Research suggests that service learning – an instructional method that incorporates meaningful community service – increases student engagement, improves academic performance and promotes personal and social responsibility.
“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” –Charles Dickens
Students of all ages can benefit from community service. In fact, research suggests that service learning – an instructional method that incorporates meaningful community service – increases student engagement, improves academic performance and promotes personal and social responsibility. Service learning also fosters a lifelong commitment to helping others in need, which benefits schools, communities and society as a whole.
Educators can incorporate service learning into their after school programs by starting a Service Club! It’s a great way to empower students to make a difference in their communities. Here are a few tips for starting a Service Club after school:
- Involve students in the planning process. As a group, ask students to identify local issues and help organize service activities to enhance their community.
- Designate specific leadership positions, such as committee chairs and board members, to help build critical leadership and self-development skills.
- Partner with local nonprofit organizations. Invite speakers from the organizations to educate students about ways to give back. Then, have students participate in a service project benefitting that organization.
- Encourage students to become service advocates. Ask them to make posters and speak to their classes in order to promote various service activities.
- Receive feedback from students after each service activity. Allow them to share their experiences and discuss the challenges and benefits of serving the community.
Starting a Service Club gives students the opportunity to solve, strengthen communities and build valuable life skills. To get started, check out these community service ideas for students of all ages.