How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment to start improving the world.”
Youth are eager to take action to make the world a more equitable, sustainable, and compassionate place. Many recent news stories highlight youth taking action and making their voices heard against climate change and gun violence. With their innate sense of justice, young people’s desire to take action is strong, yet youth often may not have the opportunity or may not have adult support and guidance to help them begin. As an educator facilitating a service-learning project, you can both inspire youth to become changemakers, as well as help guide their motivation into a meaningful, educational, and impactful experience.
It can be challenging to find the line between supporting youth through a service project without being too heavy-handed. In our featured webinar, presented by HEART educator Kristina Hulvershorn, you will learn how to strike the delicate balance of guiding neither too much nor too little, identify the skills cultivated through a service-learning project, consider which resources will help support the project, and hear examples of impactful youth projects. We have also provided a step-by-step guide to youth-led action, which can be used when facilitating a service-learning project as part of your educational programming.
If you work for an organization such as an animal rescue group, facilitating youth-led action is a great way to inspire youth to take action for an issue on which your organization already focuses. A service-learning project can get young people involved and provide them with a sense of responsibility, pride, and accomplishment as they work to help animals in their local community. Imagine the benefit a service-learning project provides to the youth who participate in your educational program, as well as to your organization as a whole, including the animals for whom you advocate. To take it even further, imagine the benefit to our entire world when more youth are motivated and encouraged to take action!
Through stories, students learn about advocates who thought outside the box to develop a creative solution to an issue that concerned them. Students choose their own hero to research, then create a poster about that individual and their out-of-the box solution to share with the class. These hero stories inspire youth to think outside the box and be heroic themselves.
There are many different ways you can facilitate service-learning projects, depending on your resources and availability. This download provides examples of service learning projects from HEART programs, including hands-on projects, volunteerism, spreading awareness, and lobbying.
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