From Service-Learning Wiki
Students are commonly acutely aware of environmental issues and have a strong desire to help resolve environmental challenges. Service-learning has proven to be an excellent way for students to be involved, and service-learning projects are often a natural part of Science education and exploration of the natural environment. Environmental service-learning projects are also popular with teachers just beginning with service-learning.
There are many characteristics that contribute to the good fit between service-learning and environment in youth/community partnerships. Specifically, environmental education and service-learning helps students make connections between what they learn and how they live.
The Corporation for National and Community Service recognized the link between service and the environment in 1994, when it made environment one of its four target areas of emphasis (along with education, public safety, and other human needs). Engaging youth in environmental service-learning projects, therefore, address two priority areas of the Corporation — environment and education.
Many school-based service-learning projects deal with the environment. For example, in Maryland where service-learning is a graduation requirement, well over half of all service-learning projects relate to the environment.
Oregon SOLV, a statewide nonprofit, engages K-16 students in environmental service-learning as a means to improve the Oregon’s natural resources. The organization provides curricula, project examples, funding opportunities, and other resources to support environmental service-learning projects.
The Texas Education Agency has developed partnership with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Through this partnership, environmental stewardship has become a key performance measure for Learn and Serve programs in the state, and much greater access to resources and media has helped bring greater attention to service-learning in the state.
The Washington Commission for National and Community Service (WCNCS)/Service Learning Northwest has developed a High Impact Project Manual on the Environment for high school students.
There are many programs that emphasize youth service in the environment during out-of-school-time sponsored by youth service organizations such as 4-H, Boys and Girls Clubs, and YMCA, as well as community-based organizations.
- Haselkorn, R. and Grandi M.J.D (1999). “Voices and Visions: An Investigation of the Interactions Between Teachers and Administrators and the Integration of Environmental Education in Public Schools”. Unpublished paper.