examined the impact of service-learning on
teachers and schools, sustainability and institutionalization,
and costs of service-learning.
Some of these studies are reviewed next.
Social Trust: Toole (2002) conducted a study on
social trust, investigating the types of trust issues
that arise among teachers implementing servicelearning,
the degree to which these trust issues
influence service-learning implementation, and
whether service-learning raises unique trust
issues. He studied the initial Generator School
Network (operated by the National Youth
Leadership Council) and selected a sample of
seven K-8 sites. Results indicated that social
trust issues emerged throughout all dimensions
of service-learning implementation and that the
issues influenced implementation. High trust
environments were associated with smoother
processes. Service-learning provoked specific
trust conversations around justice and moral
development, and issues about whether those
involved were modeling the content of the
service appropriately.
Implementation Issues and Impact on Teachers:
Billig (2002b), in a study of service-learning
educational reform sites in New Hampshire,
found that teachers involved in service-learning
tended to have different needs at different stages
of implementation. Implementation in these
schools appeared to be easiest when there was a
critical mass of teachers involved in support and
implementation, and when philosophies around
teaching and learning were more alike. Seitsinger
and Felner (2000) found that middle school
teachers who used service-learning more
regularly were those who were more knowledgeable
about their state content standards, more
experienced, and had better understandings of
adolescent development.
Sustainability and Institutionalization: There
were several studies of sustainability and institutionalization
of service-learning. Koliba (2002)
studied rural schools that were able to sustain
service-learning for five years. He found that the
five sustaining schools were more likely to have
adopted school-wide norms for service-learning;
a commitment to shared leadership; stable school
leadership; active mission and vision statements;
common definitions and terminology to discuss
meaning; value and respect for students as community
contributors; high levels of collegiality
and trust among faculty and between faculty,
staff, students, and community members, and a
shared understanding that learning can take place
in multiple settings. Sites also had high ?leadership
density,? that is, a large number of advisory
boards, committees, and governance structures.
Billig (2002b) found that sustainability was
related to strong leadership, shared cultural
norms and expectations, incentives, visibility,
availability of financial resources, and measurable
impacts on student achievement. Billig and
Klute (2001), in their retrospective study of
W.K. Kellogg Foundation grantees, showed the
value of the cultivation of long-term community
partners, funding for a permanent staff position,
tangible and positive results, connection to
educational reform, and ongoing support from
advisors and leaders.
Kirby (2001)
performed a meta-analysis
of studies that
addressed teenage
pregnancy prevention.
He concluded that
of all of the
programs studied,
service-learning had the
greatest positive impact.
24 G2G
Cost/Benefit: Melchior (2000) took on the task
of determining the costs of service-learning in a
quasi-cost/benefit analysis. He noted that there
are an almost infinite array of service-learning
implementation strategies so costs will probably
vary by scope, integration with curriculum and
community, and type of program. Generally,
though, he found that costs for service-learning
tend to vary, with a range of $14 per student to
$1,700 per student, and an average of $52 per
student. Higher costs are associated with having a
permanent, full-time coordinator.The Pritchard
research cited toward the beginning of this article
showed that very few sites received additional
funds outside of district funds for implementing
Heads, Hearts, and Hands: So if you were a person
considering service-learning and you asked the
questions, ?What is it? Does it work? Under what
conditions does it work?? you would likely get
multiple answers since the research and practice are
still unclear. Most people agree on what servicelearning
is, but it is still confused with community
service.The research evidence is building around
the set of outcomes that service-learning produces.
Service-learning has evidence of academic/cognitive,
civic, social/personal, and career outcomes.
The research suggests that quality matters.
The research base, while growing, is still in need of
more studies, and of studies that meet the criteria
for scientifically based evidence.There are still too
many evaluations and too few experimental and
quasi-experimental designs to show impact and the
components of service-learning that make a difference.
However, the research shows that K?12
school-based service-learning remains an enormously
promising practice, especially if practice
includes elements of high quality.The evidence that
service-learning affects the heads, hearts, and hands
of our students is compelling enough to encourage
all schools to try it. G2G
Ammon, M. S. (2002). Probing and promoting teachers? thinking about
service-learning:Toward a theory of teacher development. In S. H.
Billig & A. Furco, Advances in service-learning research:Vol.2. Servicelearning
through a multidisciplinary lens (pp. 33?54). Greenwich, CT:
Information Age Publishers.
Ammon, M. S., Furco, A., Chi, B., & Middaugh, E. (2001). Servicelearning
in California: A profile of the CalServe service-learning partnerships,
1997?2000. Berkeley, CA: University of California, Service-
Learning Research and Development Center.
Berman, S. H. (2000). Service as systemic reform. School Administrator,
57(7), 20?24.
Billig, S. H. (2000, May). Research on K?12 school-based servicelearning:
The evidence builds. Phi Delta Kappan, (81) 9, 658?664.
Billig, S. H. (2002a). Philadelphia Freedom Schools Junior Leader evaluation.
Denver, CO: RMC Research Corporation.
Billig, S. H. (2002b). Adoption, implementation, and sustainability of
K?12 service-learning. A. Furco & S. H. Billig (Eds.), Advances in
service-learning research:Vol.1. Service-learning:The essence of the pedagogy
(pp. 245?267). Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishers.
Billig, S. H., & Klute,M.M. (2001, February). W. K. Kellogg Foundation
retrospective of K?12 service-learning projects evaluation, 1990?2000.
Denver, CO: RMC Research Corporation.
Billig, S. H., & Klute,M.M. (2003, April). The impact of service-learning
on MEAP:A large-scale study of Michigan Learn and Serve grantees.
Presentation at National Service-Learning Conference, Minneapolis,
Billig, S. H., Klute,M. M., & Sandel K. (2001). Antioch?s Community-
Based School Environmental Education (CO-SEED): Evaluation report.
Denver, CO: RMC Research Corporation.
Billig, S. H., & Meyer, S. (2002). Evaluation of the Hawaiian Studies
Program at Waianae High School for CREDE. Denver, CO: RMC
Research Corporation.
Billig, S. H.,Meyer, S., & Hofschire, L. (2003). Evaluation of Center for
Research on Education, Diversity, and Excellence demonstration site, the
Hawaiian Studies Program at Waianae High School. Denver, CO: RMC
Research Corporation.
Billig, S. H., & Salazar,T. (2003). Earth Walk environmental servicelearning
program interim evaluation. Denver, CO: RMC Research
Carnegie Corporation of New York, and Center for Information and
Research on Civic Learning and Engagement. New York:
Carnegie Corporation, 2003.
Covitt, B. (2002). Motivating environmentally responsible behavior
through service-learning. In S. H. Billig & A. Furco, Advances in service-
learning research:Vol.2. Service-learning through a multidisciplinary lens
(pp. 177-197).
Education Commission of the States. (2001). Institutionalized servicelearning
in the 50 states. Denver, CO:Author.
Education Commission of the States. (2002). Learning that lasts:
How service-learning can become an integral part of schools, states, and
communities. Denver, CO: Education Commission of the States.
Elias, M. (2003). Making the case for social and emotional learning and
service-learning. ECS Issue Brief. Denver, CO:
Education Commission of the States.
Flanagan, C. A. (2004).Volunteerism, leadership, political socialization,
and civic engagement. In R. M. Lerner & L. Steinberg (Eds.),
Handbook of adolescent psychology, 2nd ed: Adolescent challenges, choices
& positive youth development. New York:Wiley & Sons.
Furco, A. (2002). Is service-learning really better than community service?
A study of high school service. In A. Furco & S. H. Billig (Eds.),
Advances in service-learning research:Vol.1. Service-learning:The essence of
the pedagogy (pp. 23?50). Greenwich, CT: Information Age
Hecht, D. (2002). The missing link: Exploring the context of learning in
service-learning. Presentation at 2nd International Service-Learning
Research conference, Nashville,TN.
Henness, S. A. (2001). K?12 service-learning: A strategy for rural community
renewal and revitalization.Washington, DC: Corporation for National
Service. (ERIC NO. ED461466.) http://www.nationalservice
Hess, F. (2004) ?Refining or Retreating? High Stakes Accountability in
the States? in P. Peterson & M.West, eds., No Child Left Behind?
The Politics and Practice of School Accountability,Washington, DC:
The Brookings Institution Press, p. 55-79.
Johnson, A., & D. Notah. (1999). Service-learning: History, literature,
and a pilot study of eighth graders. The Elementary School Journal
99(5), 453?467.
Heads, Hearts, and Hands: The Research on K-12 Service-Learning
G R O W I N G T O G R E A T N E S S 25
Kahne, J., Chi, B., & Middaugh, E. (2002, August). City Works evaluation
summary. Los Angeles: Constitutional Rights Foundation.
Kahne, J., & Westheimer, J. (2002). City Works evaluation summary.
Evaluation report for the Surdna Foundation, New York.
Kim,W., & Billig, S. H. (2003). Colorado Learn and Serve evaluation.
Denver, CO: RMC Research Corporation.
Kirby, D. (2001). Effectiveness of prevention programs for adolescent
pregnancy: a meta-analysis. Journal of Marriage and the Family
59, (pp. 551-67).
Kirkham, M. (2001). Sustaining service-learning in Wisconsin:
What principals, teachers, and students say about service-learning,
2000?2001. Madison,WI:Wisconsin Department of Public
Klute,M.M. (2002, December). Antioch?s Community-Based School
Environmental Education (CO-SEED): Quantitative evaluation report.
Denver, CO: RMC Research Corporation. http://coseed.schools
Klute,M. M., & Billig, S. H. (2002). The impact of service-learning
on MEAP:A large-scale study of Michigan Learn and Serve grantees.
Denver, CO: RMC Research.
Klute,M. M., Sandel, K., & Billig, S. H. (2002). Colorado Learn and
Serve evaluation. Denver, CO: RMC Research Corporation.
Koliba, C. (2002). Vital Results: Linking Student and Community in
Vermont Schools. Joint publication of the John Dewey Project in
Progressive Education at the University of Vermont and Vermont
Community Works. S. Burlington,VT: Community Works Press.
Kraft, N., & Wheeler, J. (2003). Service-learning and resilience in
disaffected youth: A research study. In S. H. Billig & J. Eyler (Eds.),
Advances in service-learning research:Vol. 3. Deconstructing servicelearning:
Research exploring context, participation, and impacts
(pp. 213?238). Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishers.
Laird, M., & Black, S. (2002a, October). Service-learning evaluation
project: Program effects for at risk students. Presentation at 2nd
International Service-Learning Research conference,
Laird, M., & Black, S. (2002b). Report for U.S. Department of
Education Expert Panel on Safe, Disciplined, and Drug-Free
Schools. Annapolis Junction, MD: Lions-Quest.
Lake Snell Perry & Associates & the Tarrance Group, Inc. (2002,
March). Short-term impacts, long-term opportunities:The political and
civic engagement of young adults in America. Analysis and report for
The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning &
Engagement (CIRCLE) and the Center for Information and
Research in Civic Learning & Partnership for Trust in
Government at the Council for Excellent in Government.
Leming, J. S. (2001, Spring). Integrating a structural ethical reflection
curriculum into high school community service experiences:
Impact on students? sociomoral development. Adolescence, 36
(pp. 141).
Levine, P., & Lopez, M. H. (2002, September). Youth voter turnout
has declined, by any measure. Report from The Center for
Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement
(CIRCLE). College Park, MD: CIRCLE. http://www.civicyouth.
Melchior,A. (2000, August). Costs and benefits of service-learning.
The School Administrator, web edition.American Association of
School Administrators.
Melchior,A, & Bailis, L. N. (2002). Impact of service-learning on
civic attitudes and behaviors of middle and high school youth:
Findings from three national evaluations. In A. Furco & S. H.
Billig (Eds.), Advances in service-learning research:Vol.1. Service-learning:
The essence of the pedagogy (pp. 201?222). Greenwich, CT:
Information Age Publishers.
Meyer, S. (2003). Denver Zoo community leadership project
evaluation. Denver, CO: RMC Research Corporation.
Meyer, S., & Billig, S. H. (2003). Evaluation of Need in Deed. Denver,
CO: RMC Research Corporation.
Morgan.W., & Streb,M. (1999). How quality service-learning
develops civic values. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University.
National Commission on Service-Learning. (2002). Learning In Deed:
The power of service-learning for American schools. A report from the
National Commission on Service-Learning, funded by the W.K.
Kellogg Foundation in partnership with The John Glenn Institute
for Public Service and Public Policy at The Ohio State
National Service-Learning Cooperative. (1999). Essential elements
of service-learning. St. Paul, MN: National Youth
Leadership Council.
Perry, J. L., & Katula, M. C. (2001, July). Does service affect
citizenship? Administration and Society, 33(3), 330?365.
Pritchard, I. (2002). Community service and service-learning in
America:The state of the art. In A. Furco & S. H. Billig (Eds.),
Advances in service-learning research:Vol.1. Service-learning:The essence
of the pedagogy (pp. 3?21). Greenwich, CT: Information Age
Putnam, R. D. (2000). Bowling alone:The collapse and revival of
American community. New York: Simon & Schuster
Ritchie, C., & Walters, S. (2003, November). Fostering high
aspirations through KIDS service-learning. Presentation at the 2nd
annual International Conference on Service-Learning Research,
Salt Lake City, UT.
Scales, P. C., Blyth, D. A., Berkas,T. H., & Kielsmeier, J. C. (2000,
August).The effects of service-learning on middle school students?
social responsibility and academic success. Journal of Early
Adolescence, 20(3), 332?358.
Seitsinger,A. & Felner, R. (2000). By whom and how is servicelearning
implemented in middle level schools: A study of opportunity-
to-learn conditions and practices. Paper presented at the
American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting,
New Orleans, LA.
Skinner & Chapman (1999). Service-learning and community service
in K?12 public schools.Washington, DC: U.S. Department of
Education, NCES Statistical Brief, NCES 1999-043.
Smartworks, Inc. (n.d.). Flint Community Schools Service-
Learning Initiative evaluation report, 2001?2002. Grand Blanc,
MI: Author.
Toole, J. (2002). Civil society, social trust, and the implementation of
service-learning. In A. Furco & S. H. Billig (Eds.), Advances in service-
learning research:Vol.1. Service-learning:The essence of the pedagogy
(pp. 53?81). Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishers.
Torney-Purta, J. (2002) The School?s Role in Developing Civic
Engagement: A Study of Adolescents in Twenty-Eight Countries.
Applied Developmental Science 6(4): 203-212
Yamauchi, L., Billig, S. H., Meyer, S., & Hofschire, L. (in press).
Student outcomes associated with service-learning in a culturally relevant
high school program.
has evidence of
civic, social/personal,
and career outcomes.
The research suggests
that quality matters.
26 G2G
uch has been written in recent decades
about ?gateway drugs? that, if young
people start using them, too often lead to more
and more risky behaviors and harmful outcomes.
But what about the other side of the coin? Are
there ?gateway assets? to positive outcomes?
New analyses of Search Institute?s research on
?developmental assets? suggests that serving others
may, in fact, be a ?gateway asset? that leads to
many other assets and outcomes, including success
in school. Indeed, when young people report
engaging in the asset of service to others, they are
more likely to experience more of the other assets
over time, and to have more positive outcomes,
including school success, because those service
experiences are part of an overall web of assets
that provide a strong foundation for healthy
Service to Others:
A?Gateway?Asset for
School Sucess and Healthy Development
Peter C. Scales, Ph.D., senior fellow
in the Office of the President; and
Eugene C. Roehlkepartain, senior
advisor to the president, Search Institute,
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Developmental Assets:
A Foundation for Healthy Development
For the past 15 years, Minneapolis-based Search
Institute has been developing the framework of 40
developmental assets (shown in Table 1), which are
relationships, opportunities, values, skills, and selfperceptions
that help young people succeed in
school and other aspects of their lives.Among the
developmental assets are service to others, youth
as resources, community values youth, and having
1. Family support
2. Positive family communication
3. Other adult relationships
4. Caring neighborhood
5. Caring school climate*
6. Parent involvement in schooling*
7. Community values youth*
8. Youth as resources*
10. Safety
Boundaries and Expectations
11. Family boundaries
12. School boundaries
13. Neighborhood boundaries
14. Adult role models*
15. Positive peer influence*
16. High expectations*
Constructive Use of Time
17. Creative activities
18. Youth programs*
19. Religious community*
20. Time at home
Commitment to Learning
21. Achievement motivation*
22. School engagement*
23. Homework
24. Bonding to school*
25. Reading for pleasure
Positive Values
26. Caring*
27. Equality and social justice*
28. Integrity
29. Honesty
30. Responsibility
31. Restraint
Social Competencies
32. Planning and decision making*
33. Interpersonal competence*
34. Cultural competence*
35. Resistance skills
36. Peaceful conflict resolution
Positive Identity
37. Personal power*
38. Self-esteem
39. Sense of purpose*
40. Positive view of personal future*
* The 20 developmental assets that, from a theoretical perspective, could most easily be enhanced through effective service-learning experiences.
Copyright ? 1997 by Search Institute, 615 First Ave. Northeast, Suite 125, Minneapolis, MN 55413; 800-888-7828. Used with permission.
For definitions of each asset as well as additional research and resources related to the asset framework, visit
Table 1
Search Institute?s 40 Developmental Assets
External Assets Internal Assets
G R O W I N G T O G R E A T N E S S 27
values such as caring and a commitment to
equality and social justice.
Numerous studies have shown the importance
of developmental assets for young people?s
well-being.This relationship holds true across all
groups of youths studied, including young people
from many racial-ethnic backgrounds, communities
of all sizes, and different socioeconomic
backgrounds (Sesma & Roehlkepartain, 2003).
These associations occur among both adolescents
(Scales & Leffert, 2004) and pre-adolescents
(Scales, Sesma, & Bolstrom, 2004).
An important principle of developmental assets
theory is that a young person?s experience of a
single asset or handful of assets is rarely sufficient
to promote developmental outcomes that are
both deep and comprehensive.Young people live
in complex worlds of interacting and nested
influences involving family, school, peers, and
community.Thus, numerous assets working
together across many parts of young people?s lives
have a sustained, significant impact on their
developmental paths.
While this holistic approach makes developmental
sense, it also strains both theory and common
sense to imagine that all 40 of the developmental
assets are equally important for all young people
and/or for all outcomes. Some assets more than
others may be thought of, not only as important
in their own right, but as key influences on
other assets as well.That is, they may function as
?gateway? assets, with their presence making it
more likely that young people will experience
additional assets. Service to others is an example
of this. In fact, service and service-learning
theoretically can have positive effects on at least
20 of the developmental assets.
Service to Others:
Clustering with Other Assets
A wide variety of research has found positive
associations between service, service-learning
and other academic and social outcomes. (See
Billig, this issue.) And because the connection of
service/service-learning to real-world needs and
activities makes it an ?authentic? form of learning,
it may have particular motivational value to
those students who are the least engaged with
traditional curriculum.
Two Search Institute datasets offer insights into
the relationship between service and positive
outcomes.2 (Because of the academic goals of
service-learning, we focus here on the relationship
to school success.) Analyses of the aggregate
dataset of 217,000 students found that students
who reported serving others at least one hour
per week were significantly less likely to report
school problems (poor attendance and below
average grades) and significantly more likely to
report school success (self-report of earning
mostly As in school) than those who did not
serve others at least one hour per week.3 For
example, 25 percent of students who served
reported earning mostly As, compared to
19 percent of students who did not serve.
At first blush, this difference may not seem
impressive, but it means that 32 percent more
students who served earned mostly As compared
to students who did not serve others.
Because it is linked to actual school records, the
longitudinal dataset provides an opportunity to
examine relationships to actual grade-point
average (GPA).We found that young people
who served in middle school had higher grades
A ?Gateway? Asset for School Success and Healthy Development
28 G2G
in high school.When earlier grades (the best
predictor of later grades, since good students tend
to remain good students) are taken into account,
however, we found that service to others, by itself,
was no longer significant.
While these findings may appear, at first, to
imply that service and service-learning do not have
the hoped-for influence, the reality is likely more
complex, as suggested by several possible explanations.
One factor may be the measurement issue.
Our measure of self-reported hours spent volunteering
does not capture the nature of service performed,
the depth of reflection upon those
experiences, and other factors related to the quality
of service-learning that have been found to affect
outcomes in other longitudinal studies (Metz,
McLellan, & Youniss, 2003; and Scales, Blyth,
Kielsmeier, & Berkas, 2000).
The sustained and cumulative experience of
service likely makes more of a difference in
longitudinal outcomes as well. In support of this
reasoning, we compared two groups of St. Louis
Park, Minnesota, students. One group included students
who consistently volunteered from
middle school in 1997 and 1998, through high
school in 2001; and those who did not volunteer
in 1997, but did afterwards (?emerging? volunteers).
The other group consisted of those who
never volunteered, and those who volunteered
in 1997, but not again (?fading? volunteers).
We found that the consistent and emerging volunteers
had significantly higher GPAs in 2001 than
those who never volunteered or those who did
early, but then stopped.4
In addition, it appears that the power of the service-
to-others asset actually comes in conjunction
with multiple assets working together, not just one
asset by itself. An exploratory factor analysis of the
40 developmental assets identified eight clusters
of assets, two of which have particularly strong relationships
to actual school grades (B+ or higher
average) three years later. One of these clusters,
which we call ?connections to community?
included youth programs, religious community,
service to others, creative activities, reading for
pleasure, other adult relationships, and adult role
models. For every point higher students scored on
this factor in 1998, they were three times more
likely than other students to be in the high GPA
group in 2001 (Scales & Roehlkepartain, 2003).
The second cluster of assets, which we call ?norms
of responsibility,? includes achievement motivation,
school engagement, bonding to school, positive
peer influence, restraint, resistance skills, and
peaceful conflict resolution. For every point higher
students scored in 1998 on this factor, they were
twice as likely as other students to be in the high
GPA group in 2001.
To understand the power of these findings,
remember that previous GPA is almost always
found to be the single strongest predictor of later
GPA. In this study, for every point higher in 1998
GPA, students were four times more likely to be in
the B+ or greater GPA group in 2001.Thus, these
two clusters of assets accounted for an impressive
50 percent to 75 percent of the influence of
previous GPA ? the strongest predictor of all.
These findings lend support to Youniss, McLellan,
Su, and Yates? (1999) suggestion that there is an
?integrated youth syndrome? parallel to the
syndrome of youth unconventionality described
years ago by Jessor and Jessor (1977), in which
high-risk behaviors are symptoms of an underlying
problem behavior syndrome. Building on this
perspective, participation in service reflects not just
an isolated positive experience, but may both be a
result and a cause of connection to society in other
ways, signifying an immersion in networks where
prosocial and responsible behaviors are expected,
modeled, and rewarded. In short, service participation
may both result from and contribute to young
people?s connection to mutually reinforcing assets
across the many contexts of life, all of which add
together to enhance developmental paths in a
much more significant way collectively than any
asset can influence on its own.
Service to Others: A ?Gateway Asset?
In addition to the direct, positive contribution
that service to others can make as part of a cluster
of other assets, the experience of serving others
(particularly in an intentional, well-designed
service-learning experience) may also make it
more likely that students experience many other
assets that collectively promote positive developmental
outcomes. In this sense, service to others
becomes a ?gateway? to many resources for healthy
development and school success. In Table 1, we
placed asterisks by 20 of the 40 developmental
assets that, from a theoretical perspective, could be
enhanced through effective school-based servicelearning
experiences ? with other assets potentially
being addressed through specific activities.
G R O W I N G T O G R E A T N E S S 29
A number of studies suggest the connection
of service or service-learning to many other
developmental assets. As shown in Display 1,
service and service-learning have been found
to contribute significantly to outcomes such as:
increased altruism and perceived duty to help
others, concern for others? welfare, social
competence and empathy, increased sense that
one can make a difference, increased self-esteem,
closer parent-child relationships, and greater sense
of personal responsibility (Scales & Leffert, 2004;
and Scales, Sesma, and Bolstrom, 2004). Such
results link to at least six of the eight asset
categories: support, empowerment, commitment
to learning, positive values, social competencies,
and positive identity.
For this article, we examined the relationship
between service and all the other assets in the
aggregate dataset. As expected, most of the
correlations were quite modest, in the .10s
and .20s.The strongest relationships (all with
coefficients from .20-.30) were between service
to others and these eight developmental assets:
adult role models, creative activities, youth
programs, religious community, reading for
pleasure, caring, equality and social justice, and
interpersonal competence.
It is noteworthy that the first five of these assets
also were among the seven (service and other
adult relationships being the other two) in the
cluster of assets with the greatest longitudinal
contribution to actual grades in the St. Louis
Park study. The appearance of these assets
together in two different studies and two
different analyses suggests that they work
Display 1
Service-Learning Outcomes Connected to Asset Building
Although results vary widely depending on the intensity, quality, and type of service-learning studied, researchers
frequently find that many positive changes occur for young people who engage in service to others. Many of these
outcomes are related to categories of developmental assets. (See Scales & Leffert, 2004; and Scales, Sesma, &
Bolstrom, 2004.)
Asset Category Areas of Impact of Service-Learning
Support Positive attitudes toward adults
Talking with parents about school
Empowerment Community involvement as adult
Political participation and interest
Positive attitudes toward community involvement
Positive civic attitudes
Belief that one can make a difference in community
Leadership positions in community organizations
Commitment to Learning Reading grades
School attendance and performance
Commitment to class work
Working for good grades
Positive Values Prosocial and moral reasoning
Personal and social responsibility
Perceived duty to help others
Concern for others? welfare
Awareness of societal problems
Social Competencies Self-disclosure
Development of mature relationships
Social competence outside of school
Problem-solving skills
Positive Identity Self-concept
A ?Gateway? Asset for School Success and Healthy Development
30 G2G
synergistically to shape development across multiple
life contexts.
Further evidence of service to others as a
gateway asset lies in a longitudinal analysis of
the effect of volunteering in 1998 on the total
number of assets students reported in 2001 in the
St. Louis Park study, which revealed a significant
impact of service on the number of assets students
reported three years later. For example, 50 percent
of servers in 1998 were asset-rich (31 to 40 assets)
in 2001, compared to only 33 percent of nonservers
who had such high levels of assets three
years later. Collectively, these results suggest the
validity of conceptualizing service as a gateway
asset that helps create a web of development assets
in young people?s lives.
A Missed Opportunity
We have seen that service is both related to
numerous other key developmental assets, and also
has significant connections to both current and
future positive developmental outcomes for youth,
including school success. Finding ways to intentionally
weave together service-learning with asset
building has additional promise for increasing the
potential impact of service-learning.
Display 2
What Asset Building Can Bring to Service-Learning
It?s clear that service-learning has great potential to build developmental assets. In addition, an
intentional focus on asset building and use of asset-building principles can enrich service-learning.
In An Asset Builder?s Guide to Service-Learning, Roehlkepartain, Bright, and Margolis-Rupp (2000)
describe seven perspectives that the developmental assets framework and asset-building principles can
offer to service or service-learning.While some are already integral themes in effective service-learning,
all can be helpful for reflecting on how service-learning efforts are intentional about adopting a
comprehensive asset-building approach.
1. A relational perspective: Both asset-building and service are, at their core, about building
positive relationships.
2. An additive perspective: Multiple exposures to both assets and service is more effective than isolated
3. A developmental perspective: To be most effective, asset building and service begin long before
adolescence, accumulating their impact over time.
4. A multisector perspective: Service or service-learning that links influences such as schools,
congregations, and youth organizations has a greater chance of positively effecting assets
throughout young people?s ecologies.
5. A holistic perspective: Service or service-learning has a greater chance of building the
other developmental assets if such impacts are intentionally made explicit as goals of
the experience.
6. A strength-building perspective: The best service or service-learning builds the assets of both
young servers and those being served.
7. A ?laboratory? perspective: Service or service-learning experiences are the training ground for
a life that emphasizes serving others. By linking current experiences with intentions to
continue serving, service or service-learning can nurture the prosocial norms and culture that
are characteristic of communities that are asset-building and developmentally attentive.
SOURCE: Roehlkepartain, E. C., Bright,T., & Margolis-Rupp, B. (2000). An asset builder?s guide to service-learning.
Minneapolis: Search Institute.
G R O W I N G T O G R E A T N E S S 31
The unfortunate reality, however, is that few
young people in this country experience these
positive opportunities. At most, only 30 percent
to 50 percent of young people volunteer from
once a month (Child Trends DataBank, 2003)
to an hour a week (Scales & Leffert, 2004).
As shown in Figure 1, this involvement is fairly
consistent across racial-ethnic groups, varying
more by gender and grade.
And though effectively implemented servicelearning
could have still greater impact than
service alone, the new 2004 Growing to
Greatness survey of principals (Kielsmeier, Scales,
Roehlkepartain, & Neal, 2004) finds that only
about 30 percent of schools (22 percent of
elementary schools, 30 percent of middle schools,
and 45 percent of high schools) provide servicelearning.
This overall level is statistically the
same as the 32 percent of schools reported in a
comparable survey in 1998 (Skinner & Chapman,
1999), and it remains far below the aspirations of
service-learning advocates.
But the situation is likely even worse than
these figures suggest. If Billig?s (2004) reasoning
is correct, students are only about one-third as
likely to participate in service-learning as schools
are to provide it.Therefore, only about one in
10 of the nation?s students probably experience
effective service-learning.
Figure 1
Percentages of 6th- to 12th-Grade Youth Who Report Volunteering
at Least One Hour Per Week
Total sample 51%
0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60%
Female 56%
Male 46%
Grade 6 59%
Grade 7 57%
Grade 8 52%
Grade 9 49%
Grade 10 47%
Grade 11 47%
Grade 12 50%
African American 53%
Asian American 48%
Latino/Latina 44%
Native American 53%
White 52%
Multiracial 53%
SOURCE: Search Institute surveys of 217,000 U.S. middle and high school students during the 1999-2000 school year.
A ?Gateway? Asset for School Success and Healthy Development
Much more needs to be done to guide young people
onto a path of lifelong service to others.
Service plays a significant role as a gateway developmental
asset connecting students to numerous
other assets, and thereby contributes to school success
and other desirable developmental outcomes.
The likely result of instilling the service habit in
children and youth will be significant long-term
benefits to young people, their families, schools,
and communities that our current research barely
begins to capture.
1. We recognize that there is a substantial difference between the
potential impact of community service, and more elaborate and
comprehensive service-learning.The Search Institute data we draw on
in this article are limited to reports of young people?s service; we do
not know the degree to which the young people in our studies who
report volunteering are doing so within a service-learning structure.
However, the data Billig cites (2004, this volume) shows that only
about 10 percent-25 percent of
students likely participate in genuine service-learning.
2. Search Institute?s aggregate dataset includes more than 217,000
6th-12th graders from more than 300 U.S. communities who were
surveyed during the 1999-2000 school year.The sample also was
weighted to align with Census distributions for race/ethnicity and
urban residence.The second dataset is made up of longitudinal
sample of 370 students from the Minneapolis suburb of St. Louis
Park, Minnesota, which followed students from 1998, when they
were in grades 7 to 9, to 2001, when they were in grades 10 to 12.
3. Analysis of variance for school problems: (F(1,216,088) = 2745.597,
p .0001). Analysis of variance for school success
(self-report of getting mostly As in school): (F(1,211,888) =
2373.517, p .0001).
4. Analysis of variance: F(1, 313) = 4.06, p .05.
Billig, S. (2004). Heads, Hearts, and Hands:The Research on K-12
Service-Learning. In Growing to Greatness:The State of Service-Learning
Report. St. Paul, MN: National Youth Leadership Council.
Child Trends DataBank (2003).Washington, DC: Child Trends. Online.
December 2003,
Jessor, R. R., & Jessor, S. L. (1977). Problem behavior and psychological
development: A longitudinal study of youth. New York:
Academic Press.
Kielsmeier, J., Scales, P.C., Roehlkepartain, E.C., & Neal M.(2004).
Community Service and Service-Learning in U.S. Public Schools. In
Growing to Greatness:The State of Service-Learning Report. St. Paul, MN;
National Youth Leadership Council.
Metz, E., McLellan, J., & Youniss, J. (2003).Types of voluntary service
and adolescents? civic development. Journal of Adolescent Research, 18
National Youth Leadership Council. (1999). Essential Elements of
Service-Learning. St. Paul, MN: National Youth Leadership Council.
Roehlkepartain, E. C., Bright,T., & Margolis-Rupp, B. (2000). An asset
builder?s guide to service-learning. Minneapolis: Search Institute.
Scales, P. C., Blyth, D. A., Kielsmeier, J. C., & Berkas,T. H. (2000).
The effects of service-learning on middle school students? academic
success and social responsibility. Journal of Early Adolescence, 20
(pp. 332-358).
Scales, P.C., & Roehlkepartain, E.C. (2003). Boosting student
achievement: New research on the power of developmental assets.
Search Institute Insights & Evidence, 1(1) (pp. 1-10).
Scales, P. C., & Leffert, N. (2004). Developmental assets: A synthesis of
the scientific research on adolescent development, 2nd edition. Minneapolis:
Search Institute.
Scales, P. C., Sesma, A., Jr., & Bolstrom, B. (2004). Coming into their own:
How developmental assets help promote positive growth in middle childhood.
Minneapolis: Search Institute.
Sesma, A. Jr., & Roehlkepartain, E. C. (2003). Unique strengths,
shared strengths: Developmental assets among youth of color. Search
Institute Insights & Evidence 1 (2) (pp.1-13).
Skinner, R., & Chapman, C. (1999). Service-learning and community
service in K-12 public schools. National Center for Education
Statistics: Statistics in Brief (NCES 1999-043).
Youniss, J., McLellan, J. A., Su,Y., & Yates, M. (1999).The role of
community service in identity development: Normative,
unconventional, and deviant orientations. Journal of Adolescent
Research, 14 (pp. 248-261).
32 G2G
G R O W I N G T O G R E A T N E S S 33
Learn and Serve America:
Reflecting on the Past,
Focusing on the Future
Amy B. Cohen, Robert Bhaerman, Elson Nash,
Learn and Serve America; and Kimberly Spring,
Research and Policy Development, Corporation for
National and Community Service
s Learn and Serve America looks forward
to its 15th anniversary in 2005, it is poised
at a promising juncture: the President?s proposed
$3 million increase in funding for the first time in
eight years. Learn and Serve America, the largest
funder and resource for service-learning programs
nationally, currently provides approximately $43
million each year for programs designed to engage
young people in service to their community as a
part of their education and development.Today?s
Learn and Serve America programs are the direct
descendants of two of the four programs created
through the National and Community Service Act
of 1990.1 In 1992, over $22 million was awarded in
grants for K-12 and higher education service and
service-learning programs.
Service-learning is defined as an educational
?[U]nder which students or participants learn
and develop through active participation in
thoughtfully organized service that is conducted
in and meets the needs of a community; which
is coordinated within an elementary school,
secondary school, institution of higher education,
or community service program, and with the
community; which helps foster civic responsibility;
which is integrated into and enhances the
academic curriculum of the students, or the educational
components of the community service
program in which the participant is enrolled;
and which provides structured time for the
students or participants to reflect on the service
experience.? [42 U.S.C. 12511]
Today, Learn and Serve America engages nearly
2 million student participants.The programs also
engages nearly 100,000 teachers, faculty, and staff
of schools, higher education institutions and
community-based organizations.
Learn and Serve America supports youth service
and service-learning through:| Grants| Training and Technical Assistance| Recognition Programs| National Leadership
Serve-America, the predecessor of Learn and Serve
America K-12 School- and Community-Based
programs, supported the efforts of schools and
community-based agencies to involve school-aged
youth in service. In 1992, Serve-America awarded
$16.9 million by formula to state education
agencies; one percent of which was available competitively
to Indian tribes.That year, approximately
172,000 youths participated, providing an average
of about 16 hours of direct service each.The
relatively low number of service hours reflects the
dual goals of this program ? to enhance learning
through service, as well as to enhance service
through learning. More than half of all participant
hours were spent in education activities related
to the service.The programs also prioritized
recruiting adult volunteers, 40,000 of who
provided about 25 hours of direct service each.
Program activities were in three broad areas:
education, meeting human needs, and conservation
and environment. Most programs involved students,
through their teachers and classroom activities, in
service linked to the curriculum. Some programs
also reached students in the out-of-school hours,
providing structured community service opportunities
through youth-serving organizations.
The 1990 Act also provided for Higher Education
Innovative Projects in Community Service, the
predecessor of Learn and Serve America Higher
Education. Designed to involve students in
community service, promote community service
34 G2G
Learn and Serve America: Reflecting on the Past, Focusing on the Future
at educational institutions, and train teachers in
service-learning methods, the program granted
$5.6 million to higher education institutions or
nonprofit organizations working in partnership
with higher education institutions. Higher education
programs involved 22,000 participants who
provided an average of 39 hours of direct service.
In higher education settings, too, a key goal was
integrating service into the curriculum; yet over
80 percent of participants? time was spent in
direct service. Close to 8,000 volunteers were
generated by these programs, who provided an
average of 16 hours of service each. Program
activities were in the same broad categories ?
education, human needs, and environment ?
but nearly half of all higher education programs
focused on providing education-related service.
The passage of the National and Community
Service Trust Act of 1993, as amended, provided
the opportunity to expand and improve the student
community service and service-learning
programs.The 1993 Act authorized both K-12
school- and community-based programs and
higher education innovative projects.The two
student service programs were united under the
Learn and Serve America banner at the creation
of the Corporation for National and Community
Service.The 1993 Act produced a durable
definition of service-learning, used by practitioners
and researchers, regardless of their association
with the Corporation.
Enabling Registration
The legislation that created Learn and Serve
America ensures that funds are distributed to a
wide variety of youth-serving organizations and
institutions.The program provides the following
grant programs: school-based, which includes
both formula and competitive grant programs
and a set-aside of up to three percent for Indian
tribes and U.S.Territories; community-based; and
higher education programs.
School-Based programs: Formula-based grants are
made to state education agencies (SEAs), which
make sub-grants to create new service-learning
programs; to replicate existing models; and/or
train teachers, administrators, adult volunteers,
service-learning coordinators, and students in
service-learning. SEAs also conduct training and
evaluation, support the development of local
partnerships, and develop curriculum to align
with service activities.
School-Based programs: LSA also makes grants
on a competitive basis to SEAs, Indian tribes,
U.S. territories, non-profit organizations, and
institutions of higher education that apply as
non-profits. Grantees, in turn, make sub-grants
for the same purposes described above. In 2003
and 2004, three thematic competitions have been
offered: Linking History, Civics, and Service;
Community, Higher Education, and Schools
Partnerships (CHESP); and Homeland Security.
Indian Tribes and U.S.Territories: Up to three
percent of school-based funds are set aside for
this competitive grant program whose funds may
be used for the activities noted above. Indian
tribes can elect either to sub-grant or work with
tribal schools without sub-granting.
Community-Based programs: Funds are awarded
competitively to non-profit organizations to
make grants in two or more states, and state
commissions on national and community service
to make grants in their home states. Grantees
sub-grant to youth-serving public or private
non-profits to create new service programs or
replicate existing ones and to provide training
and technical assistance (T/TA). Grantees may,
without sub-granting, provide T/TA to public or
private non-profit organizations that work with
school-age youths. (Participants in all school-
and community-based programs are schoolage
Essential to the development
of high-quality
programs as well as to ensuring
that Learn and Serve
America is a catalyst for
the development of
strong service-learning
programs beyond the reach
of its limited grant funds,
are the training and
technical assistance
programs and recognition
programs that
Learn and Serve America
has administered.
G R O W I N G T O G R E A T N E S S 35
Higher education programs: Through a competitive
process, LSA awards funds directly to individual
colleges and universities or consortia of higher
education institutions, which may include public
or private non-profit organizations. Funds may
support a wide variety of service-learning activities
including training teachers in service-learning,
integrating community service into professional
education programs, strengthening the infrastructure
in the institutions, and supplementing
community service activities in Federal Work
Study programs.
Two unique examples of higher education
programs are: (1) The American Association of
Colleges for Teacher Education?s National Service-
Learning in Teacher Education Program (NSLTEP)
which is designed to help develop institutional
capacity to incorporate service-learning into
pre-service teacher education. NSLTEP addresses
the issues of diversity, technology, accountability,
and character education as they relate to K-12
classroom instruction.The initiative ? which is
divided into six regional centers ? is the leading
organization that utilizes service-learning in the
preparation of future teachers. (2) The West
Philadelphia Improvement Corps (WEPIC) which
is coordinated by the West Philadelphia Partnership
that includes the University of Pennsylvania and
community organizations.The initiative involves
approximately 4,500 children, their parents, and
community members in educational and cultural
programs, job training, community improvement,
and service activities.WEPIC has developed an
effective program by building a university, K-12,
and community-based model around a targeted
zone for academic and community improvement.
The National K-12 Service-Learning
Essential to the development of high-quality programs
as well as to ensuring that Learn and Serve
America is a catalyst for the development of strong
service-learning programs beyond the reach of its
limited grant funds, are the training and technical
assistance programs and recognition programs that
Learn and Serve America has administered.
Required by statute, Learn and Serve America
provides support to the National Service-Learning
Clearinghouse.The statute mandating the
Clearinghouse allows for a wide variety of research,
dissemination, training, and networking activities.
While the availability of funds for the Clearinghouse
has varied over the years, necessitating some
variance in the services offered, the core of
Clearinghouse services have been information
collection and dissemination, research, and networking
for practitioners and researchers through
email, the web, and by telephone.
The Clearinghouse collects and disseminates information
and materials related to service-learning in
all settings.The Clearinghouse also hosts a variety
of listserves for discussion and information on
service-learning; a website and information
database; a toll-free information phone line; and
maintains a collection of publications on servicelearning.
Since its inception, the Clearinghouse has
been available to anyone seeking information or
advice on service-learning, without regard to their
affiliation with the Corporation for National and
Community Service.
The Clearinghouse is authorized and provides limited
direct training and technical assistance to support
the development, expansion or improvement
of service-learning programs. From 1994 until
2000, advanced practitioners and researchers
provided direct training to others in the field.
During the 1997-2000 period, the National
Service-Learning Exchange provided technical
assistance by means of a peer mentoring and
training model in which practitioners were certified
in technical assistance; regional centers referred
those requesting support to certified peers based
on geographical proximity and desired expertise.
The Exchange, operated by the National Youth
Leadership Council, continues ? without federal
support ? in a modified fashion.
National Service-Learning Leader Schools
From 1999 through 2002, Learn and Serve
America offered the National Service-Learning
Leader Schools recognition program.This program,
modeled on the U.S. Department of Education?s
Blue Ribbon Schools program, awarded recognition
to 216 middle schools and high schools for
their exemplary integration of service and servicelearning
into the life and culture of the school.
These 216 schools, located in 47 states, served as
active winners for a period of two years, making
presentations on service-learning locally and
nationally, hosting visits to their schools, and
promoting the effective practices they used to make
their schools models of successful service-learning.
While Learn and Serve America does not currently
offer this national designation, several states have
continued the program, certifying and awarding
effective practices through a statewide Service-
Learning Leader School program.
36 G2G
Learn and Serve America: Reflecting on the Past, Focusing on the Future
Presidential Freedom Scholarships
As an agency charged not only with promoting
service-learning but also with promoting service
participation for individuals of all ages, the
Corporation, through Learn and Serve America,
has sponsored the Presidential Freedom
Scholarships since 1997.The Presidential
Freedom Scholarships, formerly known as the
President?s Student Service Scholarship, provides
matching scholarships to high school juniors and
seniors for exemplary leadership in service. Every
high school in the country is eligible to nominate
up to two students per school per year to
receive the Presidential Freedom Scholarship.To
emphasize the importance of school-community
partnerships, $500 of the scholarship is provided
by Learn and Serve America, the other $500
must be raised in the community ? nonprofit
organizations, civic groups, and local and national
businesses have all provided the match. National
partners, providing the match for thousands of
scholarships annually are Alpha Kappa Alpha
sorority, Kiwanis, the Coca-Cola Foundation,
and the Boys and Girls Clubs of the USA.
Approximately 35,000 scholarships have been
awarded for exemplary community service
leadership in the seven years of the program.
Development of service-learning
networks and other supports for
President?s Volunteer Service Award: This award,
an initiative of the President?s Council on Service
and Civic Participation, honors volunteers and
encourages even more Americans to get involved
in their communities. Children and youths up to
14 years of age can earn a bronze award for 50
to 74 hours of service, a Silver award for 75 to
99 hours, and a Gold Award for 100 hours or
more of service.Young adults, adults, and families
and groups also can qualify for the awards. In
addition to the various award pins, recipients also
receive a personalized certificate of achievement,
a note of congratulations from the President,
and a letter of recognition from the President?s
Council. Since instituting the program, 75,000
awards have been made.
State Education Agency Network (SEANet): The
State Education Agency K-12 Service-Learning
Network (SEANet) is a national network of state
Learn and Serve America program directors and
administrators. Hailing from 50 state education
agencies, SEANet members provide assistance to
local school-community partnerships. SEAs are
responsible for developing statewide initiatives,
building support for service-learning in their
states, and providing technical assistance and
professional development for teachers and
administrators and their community partners.
Learn and Serve Grant-Funded Programs
While the technical assistance and recognition
programs effectively disseminate the youth
service and service-learning message, the centerpiece
of Learn and Serve America are its grant
programs. Funding for Learn and Serve America
has remained static since its inception. In 1994,
the Congress appropriated $40 million for
Learn and Serve America programs, in 1995,
$45 million was appropriated, and in 1996 and
each subsequent year, the Congress has allocated
$43 million to all Learn and Serve America grant
programs.With this static funding, Learn and
Serve has awarded approximately 140 grants
annually.The programs receive funding for a
period of three years, assuming satisfactory
progress and availability of funds. New competitions
are held every three years, and with the
exception of the state education agency formula
grants, about half of the grants awarded are to
new organizations.
Most Learn and Serve grantees act as intermediaries;
that is, they make subgrants, provide
training and technical assistance, monitor and
evaluate their subgrants, and disseminate effective
practices, and perform other capacity-building
activities. Each year, approximately 2,500 local
programs receive Learn and Serve America
subgrants for service-learning.
Learn and Serve America strongly encourages
grantees to work with small community-based
nonprofits and faith-based organizations.The
percentage of collaborations with faith-based
organizations has steadily increased over (LSA)
supports the past three years.2
Exhibit 2
Rank Type of Capacity-Building Strategy
1 Evaluation
2 Building Broader Support for
3 Performance Measures
4 Staff/Faculty Training
5 Community Partnerships
5 Marketing
G R O W I N G T O G R E A T N E S S 37
In addition, grantees and subgrantees have demonstrated
an increased commitment to promoting
accountability, improving their capacity to report
on program performance, and building stronger
community support for service-learning. In FY03,
the majority of Learn and Serve programs reported
that they had engaged in capacity building strategies.
Exhibit 2 provides the top six strategies
employed by programs.
Learn and Serve America continues to foster a
culture of accountability for its programs and, in
2003, implemented performance measurement
requirements at national, grantee and local (subgrantee)
levels. Learn and Serve America applicants
are required to nominate three to five performance
measures as a part of their application and at least
one of the measures must be dedicated to the
development of civic skills and knowledge among
participants or service beneficiaries. Grantees will
report on these measures in progress reports and
when applying for further funding. In addition,
Learn and Serve America has begun planning for
a national performance measurement system that
will shift its annual performance reporting from
process-oriented accomplishments to resultsoriented
In 2003, Learn and Serve held its most selective
competition in the program?s history. Of 384
competitive applications submitted, 84 (22 percent)
were chosen for funding. A breakdown of competitiveness
by category can be seen in the chart in
Exhibit 3. Learn and Serve America also received
and approved 50 Formula grant applications from
State Education Agencies.3
The majority of Learn and Serve America grantees,
in turn, subgrant the funds to local organizations.
During the 2002-03 program year, the majority of
subgrantees received between $1,000 and $20,000
in Learn and Serve America funds.The following
graph provides a more detailed description of subgrant
Through Learn and Serve America?s annual survey,
1,591 Learn and Serve America projects reported
that they engaged 1,152,059 participants, with a
mean of 781 participants per project during the
2002-03 program year. On average, participants
performed 21 hours of service for the program
year, with a total reported number of service hours
of 10,561,432. In addition, 90,044 teachers, faculty,
administrators, and community-based organization
staff assisted in these programs.4
The primary purpose of Learn and Serve America
is to develop and fund programs that engage
children and youths in service-learning activities
that benefit their schools, communities, and their
own academic and civic development. Of the
1,152,059 reported participants in 2003, approximately
71 percent were at the elementary and
secondary school levels.The table below shows
the diversity of Learn and Serve America programs
compared to the U.S. population. In addition,
programs reported that, in 2003, 27 percent of
programs were located in schools where at least
50 percent of the students qualified for a school
lunch program, and, on average, 14 percent of
participants in a program were disabled.
2000-2001 2001-2002 2002-2003
1994 1997 2000 2003
Exhibit 3
Learn and Serve America Grant Competitiveness
Education 31% 26% 36% 19%
Based 35% 73% 38% 18%
Competitive 66% 77% 57% 46%
Programs 35% 35% 39% 22%
Percent of Applications Awarded Grants
Exhibit 4
Collaboration with Faith-Based Organizations
38 G2G
Impacts of Learn and Serve America
According to an evaluation of Learn and Serve
America programs published in 1999, middle and
high school students participating in Learn and
Serve America programs contribute, on average,
73 hours of service to their community annually.
In addition, the vast majority of service-learning
participants (95 percent) reported that they were
satisfied with their community service experience,
while 99.5 percent of the school and community
agencies where students conducted their
service reported that their overall experience
with the program was good or excellent.7 The
intensive service experience of Learn and Serve
America programs has been shown to produce a
positive and statistically significant impact on
school engagement, acceptance of cultural diversity,
service leadership, and the overall measure of
civic attitudes.8,9,10 These positive impacts have
been shown to be even stronger among minority
and economically disadvantaged students ? two
populations that Learn and Serve America programs
have been shown to effectively engage in
service.11 When these opportunities are combined
with in-class discussion (service-learning), the
benefits are even greater.12 Among high school
and college volunteers, those given the opportunity
to reflect on their experiences in a classroom
are more than twice as likely to volunteer regularly
as those not given the opportunity.13
Research also demonstrates that there is a strong
impact of youth service on the volunteering
habits of adults. According to Independent
Sector, two-thirds of adult volunteers began
volunteering their time when they were young
(under the age of 18).14 Based on the most recent
evaluation by the federal government on servicelearning
in 1999, a third of all public schools,
including nearly half of all high schools, have
organized service-learning activities for their
students and 57 percent of all public schools have
organized community service activities.15 Learn
and Serve America continues to seek ways of
expanding and institutionalizing the practice of
service-learning. In the 2003 grant competition,
33 of 84 competitive grants went to organizations
new to Learn and Serve America, and
nearly all of the remaining competitive grants
went to consortia that, in turn, subgrant to new
schools, colleges, and organizations.Through the
implementation of a performance measurement
system and technical assistance in capacity-building
techniques, Learn and Serve America will
work with these new grantees to institutionalize
service-learning, promote an ethic of service, and
strengthen long-term, positive impacts for its
grantees and service-learning participants. G2G
1. 1990 was not the first time the federal government made an
investment in youth service.ACTION operated youth and
higher education service and service-learning programs during
the 1970s and 1980s.ACTION also published a magazine,
Synergist, devoted to highlighting research and effective practices
about service and service-learning in education and other youthserving
2. Data based on Learn and Serve America?s annual reporting
instrument, the LASSIE survey. For 2002-03, N=1591.
3. 51 commissions are eligible for formula grants, including the
District of Columbia and Puerto Rico and excluding South
Dakota. In the 2003 competition,Wyoming was the only eligible
state not to apply.
4. Participant data based on 2002-03 LASSIE survey.
5. Percentages based on 2002-03 LASSIE; N=979
(with a total of 604,590 service-learning participants).
6. Percentages based on 2000 U.S. Census.
7. Ibid.
8. Brandeis University (1999). National Evaluation of Learn and Serve
9. RMC Research Corporation (2002, November). Colorado
Department of Education Service-Learning: Evaluation Report.
10. Kirby, K. (2001, May). Emerging Answers: Research Findings on
Programs to Reduce Teen Pregnancy. National Campaign to Prevent
Teen Pregnancy.
11. Brandeis University (1999). National Evaluation of Learn and Serve
12. CIRCLE (2002, September). The Civic and Political Health of the
Nation: A Generational Report.
13. Ibid, page 33.
14. Independent Sector (2002, November). Engaging Youth in Lifelong
15. Skinner and Chapman (1999). Service Learning and Community
Service in K-12 Public Schools.
Learn and Serve America: Reflecting on the Past, Focusing on the Future
Percent of
Percent of U.S.
Race/Ethnicity Participants5 Population6
White 65.4 75.1
Black 21 12.3
Latino/Hispanic 8.5 12.5
Asian-American 2.2 3.6
Native American/
Alaskan Native 1.2 2.4
More than two races 0.8 0.9
Pacific Islander 0.3 0.1
Exhibit 5
Diversity in Learn and Serve America
in 2002-2003
G R O W I N G T O G R E A T N E S S 39
As service-learning becomes a more common
practice in America?s schools, the availability of
high-quality service-learning opportunities and
the methods for sustaining service-learning are
receiving attention from service-learning advocates
and policy-makers. One approach for sustaining
and increasing service-learning opportunities is
through policy. Policies supporting, encouraging
and mandating service-learning are being
introduced at the state and district levels.
State Policy Innovations
The Education Commission of the States? National
Center for Learning and Citizenship (NCLC),
with support from the Kellogg Foundation
through its Learning In Deed project, created a
50-State Service-Learning Policy Scan in 2001.
The scan reviewed state policy as it is presented
in state constitutions, state statutes, state codes
or regulations, and state board of education
regulations. Currently, only one state has a servicelearning
graduation requirement (Maryland),
although eight other states allow service-learning
to be applied toward graduation requirements.
NCLC will conduct a comprehensive update of
the policy scan in 2004. (See
for updated information.)
Jennifer Piscatelli, Researcher, Education Commission of
the States? National Center for Learning and Citizenship
In the 2003 legislative session, unlike previous
years where state legislatures mandated servicelearning
and community service opportunities
for K-12 students, many of the service-learning
and community service initiatives passed were
directives to other bodies, such as state boards of
education and higher education governing boards,
to establish rules, guidelines or programs related
to service-learning.
For example, the Arizona legislature directed the
Arizona Board of Education to establish guidelines
to promote volunteerism and community service.
The bill required that the state board of education
adopt guidelines to ?Encourage pupils in grades
nine, ten, eleven and twelve to volunteer twenty
hours of community service before graduation
from high school? (Arizona Statute 15-203).
The law states that community service may
include service-learning.
Even states that typically offer great latitude in
education policy-making to local school districts
have begun encouraging service-learning through
state policy. Although all high school graduation
requirements in Iowa are determined at the district
level, in 2003 the Iowa legislature enacted House
File 180, which states,?The board of directors of
a school district or the authorities in charge of a
non-public school may require a certain number
of service-learning units as a condition for the
inclusion of a service-learning endorsement on a
student?s diploma or as a requirement for graduation
from the district or school.?
Legislative action in several states also acknowledged
the importance of service-learning in
post-secondary education.Texas passed Senate
Concurrent Resolution 12, which urges ?public
and private institutions of higher education in the
State of Texas to adopt service-learning as an
important pedagogical tool and as a central form
of engagement, civic outreach and citizenship
education.? Passage of West Virginia?s House Bill
4362 requires each higher education institution?s
governing board to establish and implement a
policy through which college students may
obtain credit toward graduation for service
performed in public schools as tutors, student
advisors and mentors.
Service-Learning and Civic Education
Service-learning continues to be viewed as an
effective method to engage students in citizenship
education. Maine and New Hampshire established
commissions to study citizenship education within
their states.The charge of Maine?s ?Commission to
Study the Scope and Quality of Citizenship
Education? includes studying ?the extent to which
citizenship education, including service-learning,
is currently included in the visions, missions,
values and practices of Maine school administrative
districts and institutions of higher education.?
The Commission has recently begun its work and
will make recommendations for policy changes to
the legislature once its study is complete.
The Commission to Examine and Assess the Status
of Civic Education in New Hampshire, established
by House Bill 1151, recently released its final
report. The Commission identified servicelearning
as one of seven approaches to civic education
present within the state, and noted that of
schools responding to their survey, 40 percent of
40 G2G
high schools, 63 percent of middle schools and
45 percent of elementary schools in New
Hampshire report offering service-learning
opportunities for their students.
District Policy
The relationship between local, district and state
policy is not necessarily linear when it comes to
service-learning. Local school districts continue
to enhance and implement state policy requirements
through their own policies and practices,
such as including questions about servicelearning
in teacher interviews and evaluations
and including service-learning in new
teacher orientations.
Many local districts have begun looking
toward formalized district policy as an avenue
to institutionalize or sustain service-learning as
a regular component of the school experience
within their district.
Some approaches districts have taken to sustain
service-learning through policy include:| Passage of school board resolutions supporting
the use of service-learning (non-binding);| Inclusion of service-learning in district and
school mission statements, goals and strategic
plans;| Passage of specific district-wide servicelearning
policies by the local school board,
such as requiring service-learning opportunities
for all students, requiring a service-learning
component be included in district-provided
professional development, or providing
transportation for service-learning projects; and| Adoption of flexible scheduling to allow for
service-learning activities.
As schools and districts recognize the value of
integrating service-learning into the curriculum,
they will seek opportunities to sustain servicelearning
through policy at the state and district
level. G2G
3 3
3 3
4 4
5 5
1. The state permits community service or service-learning
activities to be applied toward graduation requirements.
2. Service-learning is a requirement for graduation.
3. Statutes, rules, regulations, creation, or purpose of programs
relating to service-learning.
4. The state encourages the use of service-learning as a mechanism
for increasing student achievement and engagement.
5. Service-learning is included in the state?s education standards.
6. The authorization of funding appropriations, and the
creation of service-learning activities and programs.
Service-Learning Policy
Service-Learning in the United States
SEANet, Rich Cairn, and Marybeth Neal, Ph.D.
The profiles of states is like a bouquet of flowers,
each one tantalizing for the creative possibilities they
suggest for how to nurture young people into
engaged, educated citizens.
The profiles show the various ways service-learning
has become a part of states? work and how it is
delivered ? either directly or through specially
formed organizations.We see that service-learning
is connected to and supports other state initiatives,
at times transcending and outlasting these other
initiatives which suggests that service-learning is
fundamentally ?good teaching practice? that can
enhance other educational reform initiatives.
The profiles also present examples of impact on
the local program level, which illustrate a variety of
outcomes ? including students? academic and social
achievement, on school climate, school-community
relations and future volunteering.These stories
suggest that the creation of service-learning
programs is limited only by the imagination. Servicelearning
can be a part of academic learning for
students in any grade from kindergarteners to high
schools seniors. Furthermore, all disciplines ?
including math, science, social studies, English, art,
music, drama, and foreign languages can be applied
in service to address a community need.
Additionally, some examples show how schools can
partner with community-based organizations (CBOs)
and the different roles CBOs can play ? from being
Introduction to
State Profiles
simply the stage for service to being service-learning
providers themselves offering training to teachers,
students, and providing a complete service-learning
curriculum that includes assessment of students and
program evaluation components.
The profiles are only a beginning, meant to give the
reader a sense of the historical precedent as well as
the variation and possibilities of service-learning.
The process for collecting the data used to create the
institutional history part of profiles was to interview
the State Educational Agency staff person (the SEA)
responsible for the administration of Learn and Serve
America funds.The stories of impact came from
various sources including the SEAs, SEANet (the
State Educational Agency Network), the CNCS
website and from the programs themselves.
Readers may note that the numbers of participants
varies widely from state to state, reflecting different
systems for collecting information as some states
collect data only on Learn and Serve America participants
and other states collect data more widely.To
get an accurate estimate of service-learning by state
that includes both LSA-funded, other-funded and
non-funded service-learning is a challenge to collect.
We are currently developing strategies for the next
year/next phase of the development of our reporting
procedure and content. For those interested in helping
collect data for their state may contact Marybeth
Neal, research director for Growing to Greatness at
G R O W I N G T O G R E A T N E S S 41
42 G2G
California Department of Education,
CalServe Initiative
Mr.Wade Brynelson
1430 N Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 319-0911
Fax: (916) 319-0105 CA C A L I F O R N I A
State Implementation Strategy
Through the CalServe Initiative, the California
Department of Education supports a Statewide
Regional Service-Learning Lead Infrastructure and
over 45 district-wide school-community partnerships
that annually involve over 130,000 students
and approximately 15,000 adult volunteers in
urban, rural and suburban communities throughout
the state.
Building on Research ? In 1994, California shifted
Learn and Serve grants from individual schools to
district-wide proposals. Reinforcing the importance
of this strategy, the 1996 state evaluation
study by RPP International determined that
service-learning had a positive impact on student
learning. It also found that few schools were
embracing service-learning as a way to realize
school-wide goals. As a follow-up to the study,
CalServe began to build a regional infrastructure
of support.
In 1998, the Superintendent?s Service-Learning
Task Force brought together a diverse group of
29 California educators, students, researchers, and
representatives of nonprofit organizations and
businesses experienced in service-learning.
Recommendations included shifting to an
emphasis on district-level implementation, including
support for local service-learning advisory
committees; linking service-learning to state and
local standards, assessments, and accountability
tools; mobilizing partners; and strengthening youth
voice. From 1998-2002, seven school districts in
California participated in the W.K. Kellogg
Foundation?s Learning In Deed national servicelearning
demonstration program, strengthening
practice and policy at the district level.
Under a contract from the CalServe Initiative,
the University of California at Berkeley?s Service-
Learning Research and Development Center
conducted a three-year study of 35 K-12 districtwide
service-learning partnerships between 1997
and 2000.Their report recommended specific steps
at the state and local level to ensure high-quality
practice, support sustainability and institutionalization
of service-learning, and strengthen local
evaluation methods.
In 2000, the University of California at Berkeley?s
Service-Learning Research and Development
Center reported on the viability of various
approaches for advancing K-12 service-learning
in teacher education. Based on this research,
California is implementing a plan to strengthen
service-learning instruction in teacher preparation
Building an Infrastructure of Support ? CalServe
partners with the nonprofit Youth Service
California to provide training and technical
assistance to schools and districts.Youth Service
California accesses many sources of public and
private funding.
The twelve Regional Service-Learning Networks
provide a broad range of services, including
conferences and teacher institutes, newsletters,
websites, grants, and technical assistance. Regional
Networks partner with schools as well as volunteer
resource centers, colleges and universities, and
other institutions. Regions serve all schools and
districts in their areas, including those receiving no
Learn and Serve America funds. Regions also field
a number of VISTAs in support of school-based
service-learning. CalServe,Youth Service
California, and the regional networks offer a
variety of staff development opportunities
throughout the year.
Los Angeles Unified School District will begin
requiring service-learning for all high school
graduates students in 2007.
Linking to Education Initiatives ? California has
long sought to forge strong links between servicelearning
and academic standards. CalServe and the
California Environmental Protection Agency are
implementing a district-wide waste reduction and
recycling program.The California Integrated Waste
Management Board offered grants, educational
materials, professional development and technical
support to districts over a two-year period to
integrate instructional strategies that address
state content standards with campus resource
conservation programs
Youth Service California and the Governor?s
Office on Service and Volunteerism (GoSERV)
sponsor the California After-School Service-
Learning Initiative, which incorporates service-
Youth Service California
663 13th St., Oakland, CA 94612
Phone: (510) 302-0550
Fax: (510) 302-0551|
G R O W I N G T O G R E A T N E S S 43
learning into after-school programs as a strategy for
healthy youth development, academic enrichment,
and civic engagement in a diverse society.
The regional networks link service-learning to many
education initiatives from Migrant Education to Safe
and Drug-Free Schools.The federal School to Career
initiative offered many opportunities for strong
collaboration during the late 1990s.The regional
networks also sponsored state and regional forums on
the civic mission of education in 2002-03, attended
by hundreds of individuals and organizations.
Building Partnerships ? California hosts several
national and regional service-learning and civic
engagement organizations, including the
Constitutional Rights Foundation, the East Bay
Conservation Corps, the State Environmental
Education Roundtable, and Adopt-a-Watershed.
Support also comes from higher education centers,
including the University of California at Los Angeles
Service-Learning Clearinghouse Project, the Haas
Center at Stanford, and University of California at
Berkeley?s Service-Learning Research and
Development Center.
A Statewide Network Leadership Team including
CalServe,Youth Service California, Corporation for
National and Community Service California Office,
GoSERV, California Mentoring Project, California
Campus Compact, and the state?s Volunteer Resource
Centers meets monthly to coordinate activities and
pool resources. Service-Learning plays a prominent
role in California?s Unified State Plan for Service
and Volunteerism.
Convening and Celebrating ? California established
an official state holiday to honor Latino labor leader
C?ar E. Ch?ez and promote service to communities.
Curriculum for Ch?ez Day is on the CalServe
website.Youth Service California also makes small
grants available for Ch?ez Day projects.
California hosted the National Service-Learning
Conference in 1999, and is exploring hosting this
event in 2005.
Sharing Tools ? CalServe?s website offers many tools,
including curriculum, sample school board policies,
and school district surveys.
Benchmarks of Success
During 2002-03 academic year, service-learning
involved:| 45 School-Based Grantees;| Approximately 130,000 students;| 23,000 adult and senior volunteers;| 5,000 teachers; and| 9,400 community-based organizations partnered
with school-based projects.
1998-2002 ? W.K. Kellogg Foundation chose
California as one of five Learning In Deed states.
Restoring the Community
After a Wildfire
After a devastating wildfire hit
Carlsbad in San Diego County,
high school biology students and
elementary school children worked
together to plant a garden of
native species at a park, while
studying how nature recovers
from fires.
2003-2006 CNCS Learn and
Serve America Grants
California Department of Education,
CalServe Initiative
School-Based Learn and Serve America
California Governor?s Office on
Service & Volunteerism
Community-Based Learn & Serve
The GRAMMY Foundation,
Santa Monica
Linking Civics, History and Service
(National Program)
44 G2G
Colorado Department of Education
Dr. Kate Cumbo
201 East Colfax Avenue
Denver, CO 80203
Phone: (303) 866-6969
Fax: (303) 866-6888 CO C O L O R A D O
State Implementation Strategy
Building a Regional Infrastructure ? Starting in the
1990s, Colorado gave approximately 60 sub-grants
annually to teachers to implement projects in their
classrooms, fostering a broad expansion of servicelearning
across the state. Under the leadership
of Elaine Andrus, a middle school teacher from
Colorado Springs, Colorado linked servicelearning
with state middle school reform efforts.
In 2000, Service-Learning Colorado?s leadership
shifted focus to building infrastructure. Learn and
Serve grants, supplemented with private funding,
helped create four official Service-Learning
Regions (with two emerging regions), including
a full-time service-learning coordinator, three
full-time AmeriCorps* VISTAs, and a formal
partnership with a college or university servicelearning
center. Each region assesses the needs of
their educators and communities, and develops
programs accordingly. For example, the Southwest
Regional Initiative helped the Durango Public
Schools develop a service-learning strategic plan
that included an increase in student participation
in school governance. Each region offers three to
five service-learning trainings per year and gets
funding from at least two sources.
Integrating School and Community-Based Service-
Learning ? From 1993 through 2003, the
Colorado Department of Education (CDE)
managed the Learn and Serve Community-Based
Grant, integrating community- and school-based
service-learning across the state. Starting in 2000,
community-based funds were awarded to agencies
working directly with K-12 schools to help
educators align service-learning with content
standards and Colorado?s high stakes assessment
(Colorado Student Assessment Program ? CSAP).
Organizations such as Earth Force, the Denver
Zoo, and the PeaceJam Foundation aligned their
curricula and resources to standards, and developed
assessments and activities that helped students
prepare for CSAP while doing service-learning.
State evaluation results supported the success of
their efforts, finding that students who participated
in these programs had higher GPAs and performed
significantly higher on CSAP than their peers
who did not participate.
Supporting Civics-Focused Service-Learning ?
Spurred by the neglect of civics on the state
assessment, educators and parents convinced the
Colorado Legislature to pass a bill requiring a
civics course for high school graduation. Project
Citizen, Facing Civics and Ourselves, the
Close-Up Foundation, the Center for Law and
Democracy, the Denver-based Education
Commission of the States (ECS), and the CDE
joined together as the Civic Canopy to strengthen
civics and service-learning in the state. In Fall
2003, the CDE, with assistance from the Civic
Canopy, hosted the first annual Civics and
Service-Learning Academy.
Colorado?s Learn and Serve Community-Based
Grant ? now a faith-based partnership managed
through Regis University ? is tackling youth civic
participation from the community perspective
through the Communities Strengthening Colorado
initiative. Six participating communities are
engaged in Assets Based Community Development
and Public Dialogue through the Institute on the
Common Good to foster dialogue and mobilize
communities to identify civic outcomes for
youths ? and, in turn, to develop service-learning
programs in and out of school that develop these
outcomes for all youths.
Convening and Celebrating ? Since 1992,
Colorado has involved over 350 youths and adults
annually in its state service-learning conference.
The conference recognizes leadership in servicelearning
through its Shakers and Groovers awards,
and Service-Learning Leader Schools. (Colorado
has continued this program even after CNCS
paused the program.) The conference also recognizes
recipients of the President?s Student Service
Awards and Presidential Freedom Scholarships.
Colorado hosted the National Service-Learning
Conference in 2001.
Linking to Education Initiatives ? Service-learning
advocates in Colorado collaborate with implementers
of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) act,
including Safe and Drug Free Schools (Title IV),
Innovative Programs (Title V), and Migrant
Education (Title IC). Colorado also links servicelearning
and character education. Service-learning
practitioners are reaching out to programs for
English language learners, and to charter and
private schools. During the late 1990s, servicelearning
built strong links with School-to-Work
and Goals 2000 initiatives.
G R O W I N G T O G R E A T N E S S 45
Building Partnerships ?With support from ECS,
Colorado held service-learning policy institutes for
administrators in an effort to build administrative
support for service-learning. RMC Research,
evaluator of Colorado?s Learn and Serve America
grants, also collaborates on state policy and implementation.
In addition to the CDE and Colorado
Commission on Community Service, the team
includes representatives from ECS, Colorado Campus
Compact, and private consultants. Regis University
and the University of Denver also have been strong
partners at the state level.
Efforts to build infrastructure for service-learning in
Colorado include partnerships with other National
Service partners. Dr. Kate Cumbo, Director of
Service-Learning at the CDE is in her second term
on the Governor?s Commission on Community
Service. Additionally, the 14-member Service-
Learning AmeriCorps* VISTA Team has been
instrumental in creating the service-learning regional
infrastructure. In Fall 2003, CDE partnered with
AmeriCorps* National Civilian Community Corps
(NCCC) to create a ?Civic Troupe? of twelve
18-24-year-olds who were trained in history, civics,
and theater, and then mobilized to present to 2,600
students at 25 schools.The NCCC Civics Troupe also
presented at the State Capitol and the annual servicelearning
conference, presenting civic heroes as
Sharing Tools ? The Service-Learning Colorado
website offers many free documents, including
service-learning manuals and presentation materials.
Benchmarks of Success
During 2002-03 academic year, service-learning
involved:| 21 School-Based Grantees (Formula and
Competitive Grants);| Approximately 16,500 students who completed
approximately 109,000 hours of service;| 231 adult and senior volunteers;| 4 CHESP Grantees;| 14 VISTAs designated to build capacity and support
for service-learning;| 36 lead teachers;| 193 community-based organizations partnered with
school-based projects;| 6 college/university campuses through Campus
Compact; and| An estimated 3 faith-based organizations.
2003-2006 CNCS Learn and
Serve America Grants
Colorado Department of Education
School-Based Service-Learning
Colorado Governor?s Commission on National
& Community Service
2003 Community-Based Learn & Serve
Colorado Department of Education
Linking Civics, History and Service
Reflections from
Fort Collins Junior High
School Students
?Adults are always complaining
about how youths are a danger
to the community, but they won?t
let us fix our mistakes. Servicelearning
will get youths involved
in their communities.?
also makes school
seem exciting rather
than dull.?
46 G2G
Phone: (850) 487-0262,
Toll-Free: (888) 396-6756
Fax: (850) 922-2928
Florida Department of Education:
Florida Learn & Serve
Florida State University
Joe Follman
325 John Knox Road, Building F,
Suite 210
Tallahassee, FL 32303 FL F L O R I D A
State Implementation Strategy
In 1990, the Florida Department of Education
(FDOE) began leveraging a Drug Prevention
Trust Fund to support community service grants.
Modeled after work by PennServe in Pennsylvania,
Florida allocated $200,000 from the assets seized
during drug-related arrests to support servicelearning
projects. Florida later used these funds to
match Federal Learn and Serve funds beginning in
1992. In 1995, FDOE contracted with Florida
State University to coordinate the program.
Florida State University?s Learn and Serve now
has a staff of five (four full-time, one part-time)
working on service- and service-learning-related
programs in Florida.Through strategic partnerships
with other education initiatives, more than 40 staff
across the state are working in support of servicelearning.
Over 2,000 awards have been made since
1990. For 2003-04, nearly $1 million was awarded
for approximately 90 projects and 100 mini-grants.
Given the large size of many school districts
(Florida school districts are organized by county),
district-wide initiatives have been challenging.
Florida Learn and Serve administers competitive
grants in three categories, along a continuum from
?planting seeds? to ?building infrastructure?:| One-Year School-Based Service-Learning
Projects are renewable and individual schools can
apply through districts. Florida?s largest funding
category also includes a sub-category for planning
grants.| Three-year Model and Demonstration Sites are
made to schools, ranging from individual classrooms
within schools to multiple classrooms
within the same school to school-wide servicelearning
to partnerships between multiple
schools.| District Infrastructure Projects are three-year
grant awards to help school districts institutionalize
Building Partnerships ? Florida Campus Compact,
Florida Learn and Serve,VISTA, Florida?s
Community-Higher Education-School Partnership
(CHESP) grant, and the Title IV Community
Service Grants program have provided strong,
shared leadership for service-learning as the
Florida Alliance for Student Service (FASS).
Florida Learn and Serve partnered with Florida
Campus Compact to conduct a series of 11
service-learning institutes over three years,
including two in teacher education and one in
environmental issues. Representatives from K-12,
higher education and community-based organizations
come to these institutes to develop a plan
to submit to FASS, which provides seed grants to
help realize the goals and objectives of the plan.
Volunteer Florida, the state?s Commission on
National and Community Service, is a strong
supporter of service-learning as well as full-time
service.The Corporation for National and
Community Service (CNCS) Florida State Office
is also a key stakeholder in promoting servicelearning,
approving and supporting the use of
VISTAs to promote and build capacity for servicelearning.
Florida Learn and Serve conducts joint
trainings with these partners as well as with the
Florida Association of Volunteer Centers.
Service Leadership Florida, a project of the
National Service Leadership Institute in partnership
with the CNCS State Office, builds leadership
and capacity among leaders from government,
education and service.The training curriculum
focuses on how to make positive change through
service and engages 30 people each year.
In 2002, the FDOE?s Safe and Drug Free Schools
Office and the Governor?s Office of Drug Control
formed a partnership with Florida Learn and
Serve partnership on Title IV prevention programs.
Thirty-five projects statewide employ servicelearning
programs with students who are
suspended, expelled, or in alternative programs
in lieu of expulsion.
Convening and Celebrating ? Since 1990, Florida
Learn and Serve has provided a range of 25-30
school district/region/statewide trainings and
conferences. Florida has trained and fielded about
75 educator peer mentors since 1996.
The CNCS has awarded 13 Florida schools as
National Service-Learning Leaders Schools who
serve as mentors to other schools. Florida also
hosted the National Service-Learning Conference
in 1997 and 2004.
G R O W I N G T O G R E A T N E S S 47
Florida Learn and Serve has created a guide to
assess student learning through service experiences.
In 2000, Florida Learn and Serve began compiling
information showing linkages between servicelearning
and Florida?s Sunshine State Standards.
Florida Learn and Serve publishes a regular newsletter
and produces a book of program profiles.
Florida annually awards leading teacher-practitioners
and youths who exemplify accomplishment,
commitment, and leadership through servicelearning
Evaluating Success ? A four-year study completed in
1998 involved 117,187 youths participating in 382
sub-grants, and provided comprehensive evidence of
the positive effects of service-learning on student
outcomes in Florida. In 1998, attendance improved in
83 percent of reporting sub-grantees, while
80 percent of reporting sub-grantees had fewer
discipline referrals.
Florida is evaluating the effect of service-learning
programs on middle school students, social development,
drug use, and attitudes of participants in Title
IV Community Service Grants programs.
Sharing Tools ? Florida Learn and Serve hosts a
useful website with information about its grantees
and programs.
Benchmarks of Success
During 2002-03 academic year, service-learning
involved:| 92 School-Based Grantees;| 15 CHESP Grantees;| 35 Title IV Community Service Grant Recipients
(an average of $66,000 each);| 20 VISTAs designated to build capacity and support
for service-learning;| Approximately 40,000 students completed and
average of 100 hours each;| An estimated 250 schools which provided servicelearning
activities for their K-12 students;| 500 teachers;| 500 community-based organizations partnered with
school-based projects;| 35 college/university campuses through Florida
Campus Compact;| 750 adult and senior volunteers;| 250 students with disabilities; and| An estimated eight to ten faith-based organizations.
2003-2006 CNCS Learn and
Serve America Grants
Florida Department of Education,
Florida Learn & Serve
School-Based Learn and Serve America (Formula)
Florida Department of Education
Community-Higher Education-School Partnership
Historic Discovery
In 1998, a group of high
school students in Alachua
County were conducting servicelearning
environmental projects
and discovered more than 200
ancient Native American canoes.
Archaeologists recognized the site?s
significance, declaring it be the
greatest concentration of ancient
canoes ever found.Though some
of the students had previous runins
with the law, they took such
pride in their discovery that they
took extra steps to protect the dig
site from prospective looters.
48 G2G
State of Hawaii Department of Education
Colleen Murakami
Environmental Education/Service-Learning
475 22nd Avenue, Room 115
Honolulu, HI 96816 HI H A W A I I
State Implementation Strategy
Hawaii is one of the smallest states, both in population
and area.Yet the great distances between
islands, and between Hawaii and the rest of the
United States, forces Hawaii to be resourceful.
Hawaii?s relatively modest share of Corporation for
National and Community Service Learn and Serve
funds also limits state staff development activities
and other support resources.
Since 1993, the Hawaii Department of Education
has offered small one-year project grants of about
$3,000, to approximately 20 teachers each year.
Now, to deepen practice and sustainability, Hawaii
seeks to support school-wide programs, and to
extend grants to two or three year cycles. In
2003-2004, although the Learn and Serve Hawaii
program provided only twelve sub-grants, there are
other schools that are providing service-learning
activities through the integration of character
education, social studies, science, career and
technical education, and health education.
In 2008, high school seniors must begin to
demonstrate their ability to apply academic
learning in real-world contexts through a
culminating senior project. Many of these students
will also complete service-learning activities as
part of their senior projects.Youth Service Hawaii
aids service-learning practitioners to prepare
community-based organizations for this influx of
Building Infrastructure for Training and Support ?
Dedicated individual teachers have played
prominent roles at the state level, helping with
teacher training, contributing to state conferences
and other events, and producing publications.
To date, training in the School-Based Learn and
Serve Program has been largely limited to an
initial orientation on service-learning. Beginning
in 2003-04, however, the State of Hawaii
Department of Education will provide more
staff development activities to institutionalize the
philosophy of service-learning into the classroom.
It will also seek to mobilize 15 complexes (high
schools and their feeder schools) to provide
training and technical assistance to their schools.
The state will provide a part-time coordinator to
oversee program implementation and evaluation
and provide a training of trainers session.
A key partner in service-learning is Youth Service
Hawaii (YSH), a non-profit organization founded
in 1996. Its efforts include curriculum development,
student and teacher fellowships, a youth
advisory council, student leadership seminars,
workshops, newsletters, a website, and since 2002,
an annual state-wide conference.YSH is also
the lead agency for National Youth Service Day.
The Hawaii Service Learning Initiative that is
administered by Youth Service Hawaii engages
youth (ages 5-17) in addressing community needs
and to build community networks and partnerships
that will help to sustain service-learning and
build social capital.The Youth Council, made up
of student leaders from public and private schools,
strive to incorporate service-learning practices
in their clubs and school groups as they mobilize
students across the state in service to their
Linking to Educational Initiatives ? In a small
state, the same state staff person often oversees
several education programs, making coordination
between initiatives a matter of course. Furthermore,
the need to make learning relevant and
significant to students has also closed the gap
between program areas. Service-learning in Hawaii
is integrated into character education programs,
environmental education (featuring watershed
protection), science education, Carl Perkins
(vocational education), work study, special
education, English for Second Language Learners
(featuring tutoring), and Title IV Drug Free
Schools. Learn and Serve Hawaii works closely
with social studies educators on an initiative to
infuse service-learning into American History.
Service-learning strongly supports Hawaii?s
content standards for Civic Education.
(808) 733-9141 ext. 321
Youth Service Hawaii
Kelley Oshiro
P.O. Box 61007
Honolulu, HI 96839
Phone: (808) 843-3466
Fax: (808) 988-1779
G R O W I N G T O G R E A T N E S S 49
Building Partnerships ? In addition to Youth Service
Hawaii, school-based service-learning practitioners
collaborate with the American Red Cross, City and
County Civil Defense, as well as with Hawaii and
Pacific Islands Campus Compact, on easing the transition
from high school to college.Teachers and students
also work closely with the Department of Land
and Natural Resources, Department of Health, City
and County Department of Parks and Recreation,
Waikiki Aquarium, Kokee Discovery Center,
Department of Transportation, Civic Clubs, retirement
homes, and other non-profit organizations to address
local community needs. Many of these partnerships
are sustained over several years and many intergenerational
links are formed.
Celebrating ? Hawaii has had ten National Service-
Learning Leader Schools.
Sharing Tools ? The Department of Education will
soon publish a Service-Learning Guide for
Benchmarks of Success
During 2002-03 academic year, service-learning
involved:| 8 School-Based Grantees;| Approximately 635 students each completed an
average of 20 hours of service;| 29 adult and senior volunteers; and| 14 Community-Based Grantees engaged over 2000
youth in nearly 30,000 hours of service to their
communities and collaborated with over 150 school,
community, state, and University partners.
2003-2006 CNCS Learn and
Serve America Grants
State of Hawaii Department of Education
School-Based Learn and Serve America (Formula)
Tropical Reforestation and
Ecosystem Education Center
(TREE Center)
Guest speakers and field trips helped students
understand the rare Hawaiian ecosystem,
current issues regarding development, and the
work of the national parks.TREE Center
staff and students were invited to the grand
opening of the new park visitor?s center, where
there was a blessing and lunch in celebration
of the new center and trail.TREE Center
students presented ho?okupu, offerings, to
the park.The next week the youths did an
?outplanting? of the restoration site at the
national park where the new trail goes
through to the coastlines. Forty native species
were planted.The students also labeled and
fertilized all plants in the field.The national
park rangers are pleased about the survival
rates and thorough job done by the youths.
Two students decided to volunteer at the park
at the end of the class, and will work directly
with docent tours of the restoration site and
with maintenance of the native plants.
?Ma Ka Hana Ka ?Ike? ? In Doing Is Learning
50 G2G
Iowa Department of Education
Joseph P. Herrity
Grimes State Office Building
East 14th and Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50319-0146 IA I O W A
State Implementation Strategy
Throughout the 1980s, Iowa created institutions
to support local volunteerism in communities and
schools: the Governor?s Volunteers Award Program
and Conference on Volunteerism (1983), the
Governor?s Office on Volunteerism (1987), and
the Iowa School Volunteer Network (1989). Joe
Herrity, service-learning consultant at the Iowa
Department of Education, was involved in many
of the activities that helped lay the foundation for
service-learning in Iowa.
In 1992, the Iowa Department of Education
began helping schools transform community
service and volunteer programs into servicelearning.
ComServ Iowa makes one-year grants to
districts and schools to involve classroom teachers
and students. Grants support single or multiple
schools within a district to develop curriculum,
train staff, and create supportive policy.
ComServ Iowa?s long term goals include:
connecting academic curriculum with community
service-learning and providing a meaningful
context for learning; developing pilot projects that
can be replicated; to building a statewide network
of service-learning programs, activities, information
and opportunities for youth service; and increasing
the quality and availability of opportunities for
youth service.
Linking with Other Education Initiatives ? A 1993
survey found that one-fourth of Iowa school
districts had community service or servicelearning
programs. By 1999, 49 percent of
responding school districts reported having a
service-learning program in at least one grade
level. Sixty percent of these reported that they
pay for activities out of general funds, not grants.
Fourteen percent of districts reported having a
district-wide program.
In a 1999-2000 statewide survey, school districts
reported that, in 2000, they had integrated
service-learning into many district-wide
initiatives:?school-to-work? (44 percent), school
improvement (39 percent), character education
(38 percent), gifted and talented (37 percent), Safe
and Drug Free Schools (36 percent), vocational
education (36 percent), at-risk (35 percent),
guidance (34 percent), and mentoring programs
(33 percent).
Mobilizing Advocates ? Iowa?s twelve state-supported
regional Area Education Agencies created a
?Service-Learning Network? (AEA SL network)
in 1999 to promote service-learning as an effective
instructional methodology for K-12 students and
other learners.
The Iowa Coalition for the Integration of Service-
Learning (ICISL) also began in 1999 to improve
schools through service-learning and to create
school and community partnerships. Its membership
is broad based and includes membership
outside of education.
ComServ Iowa holds an annual service-learning
conference, which is integrated with the Iowa
Community Education Association, Iowa Asset
Building Coalition, Institute for Character
Development, Iowa School Volunteer Network,
and the Iowa AfterSchool Alliance.
Building Partnerships ? Iowa?s Commission on
Volunteer Service supports service-learning as part
of a ?three-legged stool: service-learning, volunteerism,
and community service.? Accordingly, the
Commission supports and promotes ComServ
Iowa,AmeriCorps, and Senior Corps.
The Iowa Celebration of Youth Service Day offers
an opportunity for business and community partners
(Hy-Vee supermarket chain, Iowa Pork
Producers Association, Drake University, Iowa
Department of Education, Iowa Commission on
Volunteer Service, and the American Red Cross)
to support service-learning. In 2004, approximately
1,800- 2,000 students will participate in a combination
celebration of awards, Leadership Olympic
activities, and service projects.The State Fair,
where four National Service-Learning Leader
Schools, as well as Presidential and Prudential student
award winners, have been recognized, offers
another opportunity to celebrate and promote
Service-learning is promoted as a teaching
and learning strategy, and school improvement
practice with many organizations and groups
(e.g. service-learning, character development,
and asset building). Such collaboration also
promotes service-learning to the constituents of
these initiatives.
Phone: (515) 281-3290
Fax: (515) 242-6019
G R O W I N G T O G R E A T N E S S 51
New relationships are being developed with a variety
of state agencies and organizations concerning civics
and economic development. ComServ Iowa is
beginning to work with Secretary of State and the
Iowa Social Studies Association in linking ?service,?
?civics,? and ?education.?
From 1994-1999, Minnesota and Wisconsin joined
Iowa in the Tri-State Initiative to deepen servicelearning
practice at the school level. From 1997-2000,
the states collaborated on deepening the curriculum
and instructional approaches needed to integrate
service-learning into curriculum plans, policies, and
practice at both the state and local levels. A three-year
research study involving 1,600 high school students
across the three states was designed to support
service-learning as a viable school improvement
practice and contributor to academic success.
Sharing Tools ?| Iowa?s CD-ROM,?The Presenter?s Toolbox:
A Service-Learning Multi-Media Resource? is
a 2-disk set showcases service-learning.| ?Improving School Through Service-Learning:
Creating School and Community Partnership? is
a four-page, ?Cliff notes? style handout on servicelearning
definitions, assessment, and benefits.| ?101 Ways to Integrate SL into Different
Curriculum Areas? is a listing of various successful
service-learning projects to help generate curriculum
connections. See also the ComServ website.
Benchmarks of Success
In 2003, the Iowa Legislature unanimously passed a
bill authorizing school districts to consider adding a
requirement of a certain number of service-learning
units as a condition for the inclusion of a servicelearning
endorsement on a student?s diploma or as a
condition of graduation from the district or school.
Since 1996, approximately $1,211,640 has been
awarded using Learn and Serve America SEA School-
Based funds from the Corporation for National and
Community Service under the ComServ Iowa
program. During this period of time, approximately
220 of the 408 school districts in Iowa have received
ComServ funding.
During 2002-03 academic year, service-learning
involved:| 29 School-Based Grantees;| Approximately 14,000 students participated in
service-learning. Each student completed an average
of 8 hours of service representing approximately
120,000 student service hours associated with just
the ComServ Iowa grants;| 740 teachers;| 1,400 adult and senior volunteers; and| An estimated 192 schools provided service-learning
activities for their K-12 students.
Marian Iowa
Community History
Service-learning students in
Marian School District completed
an oral history, from the early
1850s, to 1900s, to the present.
Student recovered history that had
previously been lost to the community
by going through the attics
and belongings of older residents
in the community.This resulted
in the first documented history of
the community, and was published
by the local historical society.
2003-2006 CNCS Learn and
Serve America Grants
Iowa Department of Education
School-Based Service-Learning (Formula)
Phone: (207) 624-6740
Fax: (207) 624-6731
KIDS Consortium of Maine
Fran Rudoff, Director
215 Lisbon Street, Suite 12
Lewiston, ME 04240
52 G2G
Maine Department of Education
Lora S. Downing, Education Specialist
23 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0023 ME M A I N E
State Implementation Strategy
Mobilizing Students as Planners ? Maine?s
statewide service-learning initiative began in 1988,
when Marvin Rosenblum founded the KIDS
Consortium of Maine (KIDS).Through KIDS,
students gathered input,?ground-truthed? land-use
studies based on aerial photos, and helped develop
recommendations to communities.
When Federal Learn and Serve funding became
available in 1992, the Maine Department of
Education (MDOE) partnered with the KIDS to
provide service-learning training, materials, and
program coordination.
Building Partnerships ? The MDOE continues to
work in close partnership with KIDS. KIDS
conducts trainings twice a year in northern and
southern Maine.The MDOE, KIDS, Maine
Campus Compact, Maine Commission for
Community Service, and Communities for
Children (an AmeriCorps placement site)
meet monthly as the Maine Service-Learning
Workgroup to strategize during the school year.
In 2004, the fifth annual KIDS Student Summit
will bring together hundreds of students, teachers,
parents and community partners from around
New England. Each year, there are team-building
activities, a keynote address, a celebratory dinner
with entertainment, and workshops in different
skill areas common to many service-learning
Participating students share their work in workshops
and exhibits.
Each year, hundreds of students come to the
State Capitol Hall of Flags to display and talk
about their service-learning projects and educate
legislators about their efforts.
KIDS Consortium is a lead partner in a new
Youth Innovation Fund initiative in Portland,
Maine, funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation
through the National Service-Learning
Partnership.YOUTHINK creates a student
board to allot grants to student-developed
service-learning projects.
Linking with Other Education Initiatives ?
Collaboration has shaped service-learning efforts
within the MDOE. Maine?s Learn and Serve coordinator,
Lora Downing, is a member of the
Department?s Career and Technical Education
Team. She serves as liaison to four of Maine?s
27 High School Career and Technical Education
Regions and Centers. She is also a member of the
Department?s Standards, Assessment and Regional
Services Team as Maine?s Career Preparation
Consultant. Service-learning is integrated
throughout the academic disciplines as well as
Maine?s High School Reform initiative and
Comprehensive School Reform Demonstration
Projects. KIDS Consortium and the Maine
Department of Education worked jointly to align
service-learning and Academic Standards for all
eight academic content areas of state standards.
With a Learn and Serve Linking Civics, History,
and Service grant, Maine is working with Rhode
Island and Massachusetts to develop civics
curriculum with social studies teachers from all
three states. Maine will have seven sites. A total
of 60 educators from all three states will gather in
the summer of 2004 to weave service-learning
into history and civic curricula. Each state will
form a study group to develop resource guides for
practitioners, which will help to link history, civics,
and citizenship education. Pre-service education
professors also will integrate service-learning into
teacher preparation courses.
The Senator George J. Mitchell Center for
Environmental and Watershed Research at the
University of Maine holds an annual summit at
which hundreds of students present on water
quality protection projects.
Maine?s Commissioner of Education is a strong
supporter of service-learning and has made
citizenship education a priority. In 2003, the
Maine Legislature formed the Legislative Study
Commission on Civic Education in Maine.The
Commission administered an online survey of
school systems to determine the quality and
extent of practice of service-learning and civic
engagement. Results will be available in 2004,
and will shape recommendations to the legislature.
Phone (207) 784-0956
Fax (207) 784-6733
G R O W I N G T O G R E A T N E S S 53
Improving School System Capacity ? From 1998-
2002, 12 Maine school systems ratcheted up
service-learning practice and policy through
participation in the W.K. Kellogg Foundation?s
Learning In Deed (LID) national service-learning
demonstration program.
In the 2003-2006, Learn and Serve America K-12
School-Based Formula program, Maine?s subgrantees
will partner three veteran school systems with three
systems new to service-learning. Mentoring districts
will receive training on how to carry out that role.
Each system will create a leadership team to ensure
full implementation of staff development, planning,
curriculum integration, and assessment of learning
according to state standards. Each sub-grantee will
implement service-learning aligned with Maine?s
Learning Results and will develop assessments of
student learning that may become a part of each
school system?s local assessment system. At year?s end,
sub-grantees will hold a celebration at which students
can demonstrate their achievement.
Many school systems now have a part-time or stipend
a service-learning coordinator. Almost all of these are
paid for out of general funds.
Sharing Tools ? Many useful tools are available
through the KIDS Consortium of Maine, including
alignment of service-learning and academic standards
for all eight academic content areas of state standards.
Benchmarks of Success
During 2002-03 academic year, service-learning
involved:| 14 school districts; and| 7 college/university campuses through Maine
Campus Compact.
2003-2006 CNCS Learn and
Serve America Grants
Department of Education
School-Based Service-Learning (Formula)
Linking Civics, History and Service
$339,746| KIDS Consortium
Kids Civic Action Network $298,000 (8 out of
18 districts are in Maine)
Unity Elementary School
Unity Elementary School has an
ongoing project of improving their
school grounds. Currently, a group
of students is planning to plant
shade trees and design a new sign
for the school.They will be working
with Unity College Students
and parents to determine the correct
trees to plant, and how much
shade they will provide.This
science project involves students
researching trees best suited to
Maine, their speed of growth and
how and when to plant them.
This work will be completed
this spring or in the early fall,
during the Unity College Day
of Service.
54 G2G
Maryland State Department of Education
Mr. Luke F. Frazier
Maryland Student Service Alliance
200 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201 MD M A R Y L A N D
State Implementation Strategy
Requiring Service ? In the mid-1980s, Maryland
Superintendent of Schools David Hornbeck
advocated for a community service graduation
requirement. In 1985, the State Board of
Education required high schools to offer credit
for service.Then in 1992, the State Board of
Education adopted the current graduation rule
that requires students to document 75 hours of
service that includes preparation, action, and
reflection components ? or to complete a locally
designed program approved by the state.Amid
significant publicity about the requirement, the
Maryland Student Service Alliance conducted a
campaign including student-to-student outreach
to further broaden public support for the requirement.
Maryland?s Class of 1997, numbering
42,000, was the first to meet the requirement.
Ensuring Quality Practice ? From the beginning,
education and volunteer leaders recognized that
if the graduation requirement were to succeed,
schools must provide students with quality servicelearning
opportunities. In 1988, private foundations
supported the creation of the Maryland
Student Service Alliance (MSSA) as a publicprivate
partnership within the Maryland State
Department of Education. Over the next four
years, MSSA set out on an energetic program
of teacher training, curricula development, and
technical assistance. In 1990, the State of Maryland
added funding. By 1992, when Maryland first
received half a million dollars in federal ?Learn and
Serve? funding, service-learning had become
strongly rooted in a growing number of schools.
Beginning in 1993, MSSA annually trained and
mobilized approximately fifteen Service-Learning
Teacher Fellows, instructors with exemplary
service-learning programs who also shared their
expertise and enthusiasm with peers. By 2003,
144 fellows represented all 24 school systems.
In 1992-1993, with help from the fellows and
working closely with the academic disciplines,
MSSA published curricula for each school level
and for special education.
In 1995, MSSA produced ?Maryland?s Best
Practices: An Improvement Guide for School-
Based Service-Learning in Maryland.? The book
provided concrete means to improve practice,
based on interviews with 80 service-learning
practitioners statewide. Responding to requests
from teachers and administrators, MSSA began
to document and publish replicable models of
service-learning programs that met all seven best
practices.To further ensure administrative support,
MSSA produced ?Shared Learnings: Administrative
Strategies for Service-Learning? in 1996.These
strategies came from the experiences of the
Maryland educators who operationalized the
state graduation requirement.
In 1998, MSSA added the self-assessment tool,
?Next Steps: A School District's Guide to the
Essential Elements of Service-Learning.? From
1997-2001 service-learning leadership retreats
convened 200-250 participants to examine issues
and ways to improve service-learning program
quality. In 2000, MSSA began annual quality
reviews of the service-learning programs in each
of Maryland?s 24 school districts.To increase youth
voice, MSSA offered a mini-grants program to
fund student proposals.
Recognizing Excellence ? A further major strategy
to uphold quality has been to recognize exemplary
programs and individual contributions. MSSA?s
?Service Stars? awards highlight high school students
from every school system who contribute
significantly beyond the service-learning graduation
requirement. Service-learning projects that
exemplify quality service-learning by meeting
?Maryland?s Seven Best Practices? are awarded.
MSSA also annually recognizes the ?Service-
Learning Principals of the Year.? This year, the
Maryland Student Service Alliance will recognize
key community partners from around the state.
Finally, Maryland?s annual Service-Learning
Conference draws more than 1,000 students,
teachers, and administrators for a day of workshops
and service projects.
Linking with Other Education Initiatives ? The
Maryland State Department of Education seeks
to link service-learning with character education,
student leadership, and ?21st Century Schools?
after-school programs.
Phone: (410) 767-0356
Fax: (410) 333-2183
G R O W I N G T O G R E A T N E S S 55
Building Partnerships ? Many of the strongest partnerships
occur at the local level. A Learn and Serve
Communities-Higher Education-Schools Partnerships
(CHESP) grant (2000-2003) fostered these partnerships.
The American Red Cross, the Chesapeake Bay
Foundation, and YMCA have aided MSSA at the state
level.The Maryland Governor?s Office on Service
and Volunteerism has collaborated on and provided
funding for training and events.
Sharing Tools ? Maryland offers curriculum for all
grades, including Special Education, as well as a
training handbook and video.
Benchmarks of Success
A weak economy has led to state budget cuts
in recent years. Currently the Maryland State
Department of Education Office of Service-Learning
will operate with about half of its one time high of
$800,000 per year. Nevertheless, Maryland?s deep
commitment to excellence in service-learning
practice endures.
During 2002-03 academic year, service-learning
involved:| 23 School-Based Learn and Serve Grantees;| In 2003, approximately 52,437 students graduated
from high school, each having completed an average
of 75 hours of service over their middle school and
high school careers for a combined total of
3,932,775 hours of service to their communities;| All of Maryland?s 24 school systems have servicelearning
activities for their K-12 students, especially
at the high school level;| Approximately 400,000 middle and high school
students engage in service-learning;| 5 CHESP Grantees and approximately
12 mini-grants; and| 160 master service-learning teachers (fellows) who
serve as resources to their local schools systems and
as mentors to teachers.
National Service-Learning Leader States
1992 ? Commission on National and Community
Service designates Maryland as one of eight servicelearning
leader states.
1998-2002 ? W.K. Kellogg Foundation chooses
Maryland as one of five ?Learning In Deed? states.
2003-2006 CNCS Learn and
Serve America Grants
Maryland State Department of Education
School-Based Service-Learning (Formula)
Maryland State Department of Education
Linking History, Civics and Service
Stevensville Middle School
Middle school students in Queen
Anne?s County engage in Serving
Seniors, a service-learning project
connected to math, science, social
studies, and language arts/reading
classes in partnership with the
state Department of Aging.
Students define service-learning,
study citizenship, and become
aware of the needs of the
community, especially the changing
physical and mental characteristics
of aging. Students then develop
relationships with elderly residents
of their community who are living
in nursing homes or are involved
with a senior center. (Maryland
Student Service Alliance Service-
Learning Teacher Fellow Kathy
Fowler also wrote a 36-lesson
?Serving Seniors? unit for
grades 4-8.)
56 G2G
Massachusetts Department of Education
Jessica Donner
350 Main Street
Malden, MA 2148 MA M A S S A C H U S E T T S
State Implementation Strategy
Growing National Service from the Grass Roots ?
In 1986, Springfield Mayor Richard Neal and
Superintendent of Schools Thomas Donahoe
established community service-learning
curriculum throughout the district as a way
for students to learn responsibility and necessary
basic skills. In 1990, Carol Kinsley, Springfield
Service-Learning Program Director, launched the
Community Service-Learning Center to provide
training and technical assistance to schools.
Service-learning sprang up in Andover, the
Thomas Jefferson Forum in Boston, and other
local communities across the Commonwealth of
Massachusetts as the movement spread.
Senator Edward Kennedy brought Massachusetts?
experience of service-learning to the 1990 and
1993 federal legislation that created the
Corporation for National and Community
Service, including AmeriCorps and Learn and
Serve America. The Massachusetts Service Alliance
(MSA) was formed in 1991 (first called the
Massachusetts Youth Service Alliance) to serve as
the state commission on service and volunteerism.
In 1992, the MDOE and the MSA received their
first Learn and Serve America funding. From
1992-1997, these funds supported combined
school-community service-learning programs
across the Commonwealth. Other organizations
joining the service-learning effort included the
Lincoln Filene Center and the Community
Service-Learning Center at the University of
Massachusetts at Amherst. (The Corporation for
National and Community Service supported the
latter through the National Youth Leadership
Council.) W.K. Kellogg Foundation-supported
peer consultants also helped teachers implement
Mobilizing State Support ? Responding to an
extended campaign by MSA, the Massachusetts
Legislature dedicated $2.5 million per year from
1998-2002 for community service-learning.
Over 120 programs in schools, higher education,
and community-based organizations were
funded annually.
Many districts funded by Learn and Serve
Massachusetts developed advisory committees to
build capacity and sustainability. In 2003, Learn
and Serve Massachusetts began requiring such
committees, which must develop sustainability
plans. Grants have been on two-year cycles,
but are shifting to one-year cycles.
Massachusetts joined Maine and Rhode Island in
implementing a Learn and Serve Linking Civics,
History, and Service grant that social studies
teachers from all the states will use to develop
civics curriculum.
Linking with Other Education Initiatives ? The
MDOE has forged links between service-learning
and Title IV Safe and Drug Free Schools and 21st
Century Community Learning Centers.
A Community Service-Learning Advisory
Council appointed by the commissioner provides
input to the Massachusetts Board of Education
and commissioned a survey of school district
superintendents in 2003.The MDOE produced
a compendium of curriculum connections to
service-learning, which is available on-line.
Building Partnerships ? Learn and Serve
Massachusetts works closely with the MSA,
which helps Learn and Serve review grant
proposals, collaborates on training, and aids planning
for the annual service-learning conference.
MSA receives community-based Learn and Serve
America funds with which it supports local
programs, including many schools and others
with strong partnerships with school-based
service-learning programs.
From 1997 to 2003, MSA and Massachusetts
Campus Compact matched state service-learning
funds and community-based Learn and Serve to
support one-year grants to after-school programs.
In the current round of Community-Based Learn
and Serve programs, MSA supports 17 youth
councils in community-based organizations,
schools, and local governments.To increase the
civic engagement of young people and to give
them first hand experience in identifying community
needs, each youth council partners with local
government to learn how decisions are made and
to understand local government priorities.
Phone: (781) 338-6306
Fax: (781) 338-6332
G R O W I N G T O G R E A T N E S S 57
MSA holds a biannual statewide conference involving
full-time, school-, campus- and community-based
service-learning, Senior Corps, and community
volunteerism. This conference is designed to build the
capacity of the service field in Massachusetts and provides
resources for participants that include:
sustainability, program management, performance
measures, building an active board, etc.
The MDOE received Community-Higher
Education-School Partnership (CHESP) grants in
2000-2003 and again in 2003-2006. Massachusetts
Campus Compact collaborated on the CHESP
program.The Compact and the MDOE also aid
one another with grant review. School-based and
college-/university-based programs present at each
other?s events.
The Massachusetts Department of Education
and the Brandeis University Center for Youth and
Communities are developing a tool kit on civic
knowledge, skills, and behavior.
Sharing Tools ? Find Community Lessons: Promising
Curriculum Practices and other useful information
on the MDOE website. See also: Massachusetts
Service Alliance
Benchmarks of Success
During the 2002-03 academic year, service-learning
involved:| 19 School-Based Grantees;| Approximately 26,000 students; and| 5 CHESP Grantees.
2003-2006 CNCS Learn and
Serve America Grants
Department of Education
School-Based Service-Learning (Formula)
The project begins with the introduction of the
letter ?Q.? Students create small paper quilts.
This activity offers children an opportunity to
practice abstract math concepts, such as geometry
and symmetry, in a concrete way.
Quilt-related literature, both fiction and
nonfiction, is read to the kindergarteners to
give them the historical and cultural backgrounds
on the origins of quilts, to reflect on
how quilts relate to family traditions, and to
discuss the emotional and physical comfort a
quilt can provide. The children create quilts to
provide comfort for someone in need, such as a
baby residing in a nearby shelter.The children
then devote their imaginations and artistry to
create quilt squares with images designed to
delight an infant.
When the quilt squares are completed and
stitched together, each child takes the quilt
home for a night. Parents and students write
or draw their thoughts and impressions in the
journal that accompanies the quilt, recording
such comments as ?Dear baby, I hope this
quilt keeps you warm. I hope you have a
nice life.?
The culmination of this three-month process
occurs when the baby and his/her mother
visit the classroom and are presented with
the quilt by the kindergarteners.
Massachusetts Service Alliance
Community-Based Learn and Serve
Department of Education
School-Based Service-Learning
Competitive CHESP
The Quilt-Makers Project, Cora Hubert Kindergarten Center
58 G2G
Michigan Community Service Commission
Jeanine Yard, Program Officer
1048 Pierpont, Suite 4
Lansing, MI 48913
Phone: (517) 241- 0214
Fax: (517) 373-4977 MI M I C H I G A N
State Implementation Strategy
Uniting Service-Learning and Community Service ?
In 1991, Governor Engler appointed the Michigan
Community Service Commission (MCSC) with
first lady Michelle Engler as Chair. Dottie Johnson,
past President Council of Michigan Foundations
and W.K. Kellogg Foundation Trustee, has been
a key advocate for youth leadership in service.
The Michigan Board of Education (MBOE),
Superintendent Thomas Watkins, and many
others have been very supportive.The MBOE
officially affirmed service-learning in a 2002
policy statement.
Michigan?s service-learning advocacy began in the
late 1980s. Michigan Campus Compact raised the
visibility of service-learning.The Partnership for
Education at Michigan State University began to
provide training and technical assistance in the
early 1990s.
Since 1993, the Michigan Department of
Education (MDOE) and MCSC joined efforts to
support school-based service-learning. In 2000,
MCSC took over the day-to-day administration
of all school-based Learn and Serve funds.
In 1992, MCSC created the Michigan Youth
Progressive Action Council to promote and guide
state service initiatives. In 2002, the MCSC created
the Service-Learning Youth Council. Council
students initiate service-learning programs in their
schools, help train educators and other youths,
present at conferences, and testify before the
Legislature and other policy-makers.
Sustaining Service-Learning ? In 2002, MCSC
engaged Public Sector Consultants to survey
Michigan schools.The survey, Service-Learning
in Michigan, found that while community service
was widespread, much needed to be done to
institutionalize service-learning.
In 2001, MCSC began holding a two to threeday
Symposium on Sustainability each summer.
Sub-grantee teams including teachers and
administrators work with state and national leaders
to develop strategic plans for sustainability.
The Michigan House Subcommittee on Service
Learning and Civic Education recently held a
series of six statewide hearings on servicelearning
and civic education to highlight
exemplary programs.
Linking with Other Education Initiatives ? The
MDOE identifies schools that need help meeting
adequate yearly progress goals under the No Child
Left Behind act. MCSC supports these schools in
using service-learning to meet goals. MCSC has
worked closely with the state social studies
consultant as well as the MDOE divisions of
Character Education, Career Development,
and Health.
Building Partnerships ? A Community-Based
Learn and Serve grant in 1994 helped MCSC
reach out to community partners. Since then,
service-learning supporters have included state
agencies, the Corporation for National and
Community Service state office, including VISTA
and Senior Corps, nonprofits, higher education,
businesses, funders, youth organizations, and
research organizations.
Michigan Campus Compact (MCC) has been
a key sponsor of the annual winter Institute on
Service-Learning, involving leaders from higher
education institutions. MCC fosters communication
between member campuses and local school
districts, and strives to strengthen preparation of
pre-service teacher education students.
Several AmeriCorps programs focus their work
on K-12 education. Many AmeriCorps members
help provide direction and assistance for servicelearning
Michigan State University Extension has embraced
service-learning in both community and school
settings. In 2003, Extension also created an online
service-learning course.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation?s Learning to Give
initiative involves Michigan educators in creating
and disseminating service-learning curricula.
Learning to Give is a Michigan CHESP grantee
Phone: (517) 335-3407
Fax: (517) 373-4977
Angelia Salas, Program Officer
1048 Pierpont, Suite 4
Lansing, MI 48913
G R O W I N G T O G R E A T N E S S 59
working with 20 pilot schools to implement the curricula
and build support for service-learning.
The State Farm Companies Foundation has
supported service-learning in Michigan and provides
scholarships for teachers to attend the annual Institute
on Service-Learning.
Convening and Celebrating ? The Annual Governor?s
Service Awards ? created in 1994 ? included the
category ?service-learning educator.? In 2004,
the ?outstanding practitioner? and the ?innovative
program? awardees will be recognized at the Annual
Institute for Service-Learning.
Michigan holds three regional service-learning
conferences each year. Colleges and universities are
beginning to offer courses for graduate credit.
Michigan hosted the National Service-Learning
Conference in 1996.
Sharing Tools ? Michigan produces the Service-
Learning Toolkit, an email newsletter.
Benchmarks of Success
RMC Research Associates of Denver Colorado
was contracted to conduct a study on the association
between service-learning and student engagement
in school as well as the association between servicelearning
and performance on the Michigan Education
Assessment Program test (MEAP). Analysis was
conducted to test for group difference in MEAP test
scores for grades 5, 7, and 8. Preliminary findings
from the first year of study report fifth grade students
who participated in service-learning outperformed
comparison students on the writing MEAP, the total
social studies MEAP, and three of the social studies
strand scores. For younger students, service-learning
students reported being more cognitively engaged in
school than the students in the comparison group.
Older students involved in service-learning had
significantly higher scores in English engagement.
During 2002-03 academic year, service-learning
involved:| 36 School-Based Grantees;| Approximately 34,817 students who completed
299,758 hours of service;| 3,229 adult and senior volunteers;| 11 Community-Based Learn and Serve Grantees;| 6 CHESP Grantees;| 1 VISTA designated to build capacity and support
for service-learning;| 180 school buildings provided service-learning
activities for their K-12 students;| 2,400 teachers;| 607 community-based organizations partnered
with school-based projects;| 31 college/university campuses through Michigan
Campus Compact; and| 48 faith-based organizations (schools or partners).
2003-2006 CNCS Learn and
Serve America Grants
Michigan Community Service
School-Based Service-Learning (Formula)
Michigan Community Service
Communities-Higher Education-Schools
Paula Kaiser, Deputy Director
1048 Pierpont, Suite #4
Lansing, MI 48913
Phone: (517) 373-1376
Fax: (517) 373-4977
Michigan Service-Learning
Youth Council
Students on the state council
initiate service-learning projects
in their own school districts. One
of the projects addressed inhalant
abuse in school. Students in this
school designed a peer education
model to reach out to middle
school health classes. State
council members also disseminate
information via a film, a
?PowerPoint? presentation,
and other resources.
60 G2G
Mississippi Department of Education
Frednia D. Perkins
P.O. Box 771
359 N.West Street
Jackson, MS 39205-0771 MS M I S S I S S I P P I
State Implementation Strategy
Working in Unity for Service-Learning ? Since the
early 1990s, the Mississippi Department of
Education has worked closely with the Mississippi
Commission for Volunteer Service (MCVS) and
Mississippi Office of the Corporation for National
and Community Service. The Mississippi
Department of Education received the first round
of Learn and Serve school and community-based
funding in 1992. Mississippi gave many relatively
small grants (as many as 50 at one time) to school
districts for service-learning projects. In 1995,
MCVS began to administer community-based
Learn and Serve grants.That same year, Frednia
Perkins became coordinator of Learn and Serve.
In 1999, MCVS convened a Steering Committee
to strategize how to make service-learning a
part of every student?s educational experience.
The committee included staff from all three state
education agencies, education foundations, the
governor's office, the attorney general?s office,
teachers, higher education faculty, and students.
The committee?s strategic plan focused on
expanding the extent and quality of servicelearning,
proposed staff development and improved
collaboration, and established the Center for
Community and Civic Engagement (CCCE)
at the University of Southern Mississippi.The
Steering Committee itself evolved into the
Mississippi Alliance for Community Service-
Learning, which continues to serve as the
CCCE board.
With support and guidance from the attorney general,
CCCE then secured three Learn and Serve
America grants supporting the Lighthouse
Partnership Program at 20 sites, with a focus on
after-school opportunities for service-learning.
(These 2000-2003 grants were from Community-
Higher Education-School Partnership, community-
based, and higher education Learn and Serve
America programs.) At the same time, Mississippi?s
Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher
Learning applied for AmeriCorps and VISTA
positions to support capacity-building at each
Lighthouse site. College and university students
and foster grandparents also provide mentoring
and tutoring to secondary school students. Also
linked to the Lighthouse Partnerships, CCCE?s
Reading Is Fundamental program serves 25,000
students. CCCE currently administers a 2003-2006
community-based Learn and Serve America grant
with six Lighthouse Partnerships including organizations
such as Big Brothers-Big Sisters, and
Operation Shoestring.
The Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Service
currently oversees six community-based Lighthouse
Partnerships that foster active citizenship
among K-12 students through service-learning.
Each site?s partners include: a community-based
organization (the legal applicant), a K-12 school,
and an institution of higher learning. Site programs
include staff development, development of certified
service-learning curricula, and train-the-trainers.
Each site?s Youth Action Council administers
mini-grants for student service-learning projects.
Sites also send 9th ? 12th grade student representatives
to four statewide Mississippi Ambassadors
Growing in Service (MAGS) training events
organized by MCVS.MAGS students also help
plan the Mississippi Youth Summit. Each year since
1996, 300 students have come together for two
days to present, learn, and celebrate servicelearning.
Mississippi?s governor presents awards
for outstanding contributions by individuals
and programs.
CCCE builds on higher education programs and
partnerships to strengthen school-based servicelearning.
For example, CCCE certifies both higher
education and K-12 curricula as meeting the
requirements of an effective service-learning
program based on current research and best
practices. Certified curricula are promoted on
CCCE?s website. CCCE expects to launch a
Mississippi Campus Compact to further its higher
education work.
Convening and Connecting ? The Mississippi
Department of Education, MCVS, and CCCE
continue to work closely together.The state
leadership team for service-learning meets at
least monthly, and speaks almost daily.The team
coordinates efforts on a number of programs.
Besides the regular training and technical support
for sub-grantees, Mississippi organizes September
and April service-learning conferences open to all.
The state leadership uses Corporation for National
and Community Service (CNCS) professional
Phone: (601) 359-2950
Fax: (601) 359-6619
Mississippi Commission for
Volunteer Service
Rob Benson
3825 Ridgewood Road
Jackson, MS 39211
Phone: 601-432-6550
Fax: 601-432-6790
G R O W I N G T O G R E A T N E S S 61
development and training funds for training targeting
school-based educators as well as for cross-stream
training including higher education,AmeriCorps,
and Senior Corps.The state partners also maintain
websites, list-serves, and a monthly newsletter to all
national service programs. Mississippi Learn and
Serve currently provides 15 Learn and Serve grants
of $10,000-$20,000 to school districts. Recipients
must show how they link service-learning with other
educational initiatives in their district. At the state
level, the Bureau of Vocational Community
Development recommends service-learning as one
of nine implementation strategies.
Sharing Tools ? The Mississippi Center for
Community and Civic Engagement website offers
curricula, forms for its certification process, and other
Benchmarks of Success
During 2002-03 academic year, service-learning
involved:| 21,442 students;| 1,222 adult and senior volunteers; and| Selected successful outcomes (from Mississippi
Lighthouse Project Evaluation September 2002 ?
July 2003, available at: in
subgrantee forms/publications):
? An average two-fold increase in after-school student
performance in math and reading scores
? Data that indicate community, school, higher education
partnerships can improve the quality of
service-learning courses and improve the impact
of service-learning on community programs
2003-2006 CNCS Learn and
Serve America Grants
Mississippi Department of Education
School-Based Service-Learning (Formula)
Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Service ?
Mississippi Center for Community and
Civic Engagement
Community-Based Learn and Serve America
Oral History Project on
the Civil Rights Movement,
Hattiesburg, Mississippi
The three-month oral history
service project,?Portraits of the
Past: A Decade of Excellence,
A Lifetime of Service,? was
designed for high school students
for presentation on Martin Luther
King Day. By conducting oral
histories, the project addressed how
the local Freedom Summer events
of 1964 impacted the national
civil rights movement. Students
learned the skills of conducting
oral histories and speaking in
public. They also learned about
local and state legislation and
history as it relates to the Civil
Rights Movement during the
1960s, and explored what it
means to be a citizen.
Mississippi Center for Community and Civic Engagement
The University of Southern Mississippi
JJ Trotta
118 College Drive #5083
Hattiesburg,MS 39406-0001
Phone: (601) 266-6913
Fax: (601) 266-6886
State Implementation Strategy
Spreading the Word ? Montana has had to stretch
its resources across a large and sparsely settled state.
Learn and Serve Montana has given grants up to
$3,000 for as many as 15 sub-grantees.Typically,
grants have initially funded a coordinator to get
a program started, then supported projects with
mini-grants. Many schools have taken on historical
or environmental projects.
To provide greater local support to schools, Learn
and Serve Montana and the Northwest Regional
Educational Laboratory have established six
regional centers, based in local school districts.
Sub-grantees get together once a year for training.
With a shift in emphasis by Learn and Serve
Montana from mini-grants to capacity-building
grants, the regional centers will play an even more
important outreach role.
Linking with Other Education Initiatives ? Some
of the same communities received 21st Century
Learning Center grants.These programs are linked
at the state level. Because of other responsibilities
at the Office of Public Instruction, Learn and
Serve Montana staff has also been able to integrate
service-learning into Title I and literacy programs,
including formal and informal tutoring. Learn and
Serve Montana presents at educational conferences
and events as often as opportunities arise.
Sub-grantees must identify the Montana Content
and Performance Standards they will address
through service-learning.They must include
service-learning in their five-year School
Improvement Plan and in district goals.
Building Partnerships ? From 1997-2000, the
Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory
mounted a project to strengthen service-learning
in Montana?s very rural communities.The project
enlisted schools that had never before participated
in service-learning at the state level. Local schools
maintain many community partnerships.
Learn and Serve Montana has a seat on the
Montana Office of Community Service.Through
that link, the program is able to forge closer ties
to other programs, in particular the Senior Corps
program. An informal group of service-learning
leaders meets occasionally to strategize.This group
includes Montana Campus Compact, the Office
of Community Service, and the University of
Montana. Montana holds an annual Governor?s
Conference on Volunteerism.
Celebrating ? There is an annual recognition
celebration in Helena. Montana has had three
Service-Learning Leaders Schools.
Benchmarks of Success
During 2002-03 academic year, service-learning
involved:| Approximately 1,260 students.
2003-2006 CNCS Learn and
Serve America Grants
Montana Department of Public Instruction
School-Based Service-Learning (Formula)
62 G2G
Montana Office of Public Instruction
June Atkins
1300 11th Street - P.O. Box 202501
Helena, MT 59620-2501 MT M O N T A N A
Tending History
Students from the Big Sky School
outside Bozeman lacked a sense of
history. Developers needed to tear down
several old cabins. Students rallied the
community and raised funds to preserve
those that were most historically significant.
They helped move a cabin to school
grounds where they could interpret it for
the public. Students researched and wrote
the history of the area, including the
lives of Native Americans in the area.
In a highlight of the project, students
interviewed a woman who had grown
up in the cabin. Students also produced
?PowerPoint? presentations. In a subsequent
year, they partnered with students
from Montana State University to
conduct an inventory of elk in the area,
and studied a biologically significant
grove of aspen.
Phone: (406) 444-3664
Fax: (406) 444-1373
G R O W I N G T O G R E A T N E S S 63
State Implementation Strategy
Linking with Other Education Initiatives ? State-level
service-learning began in New Jersey with Learn
and Serve funding in 1993. In the early 1990s, the
New Jersey Department of Education closely linked
service-learning with School-to-Work programs.
The state produced guidelines to help schools utilize
service-learning and help students meet cross-content
work readiness standards.
Currently, the department links service-learning
with character education, 21st Century Community
Learning Centers, and Title IV Safe and Drug-Free
Schools. Service-learning is identified as a priority
for these funds, and integrated into Department of
Education training on these and other subjects.
Building Partnerships ? For 14 years,Youth Service
New Jersey ? an affiliate of Youth Service America
? has been key in promoting an annual youth
service conference.Three hundred students, teachers,
administrators, higher education faculty, and
community leaders attend.
In the late 1990s, the Coalition for Service-Learning
matched local project fundraising efforts for an Empty
Bowls hunger project.The Coalition held workshops
and a conference, until a key leader moved out of state.
Service-learning practitioners collaborate on the
governor?s Office of Volunteerism annual conference.
Learn and Serve participants also present every year
at the New Jersey Education Association and School
Boards Association conferences.
New Jersey Promise Fellows serve a year in agencies
and community-based organizations, supporting
service efforts.The New Jersey Department of
Education Learn and Serve office hosted one fellow,
who aided with communications and outreach.
The National Service-Learning Exchange has partnered
New Jersey schools new to service-learning
with experienced schools, particularly around issues
of global education.
In the fall of 2003, Learn and Serve America moved
to the Office of Community Services in the
Department of State.
In 2003, New Jersey held its first Service-Learning
Convening and Celebrating ? New Jersey has had
33 National Service-Learning Leader Schools.
Benchmarks of Success
During 2002-03 academic year, service-learning
involved:| 13 School-Based Grantees;| 6,761 students each completed an average of 55.67
hours of service, contributing a total of 442,082
hours;| 562 adult and senior volunteers;| 451 teachers;| 100 community-based organizations partnered with
school-based projects;| An estimated nine faith-based organizations; and
Long Branch?s Clean Water
Through ongoing service-learning
experiences, young people in Long
Branch can grow up not only knowing
where their drinking water comes from,
but also knowing that they helped
keep it clean. Long Branch third-graders
stencil pollution warnings near storm
drains; fifth-graders collect water
samples; and ninth-graders continuously
monitor Lake Takanasee, a local water
resource. Begun in 1996, these efforts
provide the Monmouth County
Planning Board, the school?s partnering
agency and recipient of the students?
services, with help informing the public
about water quality and with important
monthly water quality data.
New Jersey Learn and Serve America Program
Linda V. Rivera
225 West State Street, Fifth Floor, P.O. Box 459
Trenton , NJ 08625 NJ Phone: (609) 292-1834
Fax: (609) 777-2939| An estimated 40 additional schools provided
service-learning activities for their
K-12 students.
2003-2006 CNCS Learn and
Serve America Grants
New Jersey Department of Education
School-Based Service-Learning (Formula)
64 G2G
New York State Department of Education
Fran Hollon
Pre-Collegiate Preparation Programs Unit
Education Building Addition, Room #965
Albany, NY 12234 NY N E W Y O R K
State Implementation Strategy
Building from the Grass Roots ? New York?s State?s
school-based Learn and Serve program is based
in the department?s higher education division
because the program grew out of a campus-school
partnership program in the 1990s. New York Learn
and Serve initially supported projects by individual
teachers. Starting in 2000, New York began to
fund only school districts to promote program
longevity. Many programs have now received
funding for six-eight years.There is great variation
in the size of recipient school districts. In some
school districts, 70 percent of students and
teachers are involved.
Building Regional Infrastructure ? After a decade
of building from the bottom up, in the past six
years New York developed its regional and state
infrastructure of support for service-learning.
The New York State Department of Education
(NYSED) used Learn and Serve America Fund
for the Advancement of Service-Learning and
Community-Higher Education-School Partnership
grants to develop four strong regional institutes
and ten regional networks. Regional supports
include multiple levels of staff development
opportunities, websites, and aid with curriculum
development. Many of these regions have received
a VISTA recruited from the ranks of young
teachers or mid-career professionals with an
interest in teaching (to help develop the network).
Many of these VISTAs have gone on to teach.
The New York State Service-Learning Leadership
Institute is being developed to continue the
operation of these Institutes. In 2004, the Mid-
Hudson Service-Learning Institute will host
the three-day 9th annual New York State Service-
Learning Conference.
At the local level, school districts with established
service-learning programs mentor other districts
that are new to service-learning.
Linking with Other Education Initiatives ?
Service-learning provides a natural means to
support a state character education mandate.The
State Department of Education assists local districts
to infuse service-learning into character education
and inclusion programs and curricula. NYSED,
the Finger Lakes Regional Service-Learning
Institute-Albion Central School District, and
the Graduate Center of the City University of
New York (through a Character Education grant
from the U.S. Department of Education) have
engaged teachers from multiple schools to aid
in developing, implementing, and evaluating a
curriculum-based method of character education
that promotes character virtues in students while
addressing community needs through servicelearning.
The New York State Service-Learning
Leadership Institute will also seek funding to
expand its efforts to link service-learning and
civic engagement.
Building Partnerships ? NYSED provides basic
service-learning training through its institutes
for administrators who belong to the School
Administrators Association of New York State
New York has included service-learning strategies
in an inclusion grant from the New York
Developmental Disabilities Council. Servicelearning,
as an alternative to student suspension
and expulsion, is being developed through a
grant from the New York State Department of
Criminal Justice. NYSED and NYS Lion?s Club
have completed Lion?s Quest Training for
over 1,300 K-12 teachers through a two-year
CORE 4 grant.
Phone: (518) 486-5202
Fax: (518) 474-0060
G R O W I N G T O G R E A T N E S S 65
Sharing Tools ? NYSED and its partners have begun
to publish character education and service-learning
curricula on their website: NYSED
also published ?Service-Learning:The Classroom
Companion to Character Education? available online
Benchmarks of Success
During 2002-03 academic year, service-learning
involved:| 45 School-Based Grantees;| Approximately 40,000 students each completing an
estimated average of 20-25 hours of service;| 4,230 adult and senior volunteers;| 151 college/university campuses through New York
Campus Compact; and| Noted improvements in students? academic achievements,
attendance and decreased at-risk behavior.
2003-2006 CNCS Learn and
Serve America Grants
New York State Department of Education
School-Based Service-Learning (Formula)
The Elmira City
School District
The Elmira City School District
involves hundreds of students each
year in service-learning. In this
rural, urban, and suburban
district,?Each participating school
addresses different unmet needs in
their own community,? says B.J.
McDonald, the district?s servicelearning
consultant. Hendy
Elementary School focused on
Meals on Wheels. Lessons address
the ?three sisters? traditional
Iroquois foods of corn, beans, and
squash.Through study of history,
Native American culture, plant
propagation, and the community,
students address curriculum
requirements in many areas.
66 G2G
Rhode Island Department of Elementary
and Secondary Education
Diana Crowley
The Shepard Building
255 Westminster Street
Providence, RI 2903
Phone: (401) 222 4600 x2167 RI R H O D E I S L A N D
State Implementation Strategy
Embracing a Culture of Service ? Rhode Island
gained awareness of campus community service
when Brown University President Howard
Swearer co-founded Campus Compact in 1985,
and began to enlist college and university
presidents across the nation. Brown University
still hosts the 900-member Campus Compact.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Rhode Island
convened two Youth Service Councils that
encouraged schools, government, and businesses
to support an agenda of service.
In 1992, Rhode Island began receiving Federal
Learn and Serve funding to support school-based
service-learning.Twenty-five sites received grants
of $2,000 each, which were supplemented by
funding from the Junior League.
In the early 1990s, Providence resident and
philanthropist Alan Shawn Feinstein created the
Feinstein Foundation to promote public and youth
service in Rhode Island and beyond. Every high
school in the state ? 43 public and private schools
? has received grants of $20,000 or more for
service programs. Eighteen of these received
separate grants of $25,000 to establish student
philanthropy programs in which student boards
of directors review requests from community
agencies to which they award small grants.
Three high schools received grants of $65,000
to restructure their curriculum around servicelearning.
Fifty Rhode Island public and private
middle/junior high schools currently implement
Feinstein Youth Hunger Brigade Projects.Tens
of thousands of students in 270 Rhode Island
elementary schools participate in the Good
Deeds curriculum, which incorporates reflective
journaling and service.
The Feinstein Foundation also gave grants for
service programs to colleges and municipalities
to establish or strengthen service programs so that
when students graduate from high school, they
find a strong infrastructure of support for service
in their colleges and universities. Student Teacher
Project: Rhode Island elementary education
majors ? who, during their student teaching
experience design and teach a unit incorporating
the values of caring, compassion, and brotherhood
? receive a $1,000 grant, which is then awarded to
the school that employs them in full time teaching
positions after their graduation.
Together, these many ?gifts? have helped establish a
culture of service across the state. Learn and Serve
America programs have been able to build upon
this foundation to strengthen service-learning.
Deepening Practice ? In 1997, the Rhode Island
Department of Education (RIDE) began to focus
larger Learn and Serve America sub-grants on
fewer schools, targeting grants to improve
practice. Depending upon how administrators
and individual teachers approach the curriculum,
each school develops its own approach to servicelearning.
RIDE has particularly emphasized
improvement of high school programs. High
school teachers who have resisted other reform
initiatives have embraced service-learning.
In 1998, responding to a call for a service mandate,
RIDE developed ?quality indicators? for student
achievement that require students to employ
service-learning. The Rhode Island Legislature
required that schools implement applied learning
through work-based learning or community
service. Therefore, all school improvement plans
must include means to implement applied
learning.Though the requirement applies only to
high school students, all K-12 schools recognize
the need to begin in the early grades to involve
students in the community.
Linking with Other Education Initiatives ?
RIDE has maintained a broad approach to servicelearning,
focusing on program quality while
weaving the philosophy and methods of servicelearning
into a range of school improvement
efforts in turn, especially those linked to broader
reform goals and strategies. School-to-Work,
Goals 2000, and literacy programs have been
particular areas of focus. Rhode Island?s state
writing test includes ?prompts? related to service.
Learn and Serve America coordinator Lora
Crowley has given 130 small grants to teachers
for staff development.
Fax: (401) 222 2537
G R O W I N G T O G R E A T N E S S 67
Extending Resources Across Borders ? In the early
1990s, RIDE focused on publicizing service-learning
and disseminating quality materials. As a small state,
however, Rhode Island has never had much funding
to develop an infrastructure of support for servicelearning.
Fortunately, as Rhode Island geared up for
service-learning in the early 1990s, Carol Kinsley
at the Community Service-Learning Center in
Springfield, Massachusetts, provided invaluable
guidance. Rhode Island has also greatly benefited
by participating in conferences and trainings in
neighboring states. Rhode Island hosted the
National Service-Learning Conference in 2000.
Currently, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Maine
are jointly implementing a Learn and Serve Linking
Civics, History, and Service grant. Social studies
teachers from all three states will develop civics
curriculum. Sixty educators will gather in Maine
for a week in the summer of 2004 to weave servicelearning
into history and civic curricula. Each state
will form a study group to follow up and Rhode
Island will have four sites. Each delegation will
develop recommendations for state policy. Pre-service
education professors will also integrate servicelearning
into teacher preparation courses.
Building Partnerships ? Campus Compact places
150 ?education award-only?AmeriCorps members
in Rhode Island schools whose role is, in part, to
support service-learning programs. Practicing teachers
must engage in staff development as service to schools
and maintain portfolios on their progress.
The Legislature also has created the Permanent
Commission on Civic Education, which includes
support for many aspects of service-learning.
The Commission has increased involvement with
government and business. Schools must teach the
basics of civics, including the responsibilities of
citizens.The Commission also sponsors an
essay contest.
Celebrating ? Rhode Island has had two National
Service-Learning Leader Schools.The Rhode Island
Secretary of State recognizes service contributions
by individual students.
2003-2006 CNCS Learn and
Serve America Grants
Rhode Island Department of Elementary
and Secondary Education
School-Based Service-Learning (Formula)
The Met
The Metropolitan Career and
Technical Center is a system of
six public high schools, enrolling
480 students from across Rhode
Island. As a non-traditional,
internship-based school, the
?Met? challenges students to
pursue their passions through
real-world learning experiences
and unpaid internships, where
they discover the kind of handson
learning that is impossible to
teach in the classroom. Groups
of a dozen students have an
adviser (a certified teacher)
who guides and facilitates each
student?s learning.
68 G2G
South Carolina Department of Education
Kathy Gibson Carter
3710 Landmark Drive, Suite 200
Columbia, SC 29204 SC S O U T H C A R O L I N A
State Implementation Strategy
Gaining Administrative Support in Policy and
Practice ? Since the early 1990s, South Carolina
has utilized service-learning as an implementation
component for several major education initiatives.
With this approach, service-learning advocates
have won support from successive administrations
of both major parties.
The South Carolina Department of Education
(SDE) has also reached out to school administrators
and school board members. For ten years,
SDE has presented on service-learning at the
annual conference of the South Carolina
Association of School Administrators (SCASA).
There is a service-learning track each year within
the five-day SCASA Summer Leadership Institute
for all levels of school administrators. Data-rich
presentations and publications demonstrate the
power of service-learning to meet a range of
education goals. SCASA?s Director regularly
attends the National Service-Learning Conference.
Having won the support of this key group of
stakeholders, most support and resources for staff
development, planning, and implementation come
from the local level.
In 1998, the South Carolina Commission on
National and Community Service moved from
the governor?s office to SDE.The Commission
has a dozen full- or part-time staff working on
service-learning. Kathy Gibson Carter, Executive
Director of the Commission, sits on the state
superintendent?s policy advisory council.
South Carolina was one of eight states to receive
$150,000 in 1992-1995 from the Corporation for
National and Community Service (CNCS) as a
Lead State. From 1998-2002, South Carolina was
one of five states participating in the W.K. Kellogg
Foundation Learning In Deed program. Both
these initiatives boosted efforts to institutionalize
service-learning in South Carolina.
Linking with Other Education Initiatives ? South
Carolina schools of education offer a 30-credit
hour education specialist graduate program to
help teachers obtain national teacher certification.
Service-learning is an essential component of these
programs. Partly because teachers receive tangible
financial benefits for being certified, 3,000 South
Carolina teachers have earned certification.
South Carolina employs service-learning as a
core strategy for Safe and Drug-Free Schools.
SDE designated $1.4 of No Child Left Behind
community service funding for service-learning.
South Carolina featured service-learning as a
major strategy for implementing School-to-
Work programs in 1994. Support from Lions
Clubs International has allowed SDE to
employ service-learning as a strategy for
character education.
Building Partnerships ? Since 1993, the National
Dropout Prevention Center at Clemson University
has been an invaluable asset for service-learning,
offering practitioners publications, staff development,
and graduate study.
The South Carolina Commission on National
and Community Service put a graduate education
faculty member on sabbatical for a year to
strengthen links between higher education and
K-12 service-learning programs. Every Learn and
Serve America K-12 sub-grantee must partner
with at least one institution of higher education.
South Carolina has an intergenerational office
working with community-based organizations
to embrace intergenerational service-learning as
a means to develop quality community-based
service-learning programs that span generations,
races, and interests.With private foundation
support, the office has developed several model
programs, including programs for at-risk and
out-of-school youth.
Diverse sources of funding have raised the
credibility and reliability of service-learning in
South Carolina. In addition to CNCS, servicelearning
has received funding from foundations,
civic clubs, and local governments (e.g. a portion
of waste disposal fees).
Phone: (803) 734-4792
Fax: (803) 73404825
G R O W I N G T O G R E A T N E S S 69
Convening and Celebrating ? South Carolina
recognizes Service-Learning Leader Schools every
year, continuing when CNCS discontinued the
federal program. South Carolina also recognizes
?Schools of Promise,? emphasizing service-learning
Sharing Tools ? SDE aided the National Dropout
Prevention Center as it developed the 22-booklet
?Linking Learning with Life? series of resources for
Benchmarks of Success
In her 2002 State of Education speech, State
Superintendent of Education Inez Tenenbaum
identified South Carolina?s leadership in servicelearning
as one of six major accomplishments of
her first term.
During 2002-03 academic year, service-learning
involved:| 23 School-Based Grantees;| Approximately 193,000 students each completed an
average of 10 hours of service;| Adult and Senior volunteers;| 7 CHESP Grantees; and| An estimated 400 schools provided service-learning
activities for their K-12 students.
1992 ? Commission on National and Community
Service designates South Carolina as one of eight
service-learning leader states.
1998-2002 -W.K. Kellogg Foundation chooses South
Carolina as one of five Learning In Deed states.
2003-2006 CNCS Learn and
Serve America Grants
South Carolina Department of Education
School-Based Service-Learning (Formula)
South Carolina Commission for National
& Community Service
Learn and Serve America Community-Based Program
South Carolina Department of Education
Community-Higher Education-School
Partnerships (CHESP)
South Carolina Governor?s
School (a National Service-
Learning Leader School)
Teachers at the South Carolina
Governor?s School look for ways to
incorporate service-learning into their
curriculum. Recently, students in the
school?s Spanish III-IV class invited
young Spanish-speaking children to
a reading celebration. The four- and
five-year-olds had limited English
skills.The older students read children?s
books in Spanish, and each
child was given a book to take
home. The students from the South
Carolina Governor?s School were
able to hone their Spanish-language
skills, and the young children were
given an opportunity to practice
their English.The Foreign Language
Department plans to include this type
of event in all future advanced-level
Spanish classes.
? from the CNCS website:
70 G2G
Texas Education Agency
John Spence
Texas Center for Service-Learning
2538 South Congress Avenue, Suite #300
Austin,TX 78704 TX T E X A S
State Implementation Strategy
Moving from Projects to Practice ? The Texas
Education Agency (TEA) administers Learn and
Serve America and other service-learning grants
in Texas through the Texas Center for Service-
Learning (TxCSL) of Region 14 Education
Service Center.The mission of TxCSL is to
engage students and improve schools through
the S.T.A.R.S. model of service-learning, which
includes Student leadership,Thoughtful service,
Authentic learning, Reflective practice, and
Substantive partnerships.
Between 1996 and 2003,Texas Learn and Serve
funded several hundred service-learning projects
annually through a variety of smaller grants.
Through this approach TxCSL and its partners
built a large base of support for service-learning in
Texas, with projects occurring at all grade levels
and in most academic disciplines.This year, based
on the experience of other states and owing to a
new emphasis on performance measurement by
funders,TxCSL has altered its strategy to fund 28
Learn and Serve America: K-12 School-
Community Partnership Grants, which are
designed to build capacity for district-wide service-
learning through the development of effective
practice, policies, and support.This strategy is challenging
sites to think of service-learning on a
larger scale and to adopt longer-range approaches
for expanding and deepening practice.
TxCSL relies on a network of 20 Regional
Education Service Centers (ESCs) to provide
training and technical assistance in service-learning
to regional schools. Participating ESCs designate a
service-learning specialist, who works with TxCSL
staff to support sub-grantee service-learning programs
and to integrate service-learning with other
federal and state education initiatives. Currently,
TxCSL provides three trainings per year in Austin
for all Learn and Serve America sub-grantees in
addition to using conference calls, e-mail, and teleconferences
to reduce the need for long-distance
Linking with Other Education Initiatives ? TxCSL
has worked with regional service-learning specialists
to integrate service-learning programs such as
Career and Technology Education, Safe and Drug-
Free Schools and Communities, science, and social
studies. In partnership with the Texas Education
Agency,TxCSL incorporated service-learning into
the Title IV Community Service Grant Program,
which currently supports 43 sites across the state
with $2.59 million in annual funding. Recently,
TxCSL staff initiated efforts to expand state-level
linkages with social studies and migrant education
through targeted presentations and meetings at
state conferences and events.
Building Partnerships ? TxCSL has employed a
variety of strategies to facilitate partnerships in
support of service-learning in Texas.TxCSL has
used a Community?Higher Education?School
Partnership (CHESP) grant since 2000 to develop
partnerships in eight school districts with institutions
of higher education, community agencies,
and organizations. From 1997 through 2001,
TxCSL placed up to eight VISTAs in ESCs, school
districts, and community organizations as servicelearning
resource specialists. Beginning in 2001,
TxCSL provided support to school districts to
operate their own VISTA programs.Three districts
currently have VISTAs, and more are planning to
participate.With support from the Constitutional
Rights Foundation,TxCSL participated in Project
Civic Connections, which promoted civic responsibility
and civic participation through servicelearning
in Florida, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and
Texas, from 2000 through 2003.The project provided
high-quality teacher training and curriculum
materials to two district sites in Texas, both of
which trained 30 educators in a civics-based service-
learning model integrated with the Texas
Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). Other
state level partnerships include the Adopt-a-
Nursing Home program, which provides resources
to schools for intergenerational partnerships;Texas
Parks and Wildlife, which supports Project Wet and
Project Wild; PAN-Texas, which helps districts
empower youth through the state-approved Peer
Assistance and Leadership classes and other strategies,
and Texas Watch, which mobilizes over 400
volunteers to collect water quality data on lakes,
rivers, streams, wetlands, bays, bayous, and estuaries
Phone: (512) 447-1147
Fax: (512) 441-1181
G R O W I N G T O G R E A T N E S S 71
in Texas. Recently,TxCSL initiated a partnership with
the Cesar Chavez Foundation to conduct training in
San Antonio on Chavez Service-Learning curricula,
which will be aligned with the TEKS in the coming
Sharing Tools ? View information on the S.T.A.R.S.
model of service-learning and video clips from
the 1998 Service-Learning and the TEKS series
at Download sample planning
forms for service-learning activities with
students in alternative education settings from
Benchmarks of Success
During 2002-03 academic year, service-learning
involved:| 314 School-Based grantees;| Approximately 62,740 students each completed an
average of 450,000 hours of service;| 63,755 adult and senior volunteers;| 8 CHESP grantees;| 3 VISTAs designated to build capacity and support
for service-learning;| An estimated 270 schools provided service-learning
activities for their K-12 students;| 3,850 teachers;| 810 community-based organizations partnered with
school-based projects;| 8 college/university campuses; and| At least 10 faith-based organizations.
2003-2006 CNCS Learn and
Serve America Grants
Texas Education Agency
School-Based Service-Learning (Formula)
Texas Education Agency
Community-Higher Education-School
Partnership (CHESP)
Real History, Real Heroes
Students in Colorado City?s ?Real
History, Real Heroes? project continue
to partner with the Wallace Community
Education Center and the Department
of Servant-Leadership at McMurray
University to conduct oral histories of
veterans in Mitchell County. They have
added two new partners to help with
research needs (the Mitchell County
Museum and the Mitchell County
Library), another partner to help identify
veterans (the Veterans? Hospital in Big
Spring), and a partner to help with
public service announcements (the Literary
Council). As a result of students? intense
and in-depth study of history and social
studies in their CHESP oral history
and National History Day projects, scores
on the social studies portion of the state
assessment instrument have increased four
consecutive years at Colorado Middle
School, from 63 percent of students
passing in 2000 to 92 percent passing
in 2003.
72 G2G
Washington Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction
Nasue Nishida
P.O. Box 47200
600 South Washington Street
Olympia,WA 98504-7200 WA W A S H I N G T O N
State Implementation Strategy
Leading from the Grass Roots ? In the late 1980s,
due to efforts of Kate McPherson and Project
Service-Leadership,Washington led the nation in
linking service-learning and education reform.
Washington also had one of the nation?s first
full-time service corps beginning in 1983, and
pioneered other service-learning initiatives,
including the Giraffe Project, Adopt-a-Stream,
and YMCA Earth Service Corps. McPherson and
other local leaders continue to guide Washington?s
service-learning movement, providing training and
technical assistance.
These leaders insisted on the importance of staff
development and technical assistance. To nurture a
supportive network, the Washington Learn and
Serve program in the Office of the Superintendent
of Public Instruction (OSPI) organized an annual
January Training of Trainers. OSPI also supports
veteran practitioners to provide one-on-one
support to colleagues. Local leaders play a key
role in shaping Washington?s Learn and Serve
grant programs, as they did with the 2000-2003
Community-Higher Education-School Partnership
(CHESP).Washington?s teacher education
programs also have been active in support of
local service-learning practitioners.
Further demonstrating its commitment to
leading from the ?bottom up,?Washington has
long modeled effective youth leadership involvement
at all levels of service-learning programming.
Beginning in the late 1990s, the Washington Youth
Voice Project created materials and promoted
youths in leadership roles in schools.Youths
regularly present as part of state and regional
service-learning trainings. Students review grant
proposals and work within the agency. OSPI offers
workshops for teachers on how to support youth
voice in democratic classrooms. In partnership
with, OSPI also strives to engage
in the state testing process.
OSPI targets its Learn and Serve sub-grants to
strengthen service-learning practice at both
individual schools and district-wide. For example,
grant recipients must extend service-learning
across grades or across schools within a district
over the three-year life of the grant. Currently,
OSPI seeks to broaden its own support by creating
five regional service-learning support networks
at a rate of one per year.
Linking with Other Education Initiatives ?
Washington utilized service-learning as a means to
energize ?site-based? management as early as the
1980s. Practitioners have used service-learning
strategically to advance state standards, support
migrant education, and create supportive learning
environments. Many programs in the migrant
education community still feature service-learning
methods. Learn and Serve and other servicelearning
practitioners have also collaborated with
21st Century Community Schools after-school
programs and parent groups.
More recently, Learn and Serve is helping No
Child Left Behind staff at the state level to
recognize the value of service-learning as an
implementation strategy in many areas. Staff
for Title I,Title IV, and Title V are particularly
Beginning in 2008, high school seniors must
complete a culminating project to graduate. Learn
and Serve has been working with the Washington
Commission on National and Community Service
Unified State Plan to mobilize AmeriCorps,
VISTA, Senior Corps, and others to ensure that
these students have adequate support from the
community for this graduation requirement.
Service-learning opportunities will strengthen the
civics components of the program. For example,
AmeriCorps applicants must state how their site
will support the 2008 culminating project graduation
requirement.Washington?s 2000-2003 CHESP
grant supported work to link service-learning
with civics education and the coming senior
project requirement through state-wide best
practices workshops.
Building Partnerships ? Service Learning
Washington, the state?s service-learning advisory
group, meets two to three times a year, including a
two-day strategic planning retreat every fall. In
addition to OSPI and Project Service-Leadership,
other participants include Washington Campus
Compact, Seattle University, University of
Washington, and Western Washington University.
Phone: 360.725.6104
Fax: 360-586-3305
G R O W I N G T O G R E A T N E S S 73
Learn and Serve infuses service-learning presentations
into other conferences and events of OSPI, the
Washington State School Directors? Association,
Washington Association of School Administrators, and
Washington Council of the Social Studies.
The State Farm Companies Foundation has
supported AmeriCorps? work in support of the
culminating project requirement and service-learning
by providing the match for members in five rural
communities.The Gates Foundation has supported
rural service-learning programs. Local United Ways
have been supportive with funding and recognition
and Washington State University Cooperative
Extension 4-H has provided website support.
Convening and Celebrating ? Learn and Serve
Washington offers trainings for sub-grantees twice a
year. Service-learning workshops are offered three
times a year at OSPI education conferences, as well
as at conferences of the School Directors? Association,
Principals? Association, and Grant Administrators?
Service-Learning Northwest publishes a servicelearning
newsletter three times a year for OSPI.They
also provide service-learning trainings and publication
support statewide.Washington hosted the National
Service-Learning Conference in 1992 and 2002.
Sharing Tools ? Learn and Serve Washington, through
this cycle?s CHESP grant, will soon publish a resource
toolkit providing information on six critical elements
for programs that use service-learning as part of a
culminating project. OSPI offers on its website many
resources to strengthen youth leadership. See also
Project Service-Leadership, Service-Learning
Northwest, the Giraffe Project, and other organizations
have published numerous service-learning
guides and curricula.
Benchmarks of Success
During 2002-03 academic year, service-learning
involved:| 16 school-based grantees;| Approximately 3,470 students;| 503 adult and senior volunteers;| 3 CHESP grantees;| An estimated 30 schools provided Learn and Serve
activities for their K-12 students; and| Approximately 50 community-based organizations
partnered with school-based Learn and Serve
2003-2006 CNCS Learn and
Serve America Grants
Washington Department of Education
School-Based Service-Learning (Formula)
Washington Department of Education
Community-Higher Education-School Partnership
(CHESP - National)
Nurturing Youth Voice
High school and middle schools
students from a small island
community in Washington saw a
need for positive activities for the
island youths. They partnered
with the school district, parks
department, and a legal service
to develop their own nonprofit
youth council. Through the
council, the students have been
able to provide education groups
focused on specific issues, fundraise,
and serve their community.
Educational Service District 112 -
Northwest Service-Learning Academy
Community-Based Learn and Serve
America (National)
74 G2G
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
Peg Solberg
125 South Webster Street, 5th Floor
P.O. Box 7841
Madison,WI 53707-7841 WI W I S C O N S I N
State Implementation Strategy
Laying a Regional Foundation ? Since 1992,
Wisconsin has sought to build a strong regional
infrastructure to support service-learning.The
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
(DPI) works with Wisconsin?s 12 Cooperative
Educational Service Agencies (CESAs) to offer
Learn and Serve America sub-grants to school
districts. Each year CESAs give as many as 100
mini-grants involving thousands of students. For
twelve years CESA staff have supported local
projects with training, technical assistance, and
networking. DPI reinforces the mini-grants with
many conferences and training events.Wisconsin
DPI makes frequent use of video-conferencing to
extend resource dollars.
Though Learn and Serve America mini-grants are
small, they typically influence policy and practice
far beyond what their size would indicate. In
several communities, enthusiastic teachers and
administrators have integrated service-learning
into school district strategic plans.
Wisconsin communicates a vision of quality
service-learning practice through newsletters,
reports, and other publications.Wisconsin
Community Education Consultant Stan Potts has
disseminated a Four-Point Test to assess whether a
project exhibits the four main elements of quality
service-learning: youth leadership, community
need, curricular connection, and reflection
and evaluation.
Building Up From the Base ? Wisconsin has
tapped their base of support for service-learning
established through mini-grants and staff development
events to deepen practice.
With support from the Fund to Advance Service-
Learning grant from the Corporation for National
and Community Service (CNCS),Wisconsin?s
2x4x8: Fostering Resiliency through Service-
Learning program made service-learning a favored
strategy to build success for middle school students
in a project involving eight middle schools and
two universities. University partnerships strengthened
the research base of the project and allowed
an in-depth evaluation.
From 1994-2000,Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota
worked jointly on the Tri-State Initiative to
deepen service-learning practice at the school
level.The initiative supported local programs and
fostered an exchange of ideas and experience
between the three states.
Wisconsin is near the end of a three-year CNCS
Bridging the Digital Divide grant based on the
principle of ?place-based education.?The goals
of the project are to:| Reduce the ?digital divide? between rural
and urban communities by forging local and
regional partnerships that result in improved
access to technology in rural communities;
improved technological skills among
community members; and more effective
use of technology by local businesses, agencies,
and community-based organizations.| Develop entrepreneurship, community activism
and leadership, and a sense of place in young
people by providing them with the skills and
opportunities to contribute to their communities
while closing the digital divide.| Promote community in rural localities by
connecting schools and youths to local
businesses, community-based organizations, nonprofits,
senior centers, and community members.| Bolster local rural economic sustainability by fostering
micro-enterprise development and
utilizing technology to reach new markets across
the region, state, and world.| Enhance the individual viability and collective
strength of rural communities by enhancing linkages
among these communities within regions
and across the state.
Linking with Other Education Initiatives ?
Wisconsin DPI has integrated service-learning
into state programs for Title IV Safe and Drug
Free Schools and character education.These efforts
gain strength at the regional level because CESAs
are responsible for supporting these programs.
Service-learning is also part of the state strategies
for Education for Employment, School-to-Work,
technology education,Title II,Title V Innovative
Programs, and 21st Century Schools.
Phone: (608) 261-7494
Fax: (608) 266-2529
G R O W I N G T O G R E A T N E S S 75
Wisconsin has had consistent support from its
elected state superintendents. Current Wisconsin State
Superintendent Elizabeth Burmaster speaks out
frequently on her interest in service-learning and
citizenship, and is chair-elect of the National Council
for Learning and Citizenship. Service-learning is a
major strategy to teach citizenship in Wisconsin.
Educators throughout Wisconsin schools and universities
are linking service-learning and civics education.
Building Partnerships ?Wisconsin held the one-day
state superintendent?s pre-K-16 conference on
service-learning and citizenship in collaboration
with the newly established Wisconsin Campus
Compact in September 2003.The State Superintendent
recognized practitioner leaders from the
schools and colleges, and Governor James Doyle
gave the keynote address. A second event of this
nature is scheduled for September 23, 2004, in
conjunction with the state superintendent?s fall
conference for district administrators.
The University of Wisconsin River Falls has instituted
an online Service-Learning Graduate Certificate
program beginning in June 2004.
DPI provides training in service-learning to all
VISTA and AmeriCorps members. Many of these are
assigned to support school-based service-learning and
assist schools in writing Learn and Serve mini-grants
for project funds.
CESAs are constantly building regional networks of
support, helping local advocates secure additional
funding beyond Learn and Serve, and promoting
linkages between service-learning and many
other initiatives.
Wisconsin has twice sponsored staff in-service
training sessions for DPI staff featuring personnel
from RMC Research and Education Commission
of the States.
Sharing Tools ? Many service-learning resources are
available on the DPI service-learning website.
Benchmarks of Success
During 2002-03 academic year, service-learning
involved:| 12 CESAs make approximately 100 mini-grants
per year;| 23 Banner School Grants;| Approximately 15,000 students each completed an
average of 20 hours of service;| 15 VISTAs and 12 AmeriCorps designated to build
capacity and support for service-learning;| Hundreds of community-based and faith-based
organizations partnered with school-based projects;
and| 26 college/university campuses and technical
colleges through Wisconsin Campus Compact.
2000-2004 CNCS Learn and
Serve America Grants
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
Bridging the Digital Divide
Malcolm Shabazz
City High School, Madison
Teachers at Shabazz, a National
Service-Learning Leader School,
use rubrics to evaluate student
progress and to help students reflect
on their progress and their service
experiences. Shabazz teachers
regularly hold in-service sessions
on such things as the use of rubrics
and reflection questions. In addition,
Shabazz has a Service-Learning
Advisory Committee made up of
teachers, students, administrators,
community members and parents.
2003-2006 CNCS Learn and
Serve America Grants
Wisconsin Department of Public
School-Based Service-Learning (Formula)
Oneida Indian Nation of Wisconsin
Learn and Serve America (Tribal)
Introduction to the Profiles of
Community-Based Service-Learning
in the United States
Lawrence Neil Bailis, Alan Melchior, and Tom
Shields, Center for Youth and Communities,
Heller Graduate School, Brandeis University,
Waltham, Massachusetts
In ?Overview of What is Known about
the Scope of Community-Based Service-
Learning in the United States? in the
April 2003 special edition of the NYLC
Generator, Lawrence Bailis defines the
term ?community-based service learning?
as situations in which community-based
organizations design and implement servicelearning
activities.This definition excludes
situations in which community-based
organizations are the location where the
?service? part of service-learning is
delivered in programs that have been
designed and implemented primarily by
K-12 or higher education agencies.
After reviewing the existing data on community-
based service-learning, the article
ends with a series of questions about
community-based service-learning, including:?
To what extent are community-based
organizations providing what we would
call service-learning? What kinds of programming
are they engaged in? Who are
the service-learners??This series of profiles
has been developed to begin to answer
these questions by focusing on a
dozen of the leading community-based
service-learning agencies and programs.
The agencies and programs covered
City Year
Common Cents
Communities In Schools
Constitutional Rights Foundation
Do Something
Earth Force
KIDS Consortium
Lion?s Quest
National Indian Youth Leadership
Youth Service America
Youth Volunteer Corps of America
These profiled organizations were selected
as a sampling of community-based service-
learning programs that are sponsored
by nationally recognized youth-serving
organizations or programs that are supported
by well-known, locally-based community-
based organizations.The list of
agencies/programs that we profile does
not include groups whose primary function
is funding or other forms of advocacy.
Thus, the profiles are sketches that provide
a piece of the overall picture of community-
based service-learning, but not the
entire panorama.
Each profile is divided into three sections:
Service-learning within the
Scope of service-learning
Intended outcomes
The profiles are based primarily upon
information provided by each of the
agencies/programs, supplemented by
interviews with the staff of each of them.
The profiles represent summaries of
readily available information and should
be seen as the basis for more rigorous
research and program evaluation that will
be conducted in the future.
The profiles remind us that schools aren?t
the only institutions that educate our
young people, and that community-based
organizations are not simply the ?stage?
that schools use to enact service-learning
curricula designed primarily by the
schools. More broadly, they show us that
formal education or ?schooling? is only
one format for ?education? and ?learning?:
informal (imparted by mentors as
they work side by side with youths in
service) and in particular nonformal
education (the curricula offered through
community-based organizations) play
key roles in preparing young people for
their adult responsibilities. G2G
Introduction to the
Profilesof Community-Based
Service-Learning in the United States
76 G2G
G R O W I N G T O G R E A T N E S S 77
City Year
ity Year, founded in 1988, is dedicated to
the belief that young people in service are
powerful resources for addressing our nation?s
most pressing issues. City Year engages young
adults, ages 17 to 24, from diverse racial, cultural,
and economic backgrounds in a year of full-time
community service, leadership development,
and civic engagement. Corps members provide
tutoring and mentoring, and lead children into
service to help youths grow and develop as
successful, confident, caring, and actively
engaged citizens.
City Year also engages citizens in service by organizing
large-scale physical service events such as
renovating community centers, painting schools,
planting community gardens, and other community
investment projects. Starting with the first site
in Boston, City Year has grown to 14 sites across
the nation, including New York, Philadelphia, San
Antonio, and Seattle/King County.A fifteenth site
is under development in Little Rock.
Service-Learning in City Year
While specific service varies among City Year?s
sites, service-learning is a major strategy to
enhance learning and civic development. City
Year?s primary approach to engage students in
community-based service-learning is through
corps-led team-based youth corps modeled after
the City Year corps model for different age-groups:
elementary (Starfish Corps), middle (Young
Heroes) and high school (City Heroes).
Young Heroes program, the middle school service
corps, is the oldest and most developed of the
three programs. It emphasizes five elements:
teamwork, diversity, study of social issues,
community service, and mentorship. Each Young
Hero must complete more than 75 hours of
service in areas such as visiting with and serving
with senior citizens, participating in immunization
drives, promoting healthy ways of living, restoring
green space, planting trees, or painting murals.
Each service project is preceded by a workshop
on the specific issue to be addressed. At the end
of each day, the teams reflect and extract lessons
from their experience.Young Heroes has received
national recognition from organizations such as
AmeriCorps, Points of Light Foundation and
America?s Promise.
Scope of Service-Learning
The Young Heroes program engages over
1,000 middle school students in ten communities
across the country: Boston, Chicago, Cleveland,
Columbia, Columbus, Detroit, Philadelphia, Rhode
Island, San Jose and Washington D.C. Since 1994,
over 6,000 middle school students have participated
in Young Heroes nationally. In 2003, 125
City Year corps members led over 1,000 Young
Heroes in over 70,000 hours of service. City Year
plans to expand the Young Heroes program to
all of its 14 sites.
Intended Outcomes
Young Heroes seeks to enhance participants?
awareness of and sensitivity to community issues,
and to enhance their motivation, capacity, and
commitment to take action to address those issues.
In 2003, City Year contracted an external evaluator
to conduct an exploratory study of outcomes in
the Young Heroes program.The findings of this
study are leading to the development of measures
for standardized outcomes, and are informing the
design and implementation of a system-wide
evaluation of the program that will yield empirical
data on outcomes and impacts. G2G
78 G2G
ounded in 1991, Common Cents created
and runs the Penny Harvest Program in
New York City schools.The program turns the
multi million-dollar resource of idle pennies into
the philanthropic property of young people.
Common Cents believes that by giving young
people the means to mobilize, allocate, and use
the money they ?harvest? through the program,
children in large numbers will be able to express
their generosity and empathy spontaneously and
enthusiastically towards others, learn through
practice the skills of a democracy from a very
young age, and develop lifelong habits of good
citizenship. Based on the program?s popularity,
scope, and track-record, Common Cents has
successfully secured substantial in-kind support
from the Department of Education and has built
strong relationships at all levels of the system.
Service-Learning in Common Cents
New York
Since 1999, participating schools have followed a
Common Cents service-learning curriculum that
Common Cents
includes standards-based lessons in math, science,
language arts, art, character education, and social
studies. Common Cents New York conducts two
teacher trainings every year. Each training includes
the ?Common Cents Handbook,? which walks
teachers through each module of the program and
includes extensive support, research materials, and
suggested activities.
The Penny Harvest program has three phases that
span the academic year.
In Phase One of the ?Penny Harvest,? pre-K-8th
grade youths gather pennies, working with their
families to collect door-to-door. School-wide and
classroom activities encourage program-related
educational outcomes in areas such as math, art,
and character development.
In Phase Two,?Penny Harvest Roundtables,?
students run an 8-10 week ?Philanthropy
Roundtable.?The Roundtable is a group of
student leaders who decide how to allocate their
school?s Penny Harvest funds to service and
community grants.The Roundtable students assess
their communities? needs, conduct site visits to
community-based organizations, review proposals,
and award grants.
Phase Three,?Youth Service,? involves engaging
students, parents, community residents, and
teachers in service projects for their community.
Projects are planned and led by students to address
a range of community issues based on research
about the community need. Roundtables can
decide to implement service projects and/or other
student groups in Penny Harvest, and participating
schools can apply for a ?Student Action Grant? to
create a new service-learning project, or fund a
project or organization that is already serving
their community.
Scope of Service-Learning
The Penny Harvest Program operates in 721 NYC
public and private schools (Pre-K-8), representing
65 percent of the country?s largest school system.
Over the last decade, NYC students have transformed
their pennies into $4 million dollars.With
this money, they have made more than 10,000
grants to schools. Common Cents New York is
currently assessing replication models for national
expansion to bring the Penny Harvest Program
to other sites outside of New York City.
Intended Outcomes
Program staff are in the process of working with
faculty from the Department of Quantitative
Methods in the Social Sciences at Columbia
University Graduate School of Arts and Science
to evaluate the impact of the program on
youths. G2G
G R O W I N G T O G R E A T N E S S 79
Communities in
ommunities In Schools (CIS) describes
itself as ?the nation?s leading communitybased
organization helping kids succeed in school
and prepare for life.? For over 25 years, CIS has
championed the connection of community
resources with schools. By bringing adults into
schools to address children?s unmet needs, CIS
provides the link between educators and the
community.The intended result is that teachers
are free to teach, and students ? many in jeopardy
of dropping out ? have the opportunity to focus
on learning.
Since 1977, CIS has grown from a small local
operation to a national organization, including
approximately 2,600 schools and alternative
education sites in 200 local programs in 31 states.
CIS reaches over 1.9 million students and
their families.
All CIS local programs and state offices are independent,
community-based nonprofit organizations
that share a common dedication to bringing the
CIS Five Basics to young people. These ?basics? are
directly parallel to the America?s Promise five
promises, and include:
1A One-on-One Relationship with a Caring
2A Safe Place to Learn and Grow;
3A Healthy Start and a Healthy Future;
4A Marketable Skill to Use upon Graduation;
5A Chance to Give Back to Peers and
Local CIS affiliates work with public schools to
garner support from businesses, government, social
service providers and volunteer groups to identify
needs and assets.They then bring a broad range of
stakeholders together to support the Five Basics. In
some cases, local CIS programs provide a hands-on
?case management? approach to ensure that youth
receive the Five Basics.
Service-Learning in Communities
In Schools
Community service and related service-learning
opportunities lie at the heart of the fifth basic
objective of CIS, and relate to all of its programming.
Thus, the vast majority of CIS local programs
have engaged in service-learning and/or
community service. In Central Texas, CIS
AmeriCorps members lead community servicelearning
projects with public school students.
In 2003, the CIS Academy at the Century III Mall
in West Mifflin, PA, was one of 150 organizations
that received a ?State Farm Good Neighbor
Service-Learning Grant? award administered by
Youth Service America.
In addition to its locally initiated efforts, CIS
National and some of its state offices promote
service-learning throughout the CIS system.
For example CIS National recently received a
grant from the U.S. Department of Justice Office
of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to
support the development of sustainable servicelearning
at ten CIS local programs. (The ten sites
are in North Carolina (3), South Carolina (2),
Pennsylvania (1), Michigan (1),Texas (1), Georgia
(1), and Indiana (1).) These ten sites are
developing a range of service-learning initiatives.
Scope of Service-Learning
During the 2001-2002 school year, 82 percent
of CIS local programs offered students servicelearning
and/or community service opportunities.
Intended Outcomes
CIS recently completed the planning phase of a
national evaluation of all of its efforts that should
produce more precise information about the
extent of service-learning and the effects of
CIS service-learning. G2G
80 G2G
onstitutional Rights Foundation (CRF) is a
non-profit, non-partisan, community-based
organization dedicated to educating America?s
young people about the importance of civic
participation in a democratic society in the areas
of citizenship, government, politics, and the law.
Service-Learning in Constitutional
Rights Foundation
CRF?s service-learning curricula and programs
support the design and implementation of schooland
community-based programs, providing technical
support to a wide range of practitioners.
Active Citizenship Today (ACT) is a civic participation
program, in collaboration with the Close Up
Foundation, for middle and high school students.
CityYouth uses service-learning to integrate civic
education into the core academic subjects:
social studies, language arts, science, and math.
CityYouth?s interactive lessons support team
Constitutional Rights
teaching, cooperative learning, portfolio assessment,
and service-learning projects. CRF supports two
versions of CityYouth: a 7th grade curriculum,
?Today?s Communities,? in which students identify
and analyze school and community issues and plan,
complete, and evaluate service-learning projects
around four themes: crime and safety, harmony,
health and well-being, and environment; and an
8th grade curriculum,?U.S. History,? which links a
theme to a historical era. A CityYouth (Grade 6):
World History curriculum is pending for 2004.
Civic Engagement Training and Technical Assistance
(CETTA). In 2001, CRF contracted with the
Corporation for National and Community Service
(CNCS) to provide three years of citizenship
training and technical assistance including the
development of a service-learning curriculum:
The ?Effective Citizenship Guide,??Evaluation
Guide,??A Facilitator?s Guide for By the People,?
and ?A Guide to Effective Citizenship through
Service-Learning NETWORK newsletter examines
issues in civic education and service-learning,
provides real-world project profiles and other
service-learning resources. Underwritten by a
grant from the Ford Foundation, Service-Learning
NETWORK is distributed free of charge to
14,000 K?12 educators nationwide.
Youth For Justice works to initiate and strengthen
law-related education programs that address problems
of violence committed by and against youths.
Through service-learning, youths participate in and
take responsibility for their communities, and
develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes they
need to become effective citizens.
Youth Leadership For Action (YLFA) is a program
for Los Angeles youths who want to make an
impact in positively altering of their city.
Members put together an annual workshop or
youth conference.
Scope of Service-Learning
ACT is applied to social studies and languagearts
programs in more than 30 school districts
across the United States. CETTA?s training and
technical-assistance services and its ?Building
Effective Citizens? curriculum are available for
use by over 50,000 AmeriCorps and Learn and
Serve America program participants. Over
1 million students and 16,000 teachers participate
in the national Youth for Justice program.YLFA is
active in 13 Los Angeles-area schools, serving an
estimated 220 students.
Intended Outcomes
ACT teaches problem-solving skills and increased
civic engagement, among other outcomes.
A Brandeis study found that the majority of ACT
teachers modified their teaching strategies as a
positive response to the ACT program.Youth
for Justice conducts research on its programs,
including effectiveness studies and a sequential
study with the Metropolitan Nashville
Public Schools. G2G
G R O W I N G T O G R E A T N E S S 81
o Something is a national nonprofit organization
whose mission is to ?Inspire young
people to believe that change is possible; and we
train, fund and mobilize them to be leaders who
measurably strengthen their communities.? Do
Something promotes community change projects
that are identified, designed, and executed by
young people and linked to explicit curricula.
Projects are mentored by ?community coaches,?
typically teachers or guidance counselors, who help
young people plan and carry out activities.The first
students recruited in a school typically become
project leaders who provide youth leadership to all
Do Something activities.
Do Something has been a pioneer in the utilization
of the Internet to bring young people
together, and to plan and operate a national service-
learning program. It has involved musicians
such as Christina Aguilera to draw young people to
the Internet where they can participate in moderated
chat rooms that address community needs and
programming, list their success stories, and learn
more about opportunities for service. Do
Do Something?
Something also uses the Internet to allow educators
to download curriculum, connect with other
Community Coaches, or record their students?
skill-building efforts.
Service-Learning in Do Something
Service-learning is integrated throughout Do
Something activities through a number of mechanisms,
including explicit curriculum materials
developed by the national staff and the utilization
of the Path to Change? process as the foundation
of all activities:
see it believe it build it do it reflect on it
In many instances, the initial steps in this process
involve young people developing and running a
?Speak Out,? a town hall-like meeting that focuses
on community challenges that can be addressed
over the course of the year. Activities are typically
followed by celebrations that promote reflection
on accomplishments and other lessons learned.
The Path to Change is also a means of problemsolving
that young people learn, apply more
broadly, and utilize for a lifetime. (In 2002,
Do Something was asked by the Wisconsin
Department of Education to develop a pilot
program to integrate the Path To Change
curriculum into social studies programs at the
elementary, middle and high school levels in
Wisconsin public schools.)
Scope of Service-Learning
At the high point of the Internet-based approach
there were roughly 200 Community Coaches who
oversaw ongoing activities in their schools. Do
Something has trained Community Coaches in
400 schools in 27 states, with a concentration of
155 schools ? primarily in New Jersey and
The most recent data suggests that approximately
18,000 young people participate in ongoing Do
Something activities, with as many as 20,000 students
in all 50 states participating in their Kindness
and Justice Challenge.
Intended Outcomes
Do Something fosters leadership, citizenship, and
character. Recently, Do Something engaged
Brandeis University researchers to work with
them to develop and implement a system that will
provide objective quantitative data on their activities
and outcomes. Initial data suggest that Do
Something has shown positive effects on participant
skills and attitudes, including civic competencies
and attitudes towards service. G2G
82 G2G
arth Force is a national education organization
that involves young people in
service-learning activities pertaining to environmental
issues in their communities. Established
in 1994 with the support of The Pew Charitable
Trusts, Earth Force began as a sponsor of national
campaigns such as the Kids Choose Vote, Go Wild
For Wildlife!,Team Up for Trees!, Pennies for the
Planet, and participated with other organizations
in Nickelodeon?s Big Help initiative by organizing
350 local action sites around the country.
In 1996, Earth Force shifted its focus to encourage
young people to act in deeper, more meaningful
ways to address environmental problems by taking
part in Community Action and Problem Solving
(CAPS) civics-related service-learning projects.
Earth Force now operates local offices in nine
metropolitan areas around the country and supports
programs in about 400 schools nationwide.The
nine metropolitan regions are: Charleston, SC;
Chicago, IL; Denver, CO; Erie, PA; Houston,TX;
Philadelphia, PA;Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg, FL;
Washington, DC; and West Palm Beach, FL.
Service-Learning in Earth Force
Earth Force focuses its efforts on helping youth in
grades 5 thorough 9 acquire the knowledge, skills,
and experiences to take civic action, leading to
long-term improvement of the local environment.
A critical component of the Earth Force process
is enabling young people to direct their own
community problem-solving process by choosing
action projects that work to change local policy
(school, government, or private policy), or effect
a widespread change in community residents?
behavior or practices.
Community Action and Problem Solving (CAPS)
combines the best practices of environmental
education, civic engagement, and service-learning
in a classroom setting. Using CAPS materials,
middle school youths explore and take action on
environmental issues.
The Global Rivers Environmental Education
Network (GREEN) helps young people protect
the rivers, streams, and other vital water resources.
GREEN offers educators and watershed organizations
integrated services and tools to engage youths
in improving water resources.
Earth Force After School adapts Earth Force?s CAPS
for use in after-school programs At the core of the
program is a self-contained kit of materials and
information to guide students through the study
of local issues and development of action projects.
Scope of Service-Learning
About 35,000 students in about 400 schools around
the country participate in Earth Force programs
each year. Programs are located primarily in the
nine metropolitan communities where Earth
Force operates regional offices
Intended Outcomes
Since 1997, CAPS field offices, educators, and
youths have participated in a national program
evaluation conducted by researchers at Brandeis
University.A combination of on-site visits, observations,
interviews, questionnaires, and pre- and
post-program surveys has provided Earth Force a
wealth of information.These results address both
what is working well, suggestions for improvement
in the areas of training, program materials, and
program delivery. Self- and teacher-reported
studies have shown that Earth Force students
make substantial gains in civic action, problemsolving,
ability to use community resources in
the classroom, leadership, commitment to the
environment, and an ability to talk and work
with adults. G2G
G R O W I N G T O G R E A T N E S S 83
IDS Consortium (KIDS) is a New
England-based non-profit organization
that was incorporated in 1992 and works with
teachers, administrators, and students to involve
students in addressing real challenges faced by their
communities. KIDS provides tools and training
around its KIDS as Planners service-learning
model for educators and community organizations,
and assists local education and community leaders
to sustain and integrate service-learning into local
culture, practice, and policy.
KIDS has received support from the Corporation
for National and Community Service, Gulf of
Maine Council, U.S Environmental Protection
Agency,Academy for Educational Development ?
National Service-Learning Partnership, Carnegie
Corporation, the Center for Civic Education,
the Education Commission of the States Horizon
Foundation; Surdna Foundation;W.K. Kellogg
Foundation and several state agencies and foundations
in Maine, as well as individual donors.
Service-Learning in KIDS Consortium
The KIDS as Planners Service-Learning Model is
based on three key principles: academic integrity,
apprentice citizenship, and student ownership.
Academic Integrity: KIDS projects grow out of
community needs yet are carefully connected to
state learning standards and local curriculum
Student Ownership: KIDS projects are studentdriven.
Students select the projects, plan them,
and implement them, but work with adults
(teachers and community members) as equal
partners. Students practice making decisions
through small group work, classroom meetings,
and one-on-one interactions with adults.The
adults share in learning, acting more as partners
than experts. By working alongside students and
providing role models, community members can
enhance students' aspirations.
Apprentice Citizenship: The KIDS model views
young people as vital community members who
can apply their knowledge, skills, and energy to
local and regional challenges. Students work
successfully with local institutions and professionals
to design products and services with lasting benefits.
In the process, they develop civic competencies
and skills needed for effective citizenship: critical
thinking, conflict resolution, attentive listening,
information-gathering, cooperation, decisionmaking,
advocacy, and problem-solving.
To help local schools and communities implement
these core principles, KIDS staff provide workshops
and trainings for teachers, community members
and students; host forums and events; provides
awards to local programs and provide tools
(such as the KIDS as Planners workbook).
Scope of Service-Learning
The KIDS As Planners service-learning model
is currently being employed in nearly 50 school
districts in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire,
Vermont, Connecticut and Rhode Island.
KIDS has also expanded its efforts into Florida,
Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Texas in recent years.
Annually, over 12,000 students, 750 teachers, and
thousands of community partners, parents and
volunteers participate in KIDS projects.
Intended Outcomes
KIDS Consortium has collaborated with the
National Center for Student Aspirations at the
University of Maine at Orono to develop a
student survey instrument to help gauge the
impacts of KIDS service-learning projects on
participating youth.The survey, called ?KIDS
Speak,? was created to provide information on the
extent to which KIDS projects impact five areas:
motivation to learn; attitudes toward community;
communication, decision-making and problemsolving
skills; attitudes toward self and working
with others; and career awareness. G2G
84 G2G
ions-Quest is a program of Lions Clubs
International Foundation dedicated to
creating family-school-community partnerships for
positive youth development.Their mission is to
empower and support adults throughout the world,
in their efforts to nurture responsibility and caring
in young people. For more than 20 years, Lions-
Quest has assisted educators and other adults in
guiding young people?s healthy development
through program materials and staff development
workshops in life skills, character education, drug
and violence prevention, and service-learning.
Lions-Quest programs provide sequential,
grade-specific classroom materials that teach competencies
such as self-discipline, communication,
problem-solving, cooperation, resistance, and
conflict management skills.
Service-Learning in Lions-Quest
Lions-Quest programs help students discover the
roles they can play in their communities while
reinforcing positive social behavior and developing
essential citizenship skills.Through their international
Lions Youth Outreach Initiative,
Lions Club members assist schools in servicelearning
Three of the eight underlying principles for Lions-
Quest guide ongoing research and development to
ensure that programs are effective service-learning:| Collaboration and partnership between home,
school, and community;| Programs are values-based; and| Programs are community-based.
In addition to this, Lions-Quest ensures linkages
to learning objectives by providing curricula,
products, training, and services to support adults
in helping young people deal with the complex
issues they face every day.
Lions-Quest Skills for Growing is a K-5
program focusing on life skills, service-learning,
and character education. Skills for Growing
incorporates positive prevention strategies and an
implementation process for linking the home,
school, and community in teaching essential life
and citizenship skills.
Lions-Quest Skills for Adolescence is a comprehensive
life skills and drug prevention curriculum
for grades 6-8 that emphasizes character development,
communication, decision-making skills, and
Lions-Quest Skills for Action is a curriculum for
grades 9-12 that builds essential life and
citizenship skills through community- and schoolbased
service-learning experiences.
Scope of Service-Learning
The Lions-Quest program has been supported
by more than 50 grants with a total of more than
$8 million to expand or establish programs in all
50 U.S. states and Puerto Rico, and over 30 other
countries, encompassing over a quarter of a
million teachers and touching the lives of more
than ten million young people over the past two
decades. In 2002, about 1.4 million students
participated in Lions-Quest worldwide, nearly
60 percent of whom were middle school students;
30 percent were elementary school students; and
about ten percent were high school students.
Intended Outcomes
Incorporating risk, resiliency, and asset-building
research, Lions-Quest programs engage families,
schools, and community members in working
together to increase the protective factors that
promote young people?s healthy development and
reduce those factors that put children at risk for
problem behaviors.
In evaluation results from more than 60 surveys
and studies, Lions-Quest Skills for Growing
(grades K-5) have demonstrated effectiveness in
changing the knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs
that lead to violence and substance abuse, and
in strengthening the factors that protect young
people from harmful, high-risk behaviors. G2G
G R O W I N G T O G R E A T N E S S 85
he National Indian Youth Leadership
Project (NIYLP) is a national non-profit
organization whose mission is ?to engage Native
youth in challenging activities and meaningful
experiences in the community and the natural
world preparing them for healthy lives as capable,
contributing members of their family, community,
tribe, and nation.? NIYLP is based on traditional
Native American values and concepts, including
the Tsa-la-gi (Cherokee) people?s call for ?Gadugi?
? a call to bring people together to help
one another.
Service-Learning in the National Indian
Youth Leadership Project
Project Venture is a youth development approach
developed by NIYLP for Native youths and
communities being replicated in at least twenty
locations across the country. In 2003, Project
Venture underwent the process to become
officially recognized as a Model Program by
NREPP and the Center for Substance Abuse
The National Indian Youth
Walking in Beauty is a youth development
program tailored to adolescent girls.Walking in
Beauty uses the traditional Navajo ?Kinalda? ceremony
and other culturally derived rites of passage.
Web of Life is an experiential approach to healthy
development.Web of Life emphasizes outdoor
adventure, service to the community, cultural
discovery, health, wellness, and native values.
Turtle Island Project (TIP) is a multi-state effort to
incorporate service-learning into schools that serve
Native American youths and colleges that are
training Native teachers, and developing policy
to support service as a culturally appropriate
teaching methodology.
Sacred Mountain Learning Center on Turquoise
Mountain (Mt.Taylor) is undergoing renovation.
NIYLP completed work on the Turtle Amphitheater,
which will seat about 200 people.The
shape honors Turtle Island, the traditional Native
American name for North America.They also
completed the first of several hogans (traditional
Navajo structures) to be used as dormitories.
Scope of Service-Learning
Over 3,000 youths participate in NIYLP programs.
The Project Venture Model is being replicated in
27 locations in 11 states, serving an additional
2,500-3,000 youths.Walking in Beauty provides
direct service to 70 young women in two schools
in New Mexico.Web of Life has 250 youths
participating in three schools in three communities
in New Mexico. 21st Century Program
subcontracts with the Gallup McKinley School
District to provide after-school academic
and enrichment activities to 60 students in
three schools.
Since 1995, foundation funding supported
the TIP?s engagement of over 500 students in
service-learning in more than 15 native
community schools and tribal colleges.TIP
provides technical assistance primarily in the
southwest region. Project Venture K-6 and
Project Venture Middle School have 250 youth
participants in their programs.
NIYLP publishes the Journal of Native Service-
Learning and recently completed a book on the
?Gathering of Elders? that has been conducted
each year since 1993 at the National Service-
Learning Conference.
Intended Outcomes
Results from NIYLP?s program evaluations since
1990 indicate consistently positive outcomes for
youths in terms of personal and social competence,
and prevention of risk behavior.These
outcomes have resulted in Project Venture being
named a ?Promising and Effective Program? by
the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention and
the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency
Prevention. G2G
86 G2G
ince 1844, the YMCA has grown into an
inclusive, ecumenical organization with more
than 2,500 sites across the U.S. and 130 countries.
YMCAs have devoted considerable resources and
energy toward building strong kids, families, and
communities. In recent years,YMCAs have focused
their efforts on community development and
efforts to reach out to more teens, dovetailing
with an emphasis on community service and
Service-Learning in the YMCA
YMCAs collaborate with organizations that
leverage resources towards the greater social good
and emphasis on teenagers.
YMCA Earth Service Corps: For the past ten
years, the YMCA has operated the Earth Service
Corps, a service-learning program for teenagers to
make a difference in their communities. Grounded
on the building blocks of leadership development,
environmental education and action, and crosscultural
awareness, this program works in
YMCA of the
communities, allowing teens to use their talents
develop new skills, and learn more about
themselves and their surroundings.
YMCA Learn and Serve America Project: In 2000,
the YMCA of the USA received a three-year
grant from the Corporation for National and
Community Service to institute service-learning
at five local YMCA sites.The project?s overall goal
was to engage teens to help children (ages 5-11)
increase their readiness and respect for, and
commitment to learning.The teen participants
were guided in developing and implementing
innovative projects in underserved neighborhoods
to develop ?social capital? in the neighborhoods
surrounding the YMCAs.
Civic Engagement Initiative: In 2002, the YMCA
of the USA began a civic engagement initiative,
with support from the Pew Charitable Trusts, to
build on previous Pew-funded efforts by promoting
service-learning and civic engagement activities
throughout the entire YMCA system in the United
States.The initiative began with a symposium
attended by representatives of over 40 YMCAs and
their community partners to ?jump-start? planning
for new and/or enhanced civic engagement
activities. It involved 24 local YMCA staff as
?Civic Engagement Fellows? who jointly developed
a training curriculum on civic engagement.
Scope of Service-Learning
The YMCA Earth Service Corps operates in more
than 140 YMCAs in 30 states, and continues to
experience growth as a national program. In its
ten-year history, the program has involved close to
20,000 young people in well over 1,000,000 hours
of service.
Based on interim data, 23 (out of 24) Pew-sponsored
Civic Engagement Fellows provided training
to promote youth civic engagement to more than
2,700 adults and 4,800 youths in 19 states.
Intended Outcomes
An external evaluation by Search Institute found
high impact on YMCA Earth Service Corps? ability
to strengthen leadership skills, increase the
commitment of future volunteerism, and provide
the tools necessary for healthy, competent, and
caring lives.
A recently completed evaluation of the Learn and
Serve project by Brandeis University shows that
the YMCA model has succeeded in engaging
teenagers in ways that lead to a wide range of
personal growth indicators and benefits for their
communities.The activities have led to solid
progress in utilizing service-learning to develop
or improve relationships among YMCAs and other
community agencies. G2G
G R O W I N G T O G R E A T N E S S 87
outh Service America (YSA) is a resource
center that partners with and supports
thousands of organizations committed to increasing
the quality and quantity of volunteer community
service and service-learning opportunities for
young people, ages 5-25, in neighborhoods,
nationally, and globally. Founded in 1986,YSA?s
vision is to create and nurture a powerful network
of organizations committed to making service and
service-learning the common expectation and
experience of all young people in America.
Service-Learning in Youth Service America
YSA sponsors and collaborates with other
organizations to involve youth in service-learning
through several initiatives including:
National and Global Youth Service Day, considered
the largest service event in the world, it mobilizes
young people to identify and address community
needs; supports youths on a lifelong path of service
and civic engagement; and educates the public,
media, and policymakers about the yearround
contributions of young people as
community leaders.
Youth Service
A Service-Learning Curriculum Guide is published
by YSA to provide an educational link between
service projects and K-12 curricula for National
and Global Youth Service Day, and convenes the
Working Group on National and Community
Service to advance new knowledge on
service-learning topics.
Co-sponsorship of the National Service-Learning
Conference where YSA conducts an annual forum
on Youth in Decision-Making, offers a number
of skill-building workshops, and co-hosts an
awards ceremony.
Project Plan-It!,YSA?s online interactive project
planning tool, helps young people develop a plan
for their service projects, allowing them to print
their plan, timeline, budget, funding proposal, press
release, service-learning reflection plan, and other
helpful resources.
Scope of Service-Learning
Over 200 national and global partners organize
thousands of projects based on a service-learning
approach each year in the United States and
abroad. Millions of youths from 50 states and
127 countries participated in National and Global
Youth Service Day in 2003.
Intended Outcomes
Highlights of 2003 program impact include:| Over 320 million media impressions (readership)
from 951 radio, television, and newspaper stories
highlighting youths? positive role during NYSD
and year-round, and an average 1 million hits a
month on| Participation of approximately 300 government
officials in NYSD and GYSD, including the
Presidents of Brazil and the Philippines, helped
legitimize and disseminate the key role of youth
service and service-learning in community and
national development.| Unanimous passage of United States Senate?s
Resolution 112 declaring April 11th as National
Youth Service Day.| 150 youths, teachers, and organizations received
$125,000 in grant funding to support their
service-learning projects for NYSD, including
50 grants of $500 for students and 50 grants of
$1,500 for teachers made available through
The State Farm Good Neighbor Service-
Learning Award.| 40,000 ?Service-Learning Curriculum Guides,?
in English, Spanish, and Portuguese, were
distributed for use in National and Global Youth
Service Day projects.| Approximately 60 youths, representing at least
12 states, participated in YSA sponsored events
at the National Service-Learning Conference in
Minneapolis,MN.| More than 6,600 students used Project Plan-It
in as a resource to develop service-learning
projects. G2G
88 G2G
irst launched in 1987, the Youth Volunteer
Corps (YVC) model has been established in
numerous communities nationwide in partnership
with community-based organizations, school
districts, and municipalities. Foundations, corporations,
individuals, United Ways, and governments
provide funding.While each local community?s
YVC program is tailored to meet unique needs, all
programs meet 12 ?National Program Standards.?
YVC provides service-learning opportunities for
youths, ages 11-18.YVC?s mission is to create
and increase volunteer opportunities to enrich
America?s youths, address community needs, and
develop a lifetime commitment to service. It offers
communities a proven, cost-effective youth service
program to engage diverse groups of young people
in service projects designed by local government
and non-profit agencies. Programs include the
?Clown Corps? in Arizona, in which participants
entertain at senior homes, hospital, and childcare
centers; oral history projects; programs to serve
children and youths; as well as physical community
development projects.
Youth Volunteer Corps of
Recruited from inner cities, suburbs and rural
areas, youth volunteers, ages 11-18, reflect the
ethnic and socio-economic diversity of the
community.This rich mix of participants
enhances ethnic appreciation, teamwork, and
civic responsibility.
Service-Learning in Youth Volunteer Corps
During the school-year,YVC program directors
are expected to work closely with young people
and their teachers to develop service-learning
programs. Moreover, two out of the 12 standards
for all Youth Volunteer Corps activities emphasize
service-learning:| Providing leadership opportunities for youth
volunteers, and| Establishing an integrated education and
reflection process for participants.
Scope of Service-Learning
More than 40 YVC programs operate in 22 states
and are sponsored by community-based organizations
such as Volunteer Centers, the YMCA, United
Way, and RSVP offices. Other sites are sponsored
by schools and school districts and by local government.
Last year,YVC programs recruited just
over 40,000 youths. Its smaller programs involve
100 youths per year. Larger programs involve
approximately 2,000 youths per year.
About 75 percent of the youths serve during the
school year, but 50 percent of hours are completed
during the intensive summer program, averaging
about 30 hours of service.The project duration
ranges from half a day up to four weeks of fulltime
service.The average youth volunteer serves on
three projects during the course of one year.
Intended Outcomes
The YVC model is based on research conducted
in 1985 by the current YVC president, who visited
existing service corps and interviewed leaders in
the then-newly forming youth service field.YVC
reports that several studies have demonstrated the
program?s effectiveness in reaching young people
and helping them develop a sense of confidence
in their own abilities as well as greater empathy
for others.
Two intensive independent evaluations have been
conducted on YVC.The first was funded by the
W.K. Kellogg Foundation and conducted by
Dr. Lynne Ford of the College of Charleston
from 1992 to 1995. Results included impacts
on youth attitudes regarding the experiences,
learning and growth, and impacts on community.
For 2003-2005, the Ewing Marion Kauffman
Foundation has hired the Youth Policy Research
Group to evaluate YVC impact. G2G
G R O W I N G T O G R E A T N E S S 89
Character Education: Promoting core values,
proactive strategies, and practices that help
children not only understand core, ethical values,
but also care about and act upon them in all
phases of school life (from the Service-Learning
Citizenship education: A comprehensive
approach aimed at instilling in students the
knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary for
effective civic participation ? rather than only
describing responsibilities of citizenship such as
voting. (Education Commission of the States)
Civic education: Deepening the experience of
service by connecting it to such fundamental
American values as liberty, responsibility, and
freedom. (Constitutional Rights Foundation,
Citizenship Toolkit)
Community service: Service to the community
that is not formally linked to the curricular
objectives of a school or community-based
Community youth development (CYD):
A strategy of youth engagement where youths
advance community development goals resulting
in benefit to both youths and the community.
Glossary of
Terms Community-based organization (CBO):
An organization that is representative of a
community or significant segments of a
community and provides education or other
services to promote community well-being.
Developmental assets: A research-based
framework which measures positive relationships,
opportunities, skills, and personal qualities that help
young people thrive, avoid a wide range of highrisk
behaviors, and become healthy, caring, and
responsible members of society.
Formal, Informal and Nonformal Education:
A set of terms used to capture the span of learning
contexts for acquiring knowledge and skills: formal
(as in schooling), nonformal (activities or programs
organized outside the school context but directed
to definite educational objectives, such as in
community-based organizations) and informal
(through self-directed, lifelong learning activities
such as reading, and social contact where, for
example, children learn adult roles by observing,
assisting and imitating).
Higher order thinking: Thinking that stresses
analysis, comparison, interpretation, application,
debate, innovation, problem-solving, or evaluation
of a line of thinking (from International Reading
Meta-analysis: The analysis of the results of a
collection of individual studies in order to
draw general conclusions, develop support for
hypotheses, and/or produce an estimate of overall
program effects.
Multiple Intelligences: A theory by Howard
Gardner that describes the broad range of
capabilities (intelligences) used by humans in
solving problems and creating things and ideas.
Emphasizes the need to recognize learner
differences in instructional design. Includes eight
intelligences: verbal/linguistic, logical/mathematical,
visual/spatial, bodily/kinesthetic, musical/rhythmic,
interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalist.
Service-Learning: A philosophy, pedagogy, and
model for community development that integrates
community service with intentional academic or
personal development goals to enhance cognitive
and social development, teach civic responsibility,
and strengthen communities.
Social Capital: A concept advanced by sociologist
James Coleman and political scientist Robert
Putnam referring to the processes between people,
which establish networks, norms, and social trust,
and facilitate coordination and cooperation for
mutual benefit.
Statistical significance: The level at which an
investigator can conclude that observed differences
are not due to chance alone; for example, a ?p?
value of .05 (also called significance at the .05 level)
indicates that there is about 1 chance in 20 that
the differences observed occurred by chance alone.
Title I: Federal Program that provides additional
education services for student achievement for low
income students and families.
Trend-level Analysis: Analysis of changes over
time that do not necessarily reflect statistical
significance at the 0.5 level.
90 G2G
The ?Essential Elements of Service-Learning?
was published by the National Youth Leadership
Council in 1999 in response to a request from
the Corporation for National Service (CNS) to
provide a guide to creating, maintaining, and
continuing improvement of service-learning
programs.The essential elements were identified
over a period of three years with the support
and input of members of the National Service-
Learning Cooperative, a group of 13 organizations
funded by CNS and convened by NYLC to
provide service-learning technical assistance.
They have provided a basis for the creation of
assessment tools and survey instruments to
determine the quality of service-learning practice
and level of organizational support at local, state,
and national levels. For a complete copy of the
?Essential Elements of Service-Learning,? contact
NYLC at (651) 631-3672 or visit
Essential Elements of
Curriculum Integration: Strengthens
the connection between academic learning,
including state and local standards,
and service.
Academically and developmentally
appropriate service: Provides opportunities
for students to learn skills and think
Student assessment: Is integrated into
program design as an instructional tool,
providing constructive feedback to enhance
Genuine community needs: Involves
students in tasks that have clear goals,
meeting genuine community needs
identified by students and approved by
the community, which is part of the
students? learning process and integral
to the program design.
Program evaluation: Involves all
participants, and is summative (evaluating
the end result) and formative (for ongoing
program improvement).
Student voice: Students hwave decisionmaking
power regarding the selection,
design, implementation, and evaluation of
service projects.The teacher?s role is as a
mentor, coach, motivator, and facilitator.
Diversity: Participation in service projects
that involve diverse groups is encouraged
to enhance students? ability to work with,
learn from, understand, and communicate
in positive ways with people whose backgrounds
are different from their own.
Partnerships with community: Clear
communication of expectations among
partners concerning outcomes, rules, roles,
and responsibilities.
Preparation: Students and teachers must
understand their roles, the skills and
information required, safety precautions,
and sensitivity to the people they will meet
in the community.
Reflection: Students learn higher order
thinking skills to connect their service
experience to curricular objectives.
Reflection activities must occur throughout
the process ? before, during, and after
the service experience ? and engage all
Validation: Post service acknowledgement
and celebration of students? service, as well
as documentation of student service in
academic transcripts.
The Essential Elements of Effective Service-Learning Practice:
G R O W I N G T O G R E A T N E S S 91
The Essential Elements of
Organization Support for
Effective service-learning is connected to and relevant
to the district?s mission: Service-learning as part of
school- and district-wide curricula.
School and district policies designed to promote
quality service-learning practice: service-learning
linked to the district and/or school mission
Organizational structure and resources:| Service-learning funded through the school and/or
district budget;| District provides transportation for service-learning
activities;| Schedule accommodates service-learning;| Administration actively supports service-learning;| School risk management plan covers servicelearning;
and| Provision is made for the coordination of school
and/or district service-learning.
Professional Development: Staff training in servicelearning
philosophy and pedagogy. Ongoing
opportunities for staff to refine their servicelearning
92 G2G
he following sampling of organizations
and projects offer resources on servicelearning,
including curriculum guides, evaluation
tools, funding sources, and other forms for
support. Please see profiles in this report
for additional resources. If readers know of
additional useful resources, please contact
Academy for Educational Development
American Youth Policy Forum
America?s Promise ? The Alliance for Youth
Campus Compact
Compendium of Assessment and Research
Tools (C.A.R.T.)
Center for Youth as Resources
CIRCLE (Center for Information
and Research on Civic Learning
& Engagement)
Close-Up Foundation
Corporation for National &
Community Service
Education Commission of the States
Exemplary Youth Ministry
Independent Sector
The Innovation Center for Community &
Youth Development
John Gardner Center for Youth and
Their Communities
John Glenn Institute for Public Service
and Public Policy
National 4-H Council
National Commission on Service-Learning
National Crime Prevention Council
National Dropout Prevention Center
National Service-Learning Clearinghouse
National Service-Learning Partnership
National Youth Leadership Council
Points of Light Foundation
Project Ignition
Search Institute
State Education Agency K-12 Service-
Learning Network (SEANet)
State Farm Companies Foundation
USA Freedom Corps
University of Berkeley Service-Learning
Research and Development Center
W.K. Kellogg Foundation ?
Learning In Deed
Youth Action Net
Youth Action Research Institute/Institute for
Community Research.
Youth Activism Project
Youth on Board
Youth Service America
Youth Venture
2003 Table of Contents
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
John Glenn
Foreword . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Kathy Havens Payne
A Time to Serve, A Time to Learn:
New Roles for Youth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Jim Kielsmeier
Service-Learning in K-12 Education . . . . . . . 7
Marybeth Neal
Service-Learning in Higher Education:
Trends, Research and Resources . . . . . . . . 12
Erin Bowley with Jennifer Meeropool
Overview of What is Known
About the Scope of Community-Based
Service-Learning in the United States . . . . 17
Lawrence Neil Bailis, Ph.D.
Faith Communities:
Untapped Allies in Service-Learning . . . . . 20
Eugene C. Roehlkepartain
Service-Learning Preparation
in Preservice Teacher Education . . . . . . . . . 27
Marybeth Neal and Jeffrey Anderson
International Perspective . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Jim Kielsmeier
State of Service-Learning Research:
A Phenomenological Approach . . . . . . . . . 29
Marybeth Neal
Service-Learning Policy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Marybeth Neal and Jeff Miller
Longitudinal Indicators from Programs . . . 35
State of the States:
An Outline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Nelda Brown, Jim Kielsmeier, Marybeth Neal,
Stan Potts and State Correspondents
Resources Available from the
National Youth Leadership Council . . . . . . 43
National Youth Leadership Council
Publication Order Form . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
2003 Report available online at or in print form from NYLC. For copies, please call (651) 631-3672.

Share this SparkAction Link: click here to shorten
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.


receive our updates

Spark Tweets