Kid Activities
1000's of Ideas for Childcare Professionals & Teachers!

Community Service Intro and Links

January 9, 2012 20:27 by Barbara Shelby


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Identify areas of interest — Talk about the kinds of issues you'd like to help and the kinds of activities you'd like to do. Are you most concerned about low-income people, senior citizens, refugees, or homeless? Or is your program and family more passionate about caring for abandoned animals or caring for the environment?

•Try something once — Decide together the kinds of things you'd like to try one time, and start with that. Be sure to choose projects that allow every member, regardless of age, to contribute in a meaningful way.

•Involve children — Actively involve children in choosing and planning service projects. Pay attention to what interests them and what they seem most concerned about, as those are areas where they're likely to invest more energy. Give them responsibilities that match their abilities and interests.

•Start close to home —Start looking for opportunities where you already have connections.You may find opportunities through  school, other programs and families, or local community and service organizations.

•Ask others — If you know of other school or child care programs...or have friends or have family members who volunteer regularly... ask them if you can join them. Talk with others  as to whether they'd like to do something together.
Adapted to program needs from


Never underestimate the strength of the young ones. They are amazing.

1. Have children brainstorm ideas.
2. Set ground rules:
    •No idea is laughed at.
    •No idea is stupid.
    •No idea is ruled out until the end.
3. Then consider, "How can we really do this?" (Adapted from Tiffany Cooper)


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Community Service Ideas for Kids all Ages

February 27, 2011 04:42 by Barbara Shelby

Page 2

Updated February, 2013

Feeding the hungry, donating presents to the poor, and performing errands for the elderly are all ways that people can donate time towards the community.

Working together, kids learn to solve problems and make decisions and successfully contribute to their community. They connect local concerns with global issues and gain an awareness of others. All this will serve them now and years later as they transition out of school and into the adult world!

IDEAS to Get you Started...


• Plant trees or wildflowers.

Plant produce. Donate the harvest to a local food bank.

Plant seeds. Sell the flowers or plants and donate the proceeds to a local organization in need.

Pick up litter at a park.

Put on a play at your school, a fair or festival about local environmental or human needs issues.

• Collect items for a time capsule.

Make treats for a local senior home.

Improve the school grounds.

Develop and maintain a recycling program at school.

Collect food, warm clothing, toys, or personal care items for the needy. Deliver to shelters. Remember shelters are in need of supplies all year long!

Hold a Teddy Bear and Friends (Stuffed Animals) Drive.
Donate the collected animals to a Homeless Shelter for new arrivals. Also...check with your local police station or fire station. Many are happy to take Teddy and Friends; a teddy bear can be a comfort to children in times of distress.

Collect unused make-up, perfume and other cosmetics for a center for abused women.

Make center pieces, holiday cards, birthday cards, and notes for assisted living facilities, children hospital wards, or meals on wheels.

Donate old eye glasses to an organization or place that recycles them for the needy.

Collect old stuffed animals and dolls, clean them up, repair and then donate them.

Collect old clothes and donate them for a dress-up area at a daycare or family shelter.

Make a holiday basket for someone in need or crisis.

Write letters to service men/women.

Put together a care-package for service men/women.  

Form a litter patrol on school or park ground.

In December contact a tree farm or nursery about donating a Christmas tree to a needy family, shelter or nursing home.



• Have kids practice reading a book and read it to a younger child who needs help learning how to read; a senior citizen who will benefit from companionship or a child in a special needs classroom in your school who is learning to read.

Make a book on tape to contribute a local daycare center--or pediatric patients.

Have youth read a book that will teach them how to do something to help others and then do it! Examples: building a birdhouse, making toys for animals at the animal shelter, or planting a garden).

Read a newspaper to an elderly person who can no longer read the small print.
Adapted from Rahima Wade, service-learning instructor at the University of Iowa.


♥  BOOKMARKS for your school or hometown library
Make some pretty bookmarks; leave them in a basket on the library counter for other students to take one when they check out books. (Making Bookmarks page here...)

Establish a PEN PAL PROJECT with senior citizens in a nursing home; children in a local hospital, or children in another country.

♥  Hold a USED BOOK SALE after school, or on an evening or Saturday at the school or the local library. Publicize the event to the school and local community. Donate collected funds to to a worthy cause. 

A book drive can also be organized to collect new-- and excellent condition used books-- FOR CHILDREN WHO DO NOT HAVE ACCESS to many books (poverty or disaster areas in the U.S., other countries, a local Head Start or homeless shelter). 

You can also
visit the "First Book" website for ideas for book related community service activities such as "Speed Read"...


Suggestions Include:

•Books - activity books, board books, human body books, pop-up books, I Spy/Look-A-Likes/Where's Waldo books, talking books, Spanish books, vinyl books (new or gently used only)

Small Plush animals (brand new only)

Bubbles and flavored bubbles

Lullaby music, sing-a-long music (Raffi, Wee Sing, Pooh Corner, Spanish language, "Transitions" by Placenta Music, Inc.

Chapstick (variety of flavors)

Clear plastic shoebox size containers for craft storage and organization

Colored pencils

Decks of playing cards - regular

Gel pen sets

Gift cards for special event planning (Michael's, Target, Toys R Us, Blockbuster, and grocery stores for food activities)

Hair care items (brushes, big tooth combs, No More Tangles, pony tail holders, hair clips)

Koosh balls

Nail polish (individually wrapped & new) and nail stickers

Party packs of Play-Doh

Rattles (plastic only)

Uno cards

Word search books

Mad Lib books



8 yr old triplets, Carly, Brian and Kailee delivered 5 wagons of toys and gift cards to Miami Children's Hospital on June 3, 2009. The toy drive was organized by young Kailee and her 2nd grade class at American Heritage School in Delray and through community sponsors.



.....Kids love fun Band-Aids
! Any kind of fun bandage is fine, but Band-Aid, Curad and Nexcare are some of the best. Current favorites are Scooby Doo, Sponge Bob, Dora the Explorer, Spiderman, and Batman. Latex-free Band-Aids are helpful. 

Make Handmade Blankets for Hospitals - various sizes for infants, children and teens - fleece blankets preferred.

.....Kids in the hospital use lots of art supplies!  Children use Crayola crayons (small packs of 4 or 8 crayons work best), Crayola markers (bold, thin, washable, Color Wonder), Crayola colored pencils and construction paper. All supplies must be new.




This is something to share with  parents, childcare providers,and educators!
Alex passed away from Cancer at the age of eight--however share her vision and give children the opportunity to engage in hosting an Alex's Lemonade Stand event.
This is a project that kids, parents and educators can register on their own and receive resources and materials for the event. The Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation has raised over $50 million dollars since Alex's initial stand-- much of this money comes from kids who hold stands in her honor.

More information can be found on the homepage, or specifically for children on the Kid's Corner page.




1. Collect and donate items on animal organizations' wish lists: Example: Paper towels, dried dog food, milk substitute, portable cages, blankets and towels, cleansers, and food bowls.

2. Raise money
for homeless pets or sick, injured, and orphaned wildlife-- by collecting coins.

3. Sponsor a walk-athon, bowl-athon, read-athon, etc. backed by pledges. Donate to local shelters or animal organizations.

4. The following ideas are taken from the 'Kindness Category'...

• Make a birdbath from a plastic dish and put it in your yard or on the windowsill. Keep it filled with water.
• Maintain water bowls during cold months for both migrating and local birds. Make birdseed available as well.
• Notify authorities immediately about pets left in hot cars. You may save a life.
• Talk to younger children about why catching wild creatures such as frogs and turtles is not a good idea. Remind them that wild animals need to stay wild and free.
• Offer to wash a neighbor's dog.
• Make nutritional treats for dogs and cats, and give them to neighbors for their pets. Make extra for animal shelters.

5. HELP THE PLIGHT OF ASIAN 'MOON' BEARS! For ideas visit the Kids' Page at AnimalsAsia...Animal Asia has extensive list ideas for children and teachers.

There is information regarding...
What is a Moon Bear; Why do Moon Bears need help; What is the 'Bear Rescue'; How to help; Info for Teachers; Games and Quizzes; Downloads.
Spend some time in different areas of the site and learn about the plight of Asian Bears and how we can help.

6. ADOPT A BEAR or lion, tiger, whale, or other animal. Many zoos, aquariums, and animal sea habitats have adoption programs. In exchange for financial support, you often get a photo and biography of your new adoptee.

7. ADOPT A POLAR BEAR,  PANDA or one of many other animals.
Visit World Wildlife Fund; donations start at $25.00 (Donations are used in general support of WWF's efforts around the world. 82 cents of every donated dollar goes toward conservation. WWF has been recognized by Charity Navigator, and meets the BBB Wise Giving Alliance's Standards for Charity Accountability.)



Great for grades 4 to 8...
Instead of bringing a present to the party, ask your guests to bring a bag of dog food, cat food, treats or pet toys.  Head out to your local animal shelter (make sure to call ahead first and set up a good time!) and give the food, treats and toys to the shelter. Some shelters will let older kids walk and feed the dogs/cats, clean out cages and bathe the animals. Make sure to meet with the shelter management before you go so they will be expecting you.

The idea is still good--even without the guests visiting  the shelter...


Do Things for SENIOR CITIZENS...

♥  Pet Therapy is a great project for brightening the day of nursing home residents who may not get much company. Set up a visit with your local nursing home and simply take your pets along for the residents to enjoy. It offers them some great company and a cuddly, affectionate cat, dog or other friendly animal to pet.

♥  Intergenerational Idea! PLAY CARDS
Visit a retirement /assisted living home and have senior citizens teach the kids card games! Maybe the children can also teach them a game or two!
Ideas: Black Jack, gin rummy, Hearts, Double Solitaire, Poker, etc. There is a difference in the games that our senior generation has played compared to the youth of today! Our kids can learm marbles, jacks, hop-scotch, cat-in-the cradle, etc...Bringing cookies or some other snack that the kids have made, would be an extra treat to share!

♥  Visit an assisted Living home and play the above card or board games, perform a skit or sing some songs. This can be  arranged for an evening or week-end visit.

♥  Explore history and spend time with an assisted facility resident and interview them about how they grew up.



Does your program have a SWAT TEAM?

SWAT stands for Students Who Assist Teachers. SWAT members help students, staff, and parents before and after school and during special events.

  • These students receive training in matters such as courteous greetings, assisting others, and maintaining a safe environment.
  • One school (Deer Park Elementary in Texas) believes this is instrumental in helping promote an atmosphere that is orderly and friendly in their school. This is different than the school safety team. SWAT is something your program could provide and then have members offer their services for school functions.



One program had a service-learning club in an after-school program year with grades K-5...One of the favorite ideas for the younger students was... CUSTODIAN APPRECIATION

They decided that they wanted to thank the custodians, because they saw that they had a "messy" job to clean up the lunchroom everyday, and they thought that was hard work.
They went to see custodians doing their work before and after school
the students had fun looking at the floor polishing machines and the other "tools of the trade" up close, and talked about what they did everyday.
- Children talked about all the people who help keep the school "running;"

They took digital photographs of all the custodians, then made thank you posters that were put in the lunchroom and hallways. The students then decided to do the same for the secretary and office staff. First, make appointments with the custodians to learn about them and their jobs.
       Adapted from: (This is also a great "Building Bridges activity!)


♥ Start a kids club through Points of Life foundation: Kids Care Week is celebrated the third week of October.
This is a club where groups of young people work together to help others in their community and around the world. In the U. S. there are 1800 registered clubs.


A 'PENNY HARVEST' (Learning Activity and Community Service in one!)
Each child is asked to bring 100 pennies that they harvest up from the loose change at home.

• Students estimate how much 100 pennies would weigh.
How high they can stack 100 pennies.
How many pennies it would take to outline a child.
What the grand total amount would be of the pennies.
Find your birth year on a penny.
When done with the activities, donate ALL the pennies the students collected to a local charity.




  • From Pencil Project Website: We are always looking for individuals, families, school, church or community minded groups to get involved. We match you up with a needy school that will benefit directly from the pencils you collect. We generally like to deal with one contact person/coordinator and will be responsible for getting you all the information that you need. You are responsible for setting your own goals and the time frame in which you will complete them.
    If you are a school/orphanage in need of pencils, please send us your school name, address, contact person and estimated number of students. We will be happy to connect you with a group that is eager to help you! Click here 


 OLD SHOES: Put out notices and containers—and start collecting!!!
Ever thrown out a pair of worn-out athletic shoes? Did you know that IT TAKES ABOUT 1,000 YEARS for those sneakers to biodegrade? Wondering what to do with the ones you've already got? RECYCLE THEM.
Every year, millions of pairs of athletic shoes are thrown away, not only wasting landfill space, but wasting tons of reusable material. Since 1993 Nike has been running a program called Reuse-a-Shoe. So far they've used 24 million pairs of athletic shoes to create sports surfaces. It’s part of the "Let Me Play" campaign, one of Nike’s longest-running environmental and community programs, where worn-out athletic shoes of any brand are collected, processed and recycled into material USED IN SPORT SURFACES like basketball courts, tennis courts, athletic fields, running tracks and playgrounds for young people around the world.

For information visit their website. To keep recycling equipment running smoothly, there are guidelines:

  • Athletic shoes only (any brand)
  • No shoes containing metal
  • No cleats or dress shoes
  • No wet or damp shoes


Remember Service men and women ALL YEAR LONG---not just before the holidays!
There are three pages of suggestions for care packages at the adopt a platoon website.
They are listed by categories of:

  • Canned Items
  • Condiments
  • Ground Coffee / Tea / Hot Chocolate
  • Microwavable Foods 
  • Powdered Drink Mix Singles 
  • Snacking Foods 
  • Items for Men 
  • Items for Women 
  • Clothing 

Include drawings, cards and wishes...



TWENTY GRAINS OF RICE---World Food Hunger Program  Using the internet children can donate 20 grains of rice to the WORLD FOOD HUNGER PROGRAMIf your program has access to a computer and the Internet, introduce the children to the idea. Click here This Web site offers an English multiple-choice vocabulary test. For each word defined correctly, 20 grains of rice are donated through the United Nations World Food Program to help end hunger.To date--over 66 Billion grains have been donated!!!!


Each year Oct. 16 is WORLD FOOD DAY--however--- Food Drives are needed ALL YEAR LONG!

Talk with children in your program (or home) about world hunger and consider hosting or donating to a food drive for a food bank in your community. To find a food bank near you, click hereIncrease awareness of world hunger and take steps to combat it. 

• Establish a length of time for the food drive and have the youth in your program make posters to hang around program site to promote the food drive.

•Ask parents to get involved by helping transport the food from your site to the food bank.

FOOD DRIVE Example...
Students at Wadewitz Elementary in Racine, Wis., collected 1,000 pounds of food last December for the Holy Communion Lutheran Church food pantry. Adding some motivation...when the student body met their goal, the PTA vice president Gretchen Berthiaume and a student volunteer had their heads shaved during a school assembly.



Looking for a fun way to raise money for your favorite charity?

Hold a "PIE IN THE FACE" competition ... whatever class raises the most money gets to throw a pie in the face of the principle, teacher, etc.! The kids will love it!


This is a fun 'Community" idea for the month of April! 'EARTH DAY' GROCERIES PROJECT
Four Simple Steps

1. Borrow. Contact a local grocery store that uses large paper grocery bags. See if the manager will let you "borrow" enough bags so that each student in your school can decorate one. Let the manager know about the project and its environmental education message, of course! Grocers usually get these bags in "bundles" of 500.
2. Decorate.
Have students at school decorate the bags with pictures of the earth, environmental messages, the name of your school, etc. Be creative! DO NOT allow students to write their last names on any bags.
3. Deliver.
A couple of days before Earth Day you and/or your students return the decorated bags to the grocery store - with many thanks to the manager! The store then distributes these bags (full of groceries) to happy and amazed shoppers on Earth Day.
4. Report. Fill out the Report Form on the project web site with a count of how many bags your school made. Please, only one report per school. All reports will be posted on the
Earth Day Groceries site

You do not need to sign up or register, just have a great time with the project! For more information, check the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions). Another Idea: If you can't use paper bags, you can have students decorate individual fliers, or even bookmarks, which can be handed out to shoppers or inserted in their shopping bags. These will be counted in the project tally, so do send in your report!
This is a great idea, even if you do it on your own!



• Ride a bike or walk to school.
Use last year's school supplies.
Buy a canvas and cardboard binders instead of plastic.
Buy recycled paper.
Use reusable water bottles instead of plastic.
Use a lunch box, not paper bags.
Donate last year's clothes instead of throwing them away.
Buy online to avoid driving.
Buy organic food.
Turn your computer off when you're not using it.
Decorate your lunchbox.
Make your own bookmarks.
Organize a clothes swap with your friends.
Carpool to sports.
Use refillable pens and pencils.
Reuse your backpack. Decorate it with cool patches.
Tips from NationalGeographic




Here's a 'cool' summer/warm weather service idea!
Collect pennies and then provide popsicles for a kids' homeless shelter. They'll love it!
One program collected 19,447 pennies. A lot of popsicles!




MAKE WARM SCARVES: This is a craft that requires only the fleece fabric & a good pair of scissors!  Make warm scarves by buying lengths of micro-fleece and simply cutting them into strips. The end is then cut into fringe. The fleece does NOT unravel so does not need any sewing.

It is available in unlimited colors and prints. All you need is approximately 8 to 10 inches wide by 3-5 feet in length (shorter or longer depending upon your preference). You can knot fringe pieces together, two by two, so that all of the fringes are knotted. If desired, slide beads (as in photo) onto the fringe and tie another knot, for added embellishment. (Anonymously submitted)



If you decide to participate in buying HOLIDAY PRESENTS for someone less fortunate, let children decide what to buy. Set a dollar limit, so it is a good challenge for your children to use the money wisely.

Whatever 'giving-back' path you decide, adults also should be committed to serving others and willing to work alongside youth. This sends the message that adults are not only encouraging, but are proud to support the same charities kids believe in. Focus on reinforcing a child's compassion for others is a key to helping them become caring adults.


Students at Granger Elementary in Medina, Ohio, made the holidays brighter for patients at Akron Children's Hospital. For the PTO's Giving in Granger service project, Pre-K through 5th graders donated more than 200 new teddy bears and other stuffed animals last December. Cards handmade by students at the PTO's Santa Shop were attached to each toy.


IN a tree farm or nursery about donating a Christmas tree to a needy family, shelter or nursing home.


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This is only a portion of ideas. Please see all other Community Service Categories...

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Community Service: Middle and High School Kids

July 16, 2009 02:47 by Barbara Shelby


Page 3...

When looking for activities to do with older youth, hopefully Community Service will be at the top of the list!

Working together, kids learn to solve problems and make decisions and successfully contribute to their community. They connect local concerns with global issues and gain an awareness of others. All this will serve them now and years later as they transition out of school and into the adult world!




A VARIETY OF ACTIVITIES for older youth...

  • Set up a Help-O-Meter to keep track of the number of hours youth in your program volunteer.

  • Make a gift for the secretary of a non-profit organization.

  • Take photos during an event and donate them to the event organizers.

  • Design a campaign to promote tolerance and understanding of differences.

  • Volunteer at a health fair.

  • Volunteer as a counselor at local summer camp.

  • Volunteer to do office work at a local non-profit agency.

  • Volunteer to lead a club or share a talent by teaching a class for younger kids.

  • Run or walk in a charity race with friends.

  • Volunteer to help at charity auctions.

  • Take a life saving class.

  • Create a play that teaches young children how to stay safe at home.

  • If you're good at fixing bikes, volunteer to teach others how to fix their bikes.

  • Organize a drug free pledge campaign. CONSIDER ADAPTING THIS TO YOUR PROGRAMS...



Pet Therapy is a great project for brightening the day of nursing home residents who may not get much company. Set up a visit with your local nursing home and simply take your pets along for the residents to enjoy. It offers them some great company and a cuddly, affectionate cat, dog or other friendly animal to pet.


 What can Middle and High School youth do for Homeless Shelters?

  • Assist in a shelter day-care room - taking care of children while parents look for jobs. 
  • Make first aid kits for homeless shelters. 
  •  Set up a Saturday Reading Hour where you visit a homeless shelter once a month, bringing books to share and leave behind
  • Help cook and/or serve a meal at homeless shelter. 
  • Gather clothing from your neighbors and donate it to a local shelter. 
  • Make "I Care" kits with combs, toothbrushes, shampoo, etc. for homeless people. 
  • Make a care package with mittens, socks, T-shirts, etc. for a child at a homeless shelter. 
  • Clip coupons and give them at your local food pantry or homeless shelter. 
  • Pack and hand out food at a food bank. 
  • Organize a neighborhood group to plant, tend and harvest a vegetable garden; donate the produce to a food bank. 
  • Sponsor a food drive at your school or parent's workplace or business. 
  • Bake a batch of cookies and deliver them to a soup kitchen or homeless shelter. 
  • Raid your closet and attic to find toys and clothes to donate to a homeless shelter. 
  • Assist with sorting and organizing items donated to a homeless shelter. .....Assist in a shelter day-care room, taking care of children while parents look for jobs. 
  • Collect items to deliver to homeless shelters (blankets, sheets, towels, toys, books, disposable diapers.) 
  • Become a Big Buddy for one or more of the children at the homeless shelter.



Too old for child care and too young to work! When youth "age out" of a school-age care summer program, these 13-15 year olds may be left home alone for the long summer days. One win-win solution: create a YOUTH VOLUNTEER STAFF PROGRAM that offers a safe, familiar place where teens can offer assistance while working alongside their friends.

The AppleCorps program, a program for 13-15 year olds created by the Applewood Learning Center in New Hampshire, is profiled in the March/April 2008 issue of Exchange Magazine.

Created during a campaign to make the center more family friendly, teens volunteer in the program and parents/families pay a minimal fee to cover the cost of uniform shirts. Youth must complete a written application, attend an orientation session, meet with the Head Teachers and agree to be assigned to a classroom without their friends so that their primary focus is on the children. Teen responsibilities include reading to children, participating in activities, comforting upset children, preparing snacks, organizing library spaces and emptying recycling bins.

An office was created for the AppleCorps volunteers where they can take breaks and organize their work. Youth also participate in center-wide jobs in the afternoon so that they can "hang out" together.

Volunteer opportunities at the program have now expanded to include GrandApples for grandparents of enrolled children.
From schoolagenote of the day...May 12-08


Remember...ALL IDEAS IN THE Community Service Project Ideas for all Ages!  CATEGORY-- ARE GREAT FOR MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL!  Be sure to check it out!


 MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL: Ideas from 'Real Programs'

  1.) A Service-Learning Project Example: Mentoring/Tutoring

School is an introduction to the greater world in so many ways, including how to bridge age and cultural differences. One group of 7th and 8th graders collaborated with 1st graders in an ongoing, multi-faceted project to do just that.

Following a comprehensive training on communication, tutoring, and group work, the 7th and 8th graders began to work extensively with 1st graders in their district. The older students studied a variety of world cultures, then designed and facilitated presentations and activities for the younger students during such observations as Asian New Year, Cinco de Mayo, and Earth Day.

For their part, the 1st graders learned numbers and basic greetings in several languages and taught these to the older students. Both groups also participated in longer term efforts such as peer tutoring.

As they progressed through their project, all the students involved worked to develop and maintain a resource file. They stored copies of their research, activity plans, and contacts from which community members could draw. Adapted from Route to Reform: K-8 service-learning Curriculum Ideas, © 1994-95 National Youth Leadership Council.


A Service-Learning Project -Apropriate for Grades: 6 to 12
Took place in the State of Minnesota

Acceptance is key in the fight against HIV and AIDS. One group realized this after reading a book about pandemics and society's negative views of the infected. The students formed groups to determine ways of counteracting harassment within their school. The strategies they developed and executed included public service announcements, policy meetings with school officials, a proposal for "safe school guidelines," and a teach-in featuring music and poetry about tolerance among teens.

Post-service reflection included the students writing and conducting a survey to learn whether their efforts were effective.
Adapted from "The Complete Guide to Service-Learning," Copyright 2004 Cathryn Berger Kaye.


FREE OIL CHANGES...(This could be a project involving the entire school and facilitated by the out-of-school time program!)
Students of Delton-Kellogg High School (DKHS) in Michigan have been working together to serve their community---particularly the low-income residents, with needed car maintenance and free oil changes.


An estimated 300+ students were involved in this service-learning project to provide 50 free oil changes to those who might not otherwise be able to afford it. More experienced students from the auto-shop class paired up with first year students, under the supervision of the instructor to change oil, replace oil filters, top-off fluids and make referrals for any additional car maintenance.

 National Honor Society students  helped screen potential recipients and record the necessary information so appointments can be made. Other student volunteers were on hand to help entertain younger kids and keep them away from dangerous tools and chemicals.

Business class students helped in contacting local area businesses to solicit donated items such as car-care merchandise and food-related items that can be given to customers. Journalism students were involved in pre-event and post-event article writing and contact newspapers.


A Service-Learning Project
Appropriate  to Grade 12
Types of Project: Environmental
Took place in State of Michigan

A celebration of Earth Day became a sustained commitment to caring for a rainforest.
To better understand tropical plants and their connections with society, the youth did research in small groups, then drew or constructed models of plants, transforming their room into a model rain forest. During their research, the students discovered they could adopt acres of the real rain forest to help preserve it, and calculated how much money they needed to do this.

The students maintained their obligation to the environment in their fund-raising efforts. They created and presented, to parents and other classes, a program on dangers facing rain forests. They charged each person who attended an empty pop can, which they recycled for money to purchase sections of rain forest.

As a follow-up to their presentation, the students wrote, illustrated, and bound their own story books about rain forests. They donated the books to local doctors' offices, schools, and libraries so that the community could continue to learn about this important resource.

Adapted from "Route to Reform: K-8 service-learning Curriculum Ideas," © 1994-95 National Youth Leadership Council.


Grades: 6-8
Took Place in Massachusetts

This would be a great 'Service' activity for a classroom or middle school after-school project!

A middle school's formal student handbook didn't fully meet students' needs. Missing from the list of rules, regulations, and procedures was a STUDENT PERSPECTIVE on adjusting to a new school.

Seventh graders felt that incoming students needed a kid-friendly handbook, written in easy-to-understand language, to supplement the formal handbook. They used the formal handbook as a resource to ensure the accuracy of essential information and designed a brainstorming exercise to determine which additional topics they would offer in the student-generated version.

Students self-selected their roles as writers, typists, artists, interviewers, organizers, layout designers, and investigators. They took their responsibilities seriously, and demonstrated their commitment to the project by sharing and helping each other to achieve the common goal of a kid-friendly handbook.

The student-generated handbook addresses new-student concerns such as which bathrooms to use, what's "cool" and what's not, and how to fit in. The guidance department now distributes it to all incoming students.

Adapted from "Community Lessons: Integrating Service-Learning Into K-12 Curriculum," 2001, Massachusetts Department of Education, Massachusetts Service Alliance, and Learn and Serve America.



At the time of this writing, youth from bay area schools in Valrico, Florida have gathered for four years  to bring awareness to the plight of homeless youth. Around 50 young people are estimated to participate in the 24-hour homeless simulation where they will sleep in cardboard boxes and also assemble backpacks and food packs to be donated for youth who are homeless.

Participating youth learn about issues surrounding homelessness and use banners and posters to share that information with passing cars and visitors to their "cardboard" shelters. This event is organized by all youth and is open to all youth.


A Service-Learning Project
Grades: 6 and up.... 

Types of Project: Public Art, Community Building/Development
Took place in Michigan 

Though their playground was filled slides, swings, and jungle gyms, 6th-grade students felt something important was missing: picnic tables. There was no place outside for students to relax and talk, eat their snacks, or play board games. 

In art class, the students drew a map of their playground and considered places to put picnic tables. They studied various types of trees in science class and chose the best wood for outdoor tables. The students then raised money to buy materials, recording and graphing their fund-raising progress until they had enough for four tables. 

Adults ran the power tools, but the students led every other part of construction, from writing, reading, and understanding instructions to measuring and hauling wooden planks. They maintained the tables for the rest of the academic year, and passed this responsibility on to the next group of students, solidifying long-lasting student involvement. 

In a relatively short time, these youths provided their school with a tangible contribution that would not only benefit them but future students for years to come. 

Adapted from "Route to Reform: K-8 service-learning Curriculum Ideas,":1994-95 National Youth Leadership Council. 



CHECK OUT THE "NO-CUSSING" CLUB! Yes, this can be considered a community service! Have you ever walked behind a group of kids-where every other word was a four letter word? Just a nice thing to do...



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