Service Education

Of all the educational curricular areas and ideas service education and moral education are my favorites. Of course I became a teacher to help students become literate and knowledgeable and to assist them in becoming excellent mathematicians, scientists, etc. I think that is all very important. However, my primary motivation for becoming a teacher was and is that I want to encourage students to be “good people.” I think it is important to teach students the value in being kind, respectful, caring, and giving. I’m a big believer that actions speak louder than words. Students often learn more by watching what we do rather than from listening to what we say. I also believe that learning is enhanced when the learner is actively engaged. Service projects provide excellent opportunities to combine all of these elements into experiences that can have great, great benefit. Who knows, you might even end up encouraging your students to start their own projects just like these kids have done: Common Cents and PurBlu.

Here are a few trustworthy resources to help you begin using service projects in your classroom.

  1. Kiva
  2. Modest Needs
  3. Touch A Life
  4. Hurrican Katrina Recovery in Pascagoula, MS
  5. Ryan’s Hope
  6. Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation
  7. Children for Tomorrow
  8. Cancer Related Charities – The Breast Cancer Site, American Cancer Society, Relay for Life, Live Strong, Susan G. Komen
  9. Access even more resources by clicking on the Service tag on my blog and bookmarks.

Would you please share your service project ideas, experiences, and resources with the rest of us?

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Clif Mims is a Christian, husband, father, teacher, cancer warrior, and fan of the Mississippi State Bulldogs and Memphis Grizzlies.

13 thoughts on “Service Education”

  1. In the vocational area that I formerly taught in, this was referred to as service learning. My classes and student organization would perform various projects throughout the school year. The project that always seemed to affect the students the most was the annual underprivileged children’s shopping tour which helped to provide Christmas gifts to over a hundred needy children each year. I had students who were actually moved to tears after their experience with assisting these children in selecting their gifts. Many times the kids wanted to pick out gifts for their families instead of themselves. It was a very humbling experience for many of my high school students who had never wanted for anything in their entire lives.

    It was a great project that I looked forward to helping coordinate each year. I think I got as much out of participating in it as my students did.

  2. I get my students involved with the March of Dimes every year. I’ve even had years when I was able to arrange to have children that benefit from the efforts of March of Dimes come and visit my classroom. It’s a great way to get students to think outside of themselves. My experience is that charity work can really get students motivated and they learn that it really is better to give than it is to receive.

    I agree with others that have commented ahead of me-I’d like to challenge all your readers to initiate a service project in their classrooms this year and lets share about them here on Clif’s blog.

  3. Oprah did a short piece on about 2 wks. ago. I think she has also mentioned Touch A Life on her show in several episodes. Clif included both of these in the post, and I’m sure they are good causes if Oprah endorsed them!

  4. An awesome post!!! I’ve emailed my adminstrators to look at it. I’m hoping we can get a schoolwide challenge going and get every student in every class involved with community service.

  5. I accept your challenge, Clif. I”m going to get my class involved in one of these service projects within a few weeks from now. I challenge all your other visitors to do the same thing.

  6. This is a nice set of projects. It is possible to get directly invlovled with most of tese over the Internet which is actually a benefit to most teachers. I also like that my students can keep up wiht several of these works online, too.

  7. This is one of the most important posts for teachers that I’ve read in a long time. Thanks for challenging all of us to be more active about teaching our studets to give, Clif. I hope lots and lots of people see this post.

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