What Is CSL?

Simply put, Community Service-Learning is a teaching strategy that helps students to acquire academic and social education goals while meeting an authentic community need.

Volunteerism or CSL?

If students collect trash out of a riverbank, they are providing a valued service to the community as volunteers.

If students collect trash from a riverbank, analyze their findings to determine the possible sources of pollution, and share the results with residents of the neighbourhood, they are engaging in community service-learning.


Check out the Bloomer Report for examples of CSL projects within the CLC network!  

Click on the image to download the full CSL catalogue with resources for CDAs and teachers


Best Practices

Helping teachers at your school to develop a CSL project is a great way to support student success, student engagement and active citizenship (as well as other ToC outcome areas and MESA goals)!  It can also serve as a meaningful way to build or strengthen relationships between your school(s) and community.

How Can a CDA Help?

Community Development Agents are uniquely positioned to help teachers:

Identify an authentic community need.

Identify viable partners to work with.

Continue to develop and maintain sustainable relationships with community partners.

Collaborate from the outset to take advantage of relevant funding opportunities.

Sucessful CSL Projects

Focus is on issues that are meaningful to students.

Students have opportunities to learn outside of the classroom.

Students have voice and choice -  learning tasks are active.

Clear curricular connections - not an add-on.

Shared roles and responsibilities between school and community partners.

Click here for more tips from CDAs who attended the 2014 CLC Teachers Institute.

CSL Resources For CDAs

There are no lack of resources and tools on the internet to help you understand:

The potential of engaging students in their community

How CSL projects are integrated into schools and communities.

Community Works Institute

CWI is very grassroots with many examples from Vermont.  Don't miss their exemplars.


The creator of Star Wars, George Lucas funds this, so you know the force is strong with this one!

Buck Institute

This site includes lots of great videos to watch.

Learning for a Sustainable Future

A Canadian website with lots of environmental stewardship projects.  It’s easy to apply for a grant. They are really nice people.  Call them!

Canada’s History

Lots of ideas and resources about preserving and celebrating our history.

CSL Resources For Teachers

Is a teacher at your school interested in pursuing a CSL project?  These templates can help them to plan for success!  Developed by LEARN consultants, these templates are used at the CLC Teacher Institute.

English Templates

CSL Project Planner Brainstorm - Download File 

student voice - Download File 

curriculum connections - Download File 

Partnerships_to_do_list - Download File 

timeline.pdf - Download File 

French Templates

AEC Synthese Projet - Download File 

Voix Élèves - Download File 

Curriculum FR - Download File 

Partenaires FR - Download File 

Échéancier FR - Download File