National Youth Leadership Council
From Service-Learning Wiki
The National Youth Leadership Council is a national nonprofit organization that promotes service-learning in schools and communities across the United States and internationally. Through conducting action research, developing model programs, codifying teaching standards, advancing legislation, convening practitioners, and professional development, NYLC has established itself as the national leader on quality service-learning. Founded in 1983 and headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota, NYLC is led by Dr. James C. Kielsmeier, and is the host of the annual National Service-Learning Conference.
Program and priority areas
The Generator School Network
The Generator School Network is community of service-learning educators supporting K-12 schools and teachers in improving their practice. The Network supports members through evidence-based assessment tools, an innovative online community, professional development opportunities, and curricula.
Growing to Greatness: The State of Service-Learning Project
The Growing to Greatness project is an ongoing initiative to documents the scope, scale, and impacts of youth contribution in society. As an integral part of this project, NYLC publishes an annual research publication, Growing to Greatness which presents service-learning practice, research, and policy. Current volumes have a thematic focus, while previous volumes have featured a series of topical research articles from leading scholars in the field as well as service-learning state profiles of all U.S. states.
NYLC's Urban Initiative leads the field of urban service-learning and aims to cultivate leadership and community development while narrowing the achievement gap through utilizing service-learning approaches. Among the priority areas are:
- Service-Learning Urban Leadership Center
- Generator School Network Urban Hubs
- Urban Service-Learning Institute
- G. Bernard Gill Legacy Project
NYLC has strong youth involvement in all its undertakings. The organization has several youth board members, and its Youth Advisory Council — a team of servant-leaders, ages 14-21 — plays an important role in bring youth voice and perspectives to the planning and implementation of its activities. NYLC sponsors the National Youth Leadership Training annually in Mound, Minn., which is a kick-off to its year-round Service-Learning Leadership Program.
Quality service-learning practice
Over its history, NYLC has led the national effort to define quality service-learning, and has been behind a number of initiatives to describe, document, and research quality in service-learning. A milestone of this ongoing effort, was the 2008 release of the evidence-based K-12 Service-Learning Standards for Quality Practice. An interactive guide to the standards, "Lift: Raising the Bar for Service-Learning Practice", is offered through the Generator School Network. NYLC also offers, in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin, a Certificate of Excellent Practice that recognizes demonstrated proficiency in quality service-learning.
Teen driver safety
With support from the State Farm (R) Companyies Foundation, NYLC has -- over a number of years -- demonstrated how service-learning can promote teen driver safety. Through Project Ignition, high school students across the country implement service-learning projects addressing teen driver safety in their communities.
NYLC works to advance service-learning policy for K-12 schools, early childhood, and higher education. The organization has been a major driving force behind national legislation in the areas of national service and service-learning, most recently by advising the Obama Administration. In 1990 and again in 1993, it helped U.S. Senators Dave Durenberger and the late Paul Wellstone draft the National and Community Service Act.
Since 1989 NYLC has sponsored the annual National Service-Learning Conference, drawing approximately 2,500 attendees from across the United States and about 35 other countries each year. The conference is the largest gathering of youth and practitioners involved in service-learning and engages participants in local, national, and global issues that service-learning addresses. About one third of participants are youth, and other participants include teachers, administrators, researchers, policy-makers, and community-based organizations.
The list of prominent speakers who have attended the conference include Desmund Tutu, Bill Clinton, and Carol Bellamy.