About Service-Learning

The department does not currently have federal funding for service-learning grants; however, it is still a great addition to school day curriculum as well as afterschool and summer programs.  Young people will obtain academic and social skills while also getting satisfaction in planning and participating in service projects and reflecting on their work.

What is Service-Learning?

School-based service-learning combines meaningful service to the community with classroom studies in a way that improves student learning and strengthens the community.  Students work in collaboration with community members, teachers, and classmates to meet real community needs, while applying core concepts from the regular classroom curriculum.  Students develop responsibility and citizenship while increasing academic achievement. 

Service-Learning Cycle

Service-Learning Cycle Graphic


Actual Service or Action




Benefits to the Student, School and Community

Benefits to the Student, School and Community Graphic

Through Service-Learning, communication and interaction between students, teachers, and community partners develops into an open and energetic environment. All partners work together to identify needs in the community; set goals and designate responsibilities for themselves and volunteers; reflect and discuss highs and lows of the project; and all parties celebrate their accomplishments.

This communication and collaboration creates an atmosphere within the school and community that is caring, positive and beneficial to everyone involved. Teachers cultivate a stronger relationship with students and students learn real-world applications for classroom activities they might otherwise not have made. Community members see the youth doing things that benefit society.

What Service-Learning Does:


  • Inspires Youth to Learn
  • Improve Student’s Performance and Interest In School
  • Cultivates a Positive School Environment
  • Develops Stronger Ties to School, Community, and Society
  • Helps Deter Risky Behavior
  • Exploration Of Various Career Pathways
  • Encourages Respect of others from diverse and multicultural backgrounds
  • Promotes Community Support for the School
  • Maximizes Volunteers /Community Resources



Students' Comments On Why They Think Service-Learning Works:


“Service Learning gives us an opportunity to be a role model.”

6th graders, Hamilton R-II School District

“I learned a lot more about the wars and actually how bad it can be.  I respect the veterans more, and now I know what it was like, because you don't see the actual people in the book.”

9th -12th graders, Blue Eye R-V School District

"You appreciate that fact that you can help all kinds and ages of people.”

3rd – 5th graders, Linn R-II School District

“We never realized we could gain satisfaction from doing something for someone else.”

10th graders,  Normandy School District

“Service learning helps us build character and teaches us respect and responsibility which are traits we need as adults.”

8th graders, Harrisonville-Cass R-IX School District

“We learned how important communication is.  I had no idea how careful we needed to be applying communication skills.  It has been wonderful working with younger students and being a role model for them.  I have improved my lifestyle and am making better choices and I am proud!”

9th-12th graders, Bolivar R-I School District

“We learned how to work together.”

2nd graders, Kirkwood R-VIII School District

“It allows you to teach what you have learned.”

6th – 8th graders Fulton 58 School District

"Service Learning teaches students to be respectful and thoughtful about their actions.”

8th graders, Blue Springs R-IV School District



Teachers' Comments On Why They Think Service-Learning Works:


“Students gain a practical insight into their possible career path choices through valuable, hands on learning and often report insights that change the direction of their lives.”

Teacher at Fulton 58 School District

“Community members who participate view youth as valued resources in the community.”

Teacher at Mehlville R-IX School District

“Service learning does not divide students by their academic abilities… Promotes citizenship and responsibility.”

Teacher at Kirkwood R-VIII School District

“The activity [Service-Learning project] fits the directly into the curriculum and does not take away from the learning, but adds to it.”

Teacher at Blue Eye R-V School District

“Students felt good doing something for someone else and enjoyed the unit because they could see purpose for the learning from the beginning.”

Teacher at Blue Springs R-IV School District

“Academic areas show improvement, and students strive to maintain high GPA required for continued participation in the group.”

Teacher at Hallsville R-IV School District

“Connects classroom learning to reality, improves leadership ability.”

Teacher at Columbia 93 School District