What is Service Learning?  • Kid2Kid As Service Learning  • Benefits of Service Learning

What is Service Learning?

“Service-learning combines service to the community with student learning in a way that improves both the student and the community.”
– Corporation for National Service (CNS): About Learn & Serve : Service-Learning.

Following is a comprehensive description of service learning as outlined by the National Service Learning Clearinghouse.

“Service learning combines service objectives with learning objectives with the intent that the activity change both the recipient and the provider of the service. This is accomplished by combining service tasks with structured opportunities that link the task to self-reflection, self-discovery, and the acquisition and comprehension of values, skills, and knowledge content.”

Service learning projects:

  1. Cultivate compassion and a sense of concern for others;
  2. Are reciprocal, benefiting all participants;
  3. Can be integrated into the regular curriculum within any subject area;
  4. Can be implemented with all ages, even young children;
  5. Achieve an academic goal and are linked to academic standards;
  6. Incorporate time for reflection;
  7. Assess student learning and evaluate project effectiveness;
  8. Involve youth in planning;
  9. Engage schools and communities in planning; and
  10. Meet community needs.

Service learning is not:

  • Only a volunteer program;
  • An extra-curricular program;
  • Community service as a graduation requirement or punishment; or
  • Restricted to the local community.

Kid2Kid as Service Learning

Kid2Kid activities and curricula can form the foundation of a service learning project, or may be used to complement a related project. Kid2Kid is service learning on a global scale. With Kid2Kid, students do not have to leave the classroom to provide a valuable service to other children as well as themselves.

Kid2Kid and Service Learning Criteria

The following table illustrates how the Kid2Kid program satisfies the criteria for service learning projects.

Service Learning Projects The Kid2Kid Program
1 Cultivate compassion and a sense of concern for others.
  • Compassion is the cornerstone of Kid2Kid.
  • Kid2Kid students develop skills to empathize with kids who are very different from them in many ways, but share the commonality of what it is like to be a child in this world.
  • 2 Are reciprocal; benefiting all participants.
  • Child victims of war, poverty, natural disasters are in need of acknowledgement and/or support.
  • All children need to learn about diversity appreciation, conflict resolution, empathy and compassion.
  • This is a reciprocal relationship with reciprocal benefits. Each child has something to offer, something to share.
  • 3 Can be integrated into the regular curriculum, with any subject area.
  • Kid2Kid activities (e.g., letter writing and supportive activities) and all the lessons can be integrated into a variety of subject areas.
  • 4 Can be implemented with all ages.
  • Kid2Kid is designed for children ages 6 to 12, in grades K-6, and can be accommodated for older or younger children, as needed.
  • 5 Achieve an academic goal, which can be linked to academic standards.
  • The lessons in the Kid2Kid curriculum include clear academic goals and objectives and are compatible with academic standards.
  • 6 Incorporate time for reflection
  • Kid2Kid lessons are designed to encourage and include time for reflection, introspection and action.
  • 7 Assess student learning and evaluate project effectiveness.
  • Every lesson plan in Kid2Kid has a method for assessment.
  • Kid2Kid engages in ongoing project evaluation.
  • 8 Involve youth in planning.
  • Kid2Kid students are actively involved in the planning of their service learning project.
  • 9 Engage schools and communities in planning.
  • Participating schools and community organizations are invited to contribute to the implementation of Kid2Kid via newsletters, meetings and invitations to community volunteers.
  • 10 Meet community needs.
  • In Kid2Kid the world is a community. Participation in Kid2Kid can help kids appreciate the commonalities among us as well as the differences.
  • Kid2Kid meets local community needs as well, by making Kid2Kid available through community centers and other programs (e.g., Girls and Boys Clubs).
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    Benefits of Service Learning

    “Service learning is growing in popularity because, when implemented effectively, it has a powerful effect on the cognitive and emotional development of children and young people” – Eyler & Gyles, 1999

    Benefits for students:

    • Character Education: Blends components of "character education" with academic content;
    • Civic Responsibility: Establishes habits of involvement in local and global issues;
    • Reflection: Facilitates student reflection on learning which is shown to improve retention;
    • Relevancy: Connects academic content to real world issues and issues relevant to students;
    • Vocational Skills: Provides students with real world experience which, even for young children, can assist in the development of employment related skills;
    • Experiential Learning: Engages students and deepens understanding of content and skills learned; and
    • Teamwork: Helps students develop teamwork and leadership skills.

    Benefits for teachers:

    A major advantage of service learning to an educator is that it can be adapted to meet a variety of needs and has great potential for cross-curricular integration. The teacher will be able to easily integrate service learning into his/her existing instruction.

    For a complete Service Learning Resources Guide please see Teacher’s section/Service Learning.

    Join Us!

    There are many ways to join us–as an individual student, class or group of children, teacher or group leader, volunteer, NGO, or a friend and supporter.

    Membership is free and available to all teachers and group leaders. The benefits to you and your students are substantial! Once you have explored our site please take a moment to consider becoming a Kid2Kid member.

    It’s free!

    To become a member, you, as the teacher or group leader, simply need to register with Kid2Kid.

    Registration is simple. You are registered once you notify us by email that your group of students would like to write letters and/or become involved with one of the groups of kids listed on the site. By registering you help us ensure that all Kid2Kid children are acknowledged.

    We would like to hear from you!

    Need More Information? Contact Kid2Kid

    Program Manager:
    Caroline Austin
    Phone: 510-644-1000,
    Fax: 510-525-4106,or
    E-mail us.

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