The Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) in partnership with the Youth Development Network sponsored a workshop on March 11 to help educators infuse service-learning into the curriculum in local districts.
"Move the Talk to Action!" provided attendees with the tools to explore how to meld service-learning into secondary curriculum programs as well as develop partnerships with Community Based Organizations and other agencies. Presenters provided information on how to extend and expand youth involvement with communities through relevant and hands-on learning opportunities.
"Studies have shown that service-learning can improve academic and social outcomes for students," said Marty Cavanaugh, Sacramento County Deputy Superintendent of Schools. "These programs provide students with opportunities to apply academic knowledge to real-world issues."
Service-learning combines academic classroom curriculum with meaningful service, frequently youth service, throughout the community. It integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience and teach civic responsibility.
"Service-learning is an opportunity for youth to be engaged throughout the school day and to be lifelong partners in their communities," said Adrian Ruiz, Youth Development Network Co-Executive Director. "Service-learning done right activates all services and systems with communities, such as schools and community-based organizations."
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 64-percent of all public schools and 83-percent of all public high schools currently offer some form of service opportunity.
Research shows that students in over half of the service-learning schools studied showed moderate to strong gains on student achievement tests in language arts and/or reading, engagement in school, sense of accomplishment, and homework completion.