Service-Learning Program Components
All service-learning experiences must include PREPARATION, ACTION, and REFLECTION:
PREPARATION is the first step of service-learning in which students work with teachers and community members to:
- Identify issues affecting the community in areas related to health, education, environment, or public safety
- Select project site(s) and how to address a selected issue
- Plan service-learning reflection
- Explore the concept of active citizenship
ACTION is the next step of service-learning in which students carry out their service through one of the following:
- Direct Service – Students have face-to-face contact with service recipients. Examples include tutoring other students, serving meals at a homeless shelter, working with the elderly in a senior citizen community, etc.
- Indirect Service – Students perform a service without having direct contact with the recipient. Usually resources are channeled to help alleviate a problem. Examples include food and clothing drives, environmental projects, raising money for a cause through activities such as a walk-a-thon, etc.
- Advocacy – Students educate others about a selected issue with the goal of eliminating the causes of a particular problem. Examples include writing letters to legislators or newspaper editors, creating web pages, creating and displaying posters within the community, writing and performing informative plays, creating educational materials for other target groups, legislative testimony, etc.
REFLECTION is the final step of service-learning in which students look back upon the completed project and review what they have learned. Reflection may be done individually (journals, scrapbooks, teacher-student meetings) or as a group (class evaluation of the project based on the goals and outcomes).