In April 2011, Congress omitted Learn and Serve America from its budget. Oklahoma Learn and Serve is in the process of closing out the final grants. While grant funding is no longer available, we continue to strongly support service-learning as an effective educational reform strategy.
Service-learning offers a unique opportunity for America's young people -- from kindergarten to college students -- to get involved with their communities in a tangible way by integrating service projects with classroom learning. Service-learning engages students in the educational process, using what they learn in the classroom to solve real-life problems. Students not only learn about democracy and citizenship, they become actively contributing citizens and community members through the service they perform.
Service-learning can be applied across all subjects and grade levels; it can involve a single student or group of students, a classroom or an entire school. Students build character and become active participants as they work with others in their school and community to create service projects in areas like education, public safety, and the environment.
In Oklahoma, students in Grades 9-12 may earn elective credit for service-learning through provision in the Oklahoma School Laws and Statutes. Schools make this available through leadership or service-learning classes or individual projects.
For more information or assistance, contact Andrea Hohlier, Service-Learning Coordinator, at (405) 521-4795 or by e-mail.
Visit these sites to learn more about service-learning in America and how YOU can get involved!
Section 252. Oklahoma Youth Community Services Act.
This act shall be known and may be cited as the “Oklahoma Youth Community Services Act”. (70-11-108)
Section 253. Definitions.
As used in this act:
1. “Youth community service program” means a program established by a school district as part of the curriculum for secondary students which includes youth community service activities integrated with study and reflection on the experiences gained through youth community service activities; and
2. “Youth community service activities” means volunteer activities performed by secondary school students through a youth community service program that meet the needs of others in the school or community and are designed to enhance the student’s personal growth, career exploration, understanding of community and citizenship, social science skills, and communication skills. (70-11-108.1)
Section 254. Youth Community Service Program as Part of Curriculum.
School districts may establish as part of the curriculum a youth community service program for secondary students which includes youth community service activities integrated with study and reflection on the experiences gained through youth community service activities. A student may receive elective credit for participating in a youth community service program as long as the outcomes of the program reflect the competencies outlined in the Oklahoma Learner Outcomes adopted by the State Board of Education. A student may perform youth community service activities for educational credit only under the sponsorship of an organization approved by the State Department of Education. Youth community service activities shall not be used to displace any employees or reduce the number of hours for which any employee is paid. (70-11-108.2)