10-second review: A list of service-learning projects. The key is to learn communication skills while engaged in service-learning. The author provides a planning guide and some disappointing suggestions for useful skills to be learned during the projects. I suggest that readers note the types of projects and brainstorm their own list of suggested academic skills.
Title: “Service-Learning: Using the Language Arts to Make a Difference.” Nancy Shenkin. Voices from the Middle (September 2009), 41-43.
List of suggested service-learning projects:
.Collect food and deliver it to a shelter.
.Prepare a meal or make blankets for a shelter.
.Gather coats or toys for those in need.
.Raise donations and plant a garden or trees.
.Start a recycling or other green project.
.Start a paperback book swap for the whole school, including parents.
.Read to write to, or perform for people in a nursing home.
.Read or write with younger children.
.Help younger children to publish their own texts and learn to read them.
.Write letters to soldiers and gather care packages.
.Sponsor an event (run/walk, talent show, poetry slam, reading….) and donate the money for _______,
Comment: I still believe careful thought needs to be given to planning the service-learning project and the skills to be learned in performing the service-learning project. You need two sets of goals—for the academic skills and for the service-learning project. RayS.