Youth volunteers throughout Arkansas continue to address critical community needs in innovative and creative ways. Not only do communities benefit from the power of youth volunteers, but youth also benefit from volunteering. Research on youth volunteer and service-learning programs indicates that youth volunteerism results in communication and teamwork skills, project planning and leadership experience, greater awareness of career options, and improved academic performance.
Whether you give your time because you are passionate about a cause or to build your skills and experience, volunteering is guaranteed to open new doors and create good in your community. As we grow this network, we hope to provide resources for youth involved in volunteering, teachers that utilize service-learning activities, and youth-serving organizations.
What is service-learning?
Service-learning is a method of teaching that allows students to take the knowledge they are learning in a classroom and apply it in the real world through volunteer service projects. It is a powerful tool that's useable in many contexts, such as academic classrooms, afterschool programs, youth-specific volunteer programs, and civic and educational clubs like 4-H and scouts.
YOUTH PARTICIPATION IN HIGH-QUALITY SERVICE-LEARNING LINKS TO:
- Greater engagement in school
- Improved grade point average (GPA)
- Avoidance of risk behaviors such as smoking and alcohol use
- Feelings of empowerment to take on leadership roles
- Greater acceptance of cultural diversity
- Growth in skills for project planning and implementation
- Awareness of community needs
- Higher intentions to vote
- Awareness of career options
- Development of positive work skills and attitudes
What is the history of service-learning?
Act 648 of 1993: Community Service Learning
Legislation passed in 1993, Act 648 allows a secondary student who has completed a minimum of seventy-five (75) clock hours of documented community service-learning, as certified by the service organization to the school, to be eligible to receive one (1) academic credit that may be applied toward graduation. The Arkansas State Board of Education is the authorized agent to promulgate rules and regulations necessary for implementation of Act 648 of 1993.
The Arkansas State Board of Education provides guidance and support for Districts implementing Community Service Learning. Learn more here.