As Learn and Serve America says, “Service-Learning brings Learning to Life”. Learn and Serve feels service-learning can improve academic achievement, increase student engagement, improve social behavior, build civic skills, and strengthen community partnerships. The Cedar Valley Catholic Schools have caught onto the trend and have been extremely involved this year in service-learning work.
Carol Luce, Service-Learning and Leadership Program Coordinator for CVCS, notes, “The most beneficial part of service-learning to teachers, is that it compliments what they are teaching and shows the students the importance of what they are learning and how they can use it in their community.” Service learning also benefits the students. Luce goes on to say, “Service learning shows students that they can make a difference and they can be a part of changes in their community. We talk about being proactive citizens and service-learning shows them how they can do that.”
Service learning is a Win – Win – Win. Win for the student, win for the agency, and win for the community.
Luce works with all CVCS students doing leadership training and service-learning, but 6th graders are taught the steps to service-learning. Service-Learning is part of the 6th graders curriculum, but Luce also facilitates service activities with CVCS high school students.
The service-learning work of the CVCS is being recognized throughout the Cedar Valley. There have been numerous articles written in the Courier.
The Volunteer Center of Cedar Valley also works with classrooms and in the Cedar Valley to instill the spirit of service into young people. What are other service-learning initiatives you have heard about in the Cedar Valley? In the State? Have you or your children participated in service-learning? What do you see as the benefits?