Through community service learning projects, students are able to develop an awareness and understanding of the big social issues that impact their community. Across the country, teachers are exploring new ways to take their traditional lessons and apply them to the real world. With these service learning project ideas, students can strengthen their ties to their community and understand the power they have to change other people’s lives.
Here’s how a few teachers and students are using resources from generous donors to give back to their local communities.
Middle Schoolers Launch Healthy Hearts Campaign
Mrs. Cheung’s school has partnered with UC San Francisco’s Latino Center to form an elective course called Juniors Doctor Academy. It equips and empowers minority students to explore higher education in science and medicine. Knowing that addressing local health disparities would interest her students, Mrs. Cheung created a project for blood pressure meters, blood cuffs, and stethoscopes. These materials let her students collect data on their own health, and then use that data to inform the community on how to live a healthier life.
“It was the first time that my students really got experience doing medical health. We are always engaged in science experiments and dissections, but these are actual tools that my students can handle and use with one another to maintain our bodies’ health… ”
Building Prosthetics for Children in Need
With the support of her teacher, Mr. Adamson, Middle Schooler Jania created a student-led project so that her club could build prosthetic hands for children who cannot afford traditional prosthetics. Partnering with a nonprofit organization called e-Nable, the club joined a community of 3D printing enthusiasts as they set out to change the world for these children.
“This project reinforces principles that the students are learning about, and does so in a way that benefits others… We have loved the opportunity to learn more about 3D printing and STEM while giving back to children around the world who are less fortunate than ourselves.”
Empowering Citizens to Vote
Although Ms. Glenn’s middle school students aren’t quite old enough to vote, they realized that they still had an opportunity to inspire and encourage others to exercise their civic duty. Ms. Glenn requested three computers so that her students could research and design presentations and advertisements for a voter registration drive and rights restoration workshop, hosted at their Florida school.
“We registered over 20 new first-time voters, just in time to have their political voice heard in the presidential election… Utilizing the technology you helped us purchase, the students wrote letters to Florida legislators expressing their view on restoring voting rights to felons within our state. The students learned how to responsibly express their opinion on controversial public policy issues.”
Teachers, do you need resources for your next big service learning project idea? DonorsChoose.org connects teachers who need supplies with donors who want to help.
How do you incorporate community service in your classroom? Share your ideas in the comments below!