A Semester of Service

Semester of Service 2011 launches on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service (January 17, 2011). This year, Youth Service America (YSA) Grants will provide approximately $500,000 to nearly 500 schools and organizations to lead Semester of Service projects.

Semester of Service projects address meaningful community problems and their root causes – problems such as childhood obesity, hunger & homelessness, illiteracy, natural disasters, and environmental degradation. Semester of Service incorporates the practice of sustained service over a period of significant “duration and intensity” (typically at least 70 hours over several weeks or months), in order to provide enough time for students to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to understand and impact challenging community problems.

YSA encourages educators and service organizations to participate by launching and culminating efforts for a Semester of Service on significant national days of service:

  • The King Day of Service (January 17, 2011)
  • Global Youth Service Day (April 15-17, 2011
  • 9/11 Day of Service (September 11, 2011)
  • The King Day of Service (January 16, 2012)

In a successful Semester of Service, students follow the IPARD/C stages of the service-learning process:

  • Investigation
  • Preparation & Planning
  • Action
  • Reflection
  • Demonstration/Celebration

Educators wishing to plan a Semester of Service may obtain resources through YSA including:

The Semester of Service Strategy Guide [PDF] and Semester of Service Classroom Poster [PDF] are available and provide detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to develop and implement meaningful service and learning experiences using the IPARD/C process. Other resources are also available.

YSA provides a variety of grants (applications available), planning tools, training, and technical assistance to help Semester of Service participants plan, lead, and implement high-impact service-learning programs.

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