Posted: Last active:

  • Create a culture of service project with students age 5-9

    Teaching students about giving back has a place in the classroom, especially when it has roots in learning. Youth Service America has created amazing guides for teachers on how to carry out these projects, one version of which you can learn about here.

    Setting: Schools

    Want to try this?

    There may be some people who want to join you.

    Organization/people involved

    Youth Service America

    What they did

    For their Semester of Service, Rachael Brunson’s third graders set a goal to reduce childhood hunger in their community. Students first researched the issue, then gave presentations, organized an economics fair to raise awareness and funds, advocated for statewide school breakfasts, and raised nearly $8,000 for their local food bank. As the students’ semester came to an end, they rallied at the Texas State Capitol, and were in attendance when the legislature passed the breakfast bill.

    Adaptable to most classroom settings and subject areas, all Semester of Service projects include these key elements that are known to promote student engagement:

    How you can do it

    Impact

    This project fueled students’ passion for learning, encouraged them to take ownership of their learning, and engaged them in higher-level thinking. The students gained significant knowledge about the issue of childhood hunger, and educated their peers and their community.

    At the same time, they “moved the needle” on childhood hunger in their community through fundraising ($8,000 for the Capital Area Food Bank) and systematic awareness-raising and advocacy activities (writing persuasive letters to legislators). The impact of their work meant that fewer kids in Texas will go hungry.

    Big takeaways

    Rachael says, “Don’t try to plan it all in advance.” Instead, really listen to your students. Give them ownership of the project and see what happens, while still facilitating their process and providing guidance where needed. And don’t forget to reflect, every step of the way.

    Resources

    Photo credit: Youth Service America

    Log in for questions & comments
    Please make corrections before moving on.
    Please fill out {field}.

    Uh oh.

    Something unexpected just happened. Sorry!

    Please try again or contact us.

    Hmm... we couldn't find that place in our database.
    Are you sure it's correct? Yes No

    There was a problem signing in to your social account.

    The error code was: error code.

    If the problem persists, please contact us.

    Try again

    Sign in with:

    Next ››

    Log in

    Welcome back! Please enter your password.

    Forgot your password?

    Next ››

    Create your account

    Looks like you're new here. Sign up! Or, log in with a different email.

    ‹‹ Back Next ››

    Upload a photo

    Nice photo! (Change)

    ‹‹ Back Next ››

    Secure your account

    Please verify that you're a human. Type the text below:

    By clicking "Sign Up" you're agreeing to our Terms & Conditions

    ‹‹ Back

    Welcome!

    Thanks for joining the Idealist network!

    Please check your email and click on the verification link we just sent you. Your registration won't be complete until you do.

    Welcome!

    Thanks for joining the Idealist network!

    Welcome back!

    Please update your account details:

    ‹‹ Back Next ››

    You're almost there!

    We emailed you at with a verification link that you must click on to complete the sign up process.

    Resend the verification email

    Not you? Click here to become a Connector.

    Your profile is updated

    Thanks for updating your profile! You can add more detail, including your interests, skills, and experience later.

    We're glad to have you!

    Before you can be active in this community, you'll have to become a Connector. Take a moment to learn more about the role and agree to our shared values before continuing.

    Already a Connector? Log in
    Please make corrections before moving on.
    Please fill out {field}.
    Please enter your full name.
    Please let us know what to call you.
    Please enter your city.
    Please upload a photo.
    Please tell us where you live.
    Please enter a valid email address.
    Passwords must be at least 6 characters long.
    Email or password is incorrect.
    Please try filling out the captcha again.
    Please choose a profile photo.
    Name can be no longer than 128 characters.

    Forgot your password?

    Please enter your email so we can send you a reset link.

    We just sent an email to johndoh@idealist.org to reset your password.

    We just sent an email to to verify your account.

    Sorry, we ran into a problem with that.

    Choose Another

    Thank you!

    Please review this final commitment we are all making to one another, and click below.

    Working with others, in a spirit of generosity and mutual respect, I want to help build a world where all people can lead free and dignified lives.

    In my role as a Connector, I commit to:

    Please check the box to continue.
    Please check the boxes to continue.