Posted: Last active:

  • Create a culture of service project with students age 10-12

    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

    Jake McCollum, Sarah Bayer, and their students at IB Lincoln World Middle School engaged in YSA’s Semester of Service, a program in which teachers and students work together to connect meaningful community service activities with intentional learning goals and academic outcomes.

    More than 130 eighth graders did a Semester of Service – or a “STEMester of Service” – applying their science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills to community issues. Students focused on local water quality and natural resources, and researched hydraulic fracturing, a major issue in their Colorado community.

    Students hosted a “conversation café” with local leaders, community partners, and energy company officials to share their research findings and facilitate discussions about the pros and cons of fracking. Students launched a school-wide energy awareness campaign and concluded the school year by organizing a neighborhood “Zero-Energy District” Energy Expo.

    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

    Students reduced energy use at school by 25% in four days and raised awareness of energy conservation in their community.

    Perceptions about teaching and teaching practices changed as a result of this project. Jake wrote as he reflected on this project, “The program took me out of being a teacher and into being a facilitator working with the students. This has forever transformed my teaching and expectations of what kids can and should do.”

    Big takeaways

    Jake suggests letting students create a list of potential issues and guiding them to choose one with which they will experience success. He says, “Success is vital to the power of service learning.”

    Jake’s mentor, Sarah, used YSA’s resources throughout the year. “Thanks to the great structure that YSA has provided, we have been able to connect our entire science curriculum to the project using the Semester of Service Strategy Guide.”

    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 Idealist! We're glad to have you.

    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.

    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

    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 you@example.com 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.