Learning to CARE
Education, Volunteering, and Community Service
by Dr. Patricia Mihaly Nabti
Association for Volunteer Services

The Six Service Options

Option 1: School-Sponsored Projects
School-sponsored projects are a great way to introduce community service into a school before any formal program is established. Such projects are outside of the regular academic program and do not have an organized structure or a membership that continues over time. A school can spo
nsor a service project for the whole school, a division (elementary, intermediate, secondary), or one grade or class. A school may be invited to participate in a project organized by a non-governmental organization, or it may take the initiative to commemorate a service day like World Health Day.

Option 2: Extra-Curricular Clubs and Teams

Many schools have clubs and teams, some that are service-oriented (Environmental Club, Hu
man Rights Club) and some that are not (Sewing Club, Chorus, Chess Club, Basketball Team). This option provides ideas about how all extra-curricular clubs and teams in a school can engage in service projects at least once a year.

Option 3: Service Incentive Programs
Service incentive programs are structured programs that encourage students to become involved in volunteer service by giving them some kind of recognition or award (honor list on a public bulletin board at the school, a certificate, or a notation on a studentís diploma).

Option 4: Mandatory Service Programs
Mandatory service programs are programs which ensure that all students in a school eventually engage in community service by making it a requirement for graduation or for promotion from one grade to the next.

Option 5: Service-Learning

Service-learning is a method of teaching which integrates service into the curriculum of a school in a way which enhances learning while providing genuine service to the community. It connects service to such diverse subjects as math, history, biology, computer science, art, and literature at all grade levels

Option 6: Volunteering for the School

While all of the other options are for students, this option discusses how adults can volunteer for the school, thereby expanding the effectiveness of administrators and teachers, while providing students with role models of adults engaged in community service. This does not exclude the possibility of the students, themselves, volunteering for their own school, but that is covered in the other options.

A school may engage in only one of these options, some of them, or even all of them, although developing such a comprehensive service program should be done gradually. The six different options are often developed independently. It is useful, however, to have at least a loose coordination of all school service programs to ensure the quality and support needed, and to share information about community contacts and resources.

Book: Learning to CARE
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The Six Service Options
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