Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Learn and Serve Challenge

The White House supports serving in communities as a tangible way for all Americans to contribute the country’s recovery. One great way to get involved in service is by participating in the Learn and Serve Challenge, an initiative currently spotlighted in a video at the top of the White House service website. The Learn and Serve Challenge encourages service-learning in the United States, enabling “over one million students to make meaningful contributions to their community while building their academic and civic skills." By pairing community service with the academic curriculum, students learn inside and outside of the classroom how to work together to solve community problems. Students engaged in service become active citizens committed to improving their communities while learning skills that help them to achieve academic success.

Learn and Serve facilitates service-learning opportunities by supporting programs with grants, providing training and resources to teachers, administrators and parents, and disseminating research, curricula and program models (for free!). One innovative Learn and Serve program is Summer of Service, proposed by Innovations in Civic Participation and approved for funding by Congress in the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act in 2009. During the summer months, Summer of Service programs engage young people in structured community service projects to meet human, educational, environmental and emergency community needs. Read more about Summer of Service on the ICP website.

Service-learning offers a powerful resource for shaping the next generation of American leaders. Tell us your service-learning stories in the comments below!

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