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Service Learning information

Service-learning combines service to the community with student learning in a way that improves both the student and the community. According to the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993


  • Is a method whereby students learn and develop through active participation in thoughtfully organized service that is conducted in and meets the needs of communities
  • Is coordinated with an elementary school, secondary school, institution of higher education, or community service program and the community
  • Helps foster civic responsibility
  • Is integrated into and enhances the academic curriculum of the students, or the education components of the community service program in which the participants are enrolled
  • And provides structured time for students or participants to reflect on the service experience

What Does Service-Learning Look Like?

In colleges and schools, service-learning is part of the academic curriculum. In community organizations, youth develop practical skills, self-esteem, and a sense of civic responsibility. Examples of service-learning projects include: preserving native plants, designing neighborhood playgrounds, teaching younger children to read, testing the local water quality, creating wheelchair ramps, preparing food for the homeless, developing urban community gardens, starting school recycling programs, and much more.

Why is Service-Learning Important?

A national study of Learn and Serve America programs suggests that effective service-learning programs improve academic grades, increase attendance in school, and develop personal and social responsibility. Whether the goal is academic improvement, personal development, or both, students learn critical thinking, communication, teamwork, civic responsibility, mathematical reasoning, problem solving, public speaking, vocational skills, computer skills, scientific method, research skills, and analysis.

Learn and Serve America's National Service-Learning Clearinghouse (NSLC) operates America's premier Web site supporting the service-learning efforts of schools, higher education institutions, communities, and tribal nations. We offer timely information and relevant resources, thousands of free online resources, the nation's largest library of service-learning materials, national service-learning listservs, and reference and technical assistance services.

Christina MacDonald
(603) 271-7306
Fax (603) 271-2760

New Hampshire Department of Education
101 Pleasant Street | Concord, NH | 03301-3494
Telephone: (603) 271-3494 | TDD Access: Relay NH 711