Tales of Tools and Tactics: Semester of service

Tools and Tactics are replicable templates Connectors can use to multiply and amplify action and collaboration in their communities. We find they also make for great stories about people all over the world who are doing good in interesting ways.

Teaching students about giving back can be a legitimate part of your curriculum. If you’re an educator who would like try a service-oriented project with your students, check out our Tool and Tactic on the topic and read about one education director’s experience below:

Scott Ganske is the Director of Education at Youth Service America (YSA), a nonprofit that works to improve communities by increasing the number and diversity of young people in substantive service roles. YSA’s Global Youth Service Day is taking place this April 11 – 13. Learn more or sign up to participate here.

Q: You hear from teachers all across the United States who are implementing Semester of Service projects. What’s one story that’s stuck with you?

A: We know from the research that high-quality service-learning programs—those of duration and intensity—lead to improved academic engagement. But as I spoke to Daniel, a third grader in Texas whose class was working on a Semester of Service project, I realized that his heart, his compassion, and his conviction weren’t qualities easily measured by a test. His empathy and worldview are exceptionally well-developed, and he’s already more engaged in his community than many adults. The lessons he’s learned through carefully investigating childhood hunger will stay with him, and his depth of understanding will grow as he does.

Read more about Daniel here. If you’d like to talk shop about Semester of Service programs, you can reach Scott at sganske@ysa.org.

To learn more, read the Tool and Tactic here. Interested in becoming a Connector? Get started here!

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Comments (1)


  1. Caleb writes:
    April 7, 2014 at 2:52 am

    This is inspiring!


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