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Service Learning Projects

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Trying to tie your curriculum into real life applications that your students can learn from? Help your students make a difference in their community with a service learning project.
Service Learning Project Ideas
Posted by:MITeach #115802

All 5th graders at our school are required to do a service learning project, write a reflection on it, and present it orally, using a visual aid.

Some ideas might be:
-having a collection at school for a community charity (food bank, humane society, veteran's hospital, etc.)
-doing a school beautification project (picking up debris or planting flowers)
-making cards for a local hospital or nursing home (works really well around holidays like Christmas and Valentine's Day)
-making and delivering stories, poems, or cards to a local nursing home
-sponsoring a school-wide penny drive for a charity of their choice


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Service Learning Projects
Posted by:vateacher #115811

We've:
collected coins for united way/american red cross/other charitable things
collected winter clothing for shelters
collected books for shelters/orphanages
collected school supplies/books for students at a local school that burned down
written letters to verteran hospitals and nursing homes
collected canned food for the food bank
put together care packages for the military in iraq and afghanistan

The military is a huge part of the area in which I live. Every child is either in a military family of probably has a neighbor who is military so we try to make it meaningful for the students. Letting the students help select a project will make it even more meaningful for them. Good luck!:s)



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Community Service
Posted by:emg123 #115832

I've done a coat drive. There was a dry cleaner that cleaned the coats for free. The kids collected, sorted, and bagged the coats. We put an article in the local paper. Included was a picture with the mountains of coats in back of the kids!

The kids have also made lunches for a local homeless shelter. They decorated the lunch bags and then filled them with sandwiches, chips, juice box and a cookie. This is a year long program with a different class doing it each month.

Our school does a food drive for the local food bank.

Kids in my school visit a nursing home and make valentines with the residents. They sing songs and have lunch together.

Every year my class "adopts" a child during holiday time. The kids do chores at home to make money. The...

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Service Learning Projects
Posted by:teach2all #115855

Our first grade students participate in Toys for Tots in December. We have also hooked up with the local Meals on Wheels and once a month our students make a craft to send with the meals.

We've done "Bunny Baskets" with our local united way. They give us a list of items for elderly shut-ins in the area and our students bring in the items to be put in large baskets to be delivered around Easter. One of our students had a grandparent who received a basket a few years ago and we got a great thank you letter from her.

The SPCA is always looking for dog and cat food donations. The list can be endless and the children love to help others.


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Pennies for Patients
Posted by:shopperc #143028

I live in Minnesota and I think this is a MN based organization, but you could do it for any type of donation. We collect coins. We choose one week during the school year and Mondays we collect pennies, Tues = nickels, Wed = dimes, Thurs = quarters, Friday = mixed change. The class that collects the most money gets a pizza party. Also whichever class collects the most pennies gets something, the most dimes, etc. We have a graph up in the hallway showing which grade level has collected the most so far. It is so great to use as a math lesson all week long too.

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Community Service Projects
Posted by:sk #143029

Collecting unused makeup, moisturisers, soaps etc to make care packs for abused womens centers

Collecting old toys etc for children's ward in hospitals or abused womens centers

Ideas that are also not related to collections are good as parents can often get 'over-asked'.

How about tree planting, rubbish clean ups, other local environmental issues that the children could be working towards, reading to elderly or young children, visiting retirement homes to sing, planting a vegetable garden and donating the veges to local food banks, shelving books in libraries, painting over graffitti etc.

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Community Service
Posted by:mamahawk #143030

Our kids make lunch for community workers. The younger kids decorate lunch bags and the older ones make sandwiches, etc. All grades (120 K-8 kids in school) make cards or contribute in some way. The lunches get delivered by the kids to the local police station, jail, firestation, post office, etc. which are all within walking distance of the school. Kids decide where the lunches should go. We have a military base nearby and some kids delivered lunches to the flightline crew. Great community relations project and all levels of school get to participate.

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Service Learning Projects
Posted by:Tracy #20504

During college I was required to include a Service Learning Project each term. These are some that I and fellow classmates did.

Contact your local Burea of Land Management and help plant trees in the local area. They even went as far as digging the holes, leaving a marker for each child to put their name on it, and laid each tree right by the spot it was to go in.

Another idea is to go to a local grocey store and ask for some large paper bags for your class to decorate. Have the kids decorate them with slogans and pictures about recycling. Then take them back to the store for them to use for the customers. This gives each customer a one of a kind bag and gets the message out about recycling.

Here is one more, have your students decorate a 16" X 16" fabric square with the...

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Teen Leadership (jr. high) teacher
Posted by:cbaird #143031

My Teen Leadership class in the Houston, Texas area promotes a "Pay it Forward" week. (idea from movie, a must see!) We purchase ribbon (1"), paint, and small safety pins. We spend several weeks cutting ribbons into approx. 5 inch long strips. Then we paint a word students choose on ribbon. We have used positive words like "awesome" and "smile". We print out a small paper giving directions to kids once we tag them. (Example: YOu have been tagged as "awesome"! We ask that you PAY IT FORWARD and let 3 other people know they are awesome. You can purchase 3 tags during lunch this week for 10cents. YOu may only purchase one time and you must be wearing a tag to purchase a tag. We ask that you wear your tag all week and let's see how something awesome can spread thru out our school)

Project begins when I give...

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5th grade ideas
Posted by:Kacie #143032

We do a "Giving Tree" each holiday season. I place a lighted tree in my classroom and my students bring in needed clothing for the approaching cold winter. They bring in gloves, mittens, hats, stockings, scarves, and so on. They get to decorate the tree with the donated items. The items are then donated to Social Services or even taken to families in the school that may need them. My students enjoy this one a lot.

We have also created items for local retirement communities and nursing homes. Every other week my students make "Thinking of You" cards, write poems, or even create stories. Then we make a craft to go with them. I deliver them on Friday afternoons to start their weekend off right. Later in the year we plan to sing to them in December and then they are invited to our...

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Service Learning
Posted by:Margaret916 #130912

Spend some time talking about the homeless shelter or the food pantry or the local soldiers that are away -- and instead of a $5 gift or other junk to have around the house, each brings something to put under a little tree that on the last day before the holidays you'll wrap up in a big box to take as a donation. It is a great feeling to start early with the kids....and most parents encourage and are pleased with the process!

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Re: Service Club Ideas
Posted by:bellringer #127527

When I saw your post, I just had to respond. This year I decided to have my 2nd graders have a monthly service project. We may collect items or money to be donated to (mostly) local causes. I debated as to how to give my students "ownership" in the collection, rather than just having Mom/Dad purchase the item. I decided to ask the parents to have the child "earn" the item or the money, maybe by performing an extra chore. Here is what I have come up with so far:

Possible items to collect: (have students “work” at home to earn the item)
shoes
books
pencils
crayons
toothpaste/toothbrushes
soup
socks
soap
toys
stuffed animals
mittens
peanut butter (peanut butter month)
pasta (pasta month)
gift baskets for seniors
shampoo
lotion

Raise money for:
Heifer Project “Read to Feed”
Compassionate Friends “Walk to Remember”

Donate items...

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service projects
Posted by:mab #117401

Our middle school and high school get involved with this one afternoon every October. It takes a lot of coordination, but is a wonderful service project. They go and wash windows, rake leaves, clean gutters, paint, mend, repair, trim, clean anything you can think of! They announce it about a month before and it's in the paper. All you had to do to have someone come and help you with a job that needed to be done is call the school offices and they would take your name and address and the job and find out any necessary info. Teachers, staff, and volunteers help supervise. It's a wonderful way to impress upon teens that they are needed, too! :s)

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Service Project
Posted by:Allison #75883

Pencils at my school cost a quarter, and I realized how many of my students bought at least one pencil every week. So I got the idea of getting every first grader in the school (around 90) to contribute one quarter (many donated more than that). We used the money to buy holiday gifts for a local nursing home. We delivered the gifts after school and sang some Christmas carols before we left. The students also made greeting cards to give to the residents. Every student was able to participate in one way or another in this project.

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Service Project Ideas
Posted by:Jennie #63569

My third graders do service projects quarterly. Here are examples of projects we have completed in the past:

"Change For a Change" - collection of change for American Red Cross
"Hats for the Habitat" - all students paid one dollar to wear a hat to school all day, with all funds being given to Habitat for Humanity
"Caps for the Cure" - same idea of wearing a hat to school except funds were given to the March of Dimes
Other non-named projects include:
caroling at local nursing home
collection of canned foods for local food bank
collection of diapers for needy infants in area



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Service project
Posted by:Carol #74038

I don't know how much time you have, but each year my second grade class participates in the St. Jude's Mathathon to raise money for seriously ill children. This is a very worthwhile project and the children get a sense of importance knowing that they helped make a child their own age get healthy. You can probably visit their website for more information.


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