Community Service Learning
What is Community Service Learning?
All across Quebec, teachers are working with students to be active citizens that make a positive difference in their school and wider community. These projects include:
- Intergenerational collaborations that celebrate local stories and heritage
- Promotion of environmental sustainability
- Increased awareness of health and wellbeing
- Youth mentorship in transition to primary and secondary school
Community Service Learning is a proven teaching strategy that helps students acquire subject-specific and cross-curricular competencies while meeting an authentic community need.
Community Service Learning emphasizes opportunities for reflection that enriches the learning experience, teaches civic responsibility, and strengthens communities.
(Source: Service Learning in the K-3 classroom, Vickie E. Lake and Ithel Jones. 2012)
Why Develop a Community Service Learning project?
The combination of experiential learning and the personal satisfaction that students gain from helping others makes service learning an effective teaching and learning tool.
The Benefits of Community Service Learning:
- Students apply academic, social, and personal skills as outlined in the QEP’s Broad Areas of Learning, Cross Curricular Competencies and Subject Specific Competencies
- Students make decisions that have real results
- Students grow as individuals by working in cooperative groups
- Students develop a deeper understanding of themselves, their community and society
(from Service Learning in the K-3 Classroom. Vickie E. Lake and Ithel Jones. 2012)
There is evidence that Community Service Learning projects that include opportunities for students to write for an authentic audience supports student learning. Research shows that “teachers who included more authentic literacy activities more of the time had students who showed higher growth in both comprehension and writing”.
-Duke, Purcell-Gates, Hall & Tower, 2006
Planning a Quality Community Service Learning project