"It was different because I've never done anything like that before. I liked it because it helped other people
it changed other people's lives."
A fourth grader talking about her experience with My Voice.
Service-learning is a teaching strategy that engages students in meaningful service activities in their schools and communities as part of the standard academic curriculum. Integrated into (but not limited to) the school day, service-learning connects young people with the structured activities that address human and community issues, and that provides opportunities for increased student academic engagement, civic responsibility, personal and social development and the acquisition of critical thinking skills.
My Voice is the name of Need in Deed's service-learning framework. It calls on students to use their gifts and to speak out on behalf of others. It encourages active, hands-on learning. It integrates reflection on real world problems (hunger, homelessness, guns in school, abandoned cars) with the curriculum. In short, it is a powerful way for students to learn more about the world while at the same time building their sense of purpose and capability.
Service-learning is teaching strategy that engages students in meaningful service activities in schools and communities as part of the academic curriculum. While building on the concept of community service, service-learning is more structured and requires sustained involvement. The following chart illustrates the basic differences:
Serving the Whole Child: A report on Need in Deed's impact on students and their classrooms
Highlights of Executive Summary prepared by Research for Action, June 2010
"NID's work has a positive impact across a range of areas including academic achievement, classroom climate, and students' civic attitudes. While some impacts were small or moderate in size, the findings were striking for the overall number and diversity of areas in which positive impacts were observed, suggesting that NID's work has a broad and holistic impact on classrooms and students. Moreover, RFA's research suggests the more fully implemented the NID model is, the greater its impact on a range of student outcomes."
"The findings also suggest NID is a particularly powerful intervention in the middle school years, widely accepted to be a particularly challenging time for educators. Many of the program's strongest impacts were seen at the middle school level, including impact on academic achievement, classroom climate, and civic attitudes."
The evaluation uncovered positive impacts in several key areas. When measured against a comparison group, students who participated in NID guided service-learning projects performed better than non-participating students on a range of attitudinal, behavioral and academic measures.
Among elementary school students, the data indicates:
- Fewer suspensions
- Higher math standardized test scores
- Greater gains in cognitive ability in the area of discerning causes and sequencing (i.e. cause & effect)
Among middle school students, the data indicates:
- Greater student-teacher trust
- Greater concern for others
- Higher reading and math standardized test scores