10-second review: Step-by-step model of how to plan a service-learning project.
Title: “Making the Switch: Light Bulbs, Literacy and Service-Learning.” LA Chiaravalleti. Voices from the Middle (September 2009), 24-33.
Steps in planning a service-learning project:
.Choose a “do-able” project (start small).
.Generate school/community support for the project before the kids become invested.
.Establish clear goals for academic and social/emotional growth, as well as project outcomes.
.Plan ahead; adjust your schedule to accommodate your project.
.Establish a sense of purpose for the students (let them ‘own’ the project).
.Team up with other teachers if possible.
.Build in common planning time to reflect, regroup and plan the next steps.
.Get parents involved: send home a letter listing your needs.
.Make media contacts early and often.
.Plan to get the students into the community as much as possible.
Comment: As you can see, if you reflect in each of these planning steps, this is no slap-dash, feel-good activity. It will take a lot of work. RayS.