Service Learning

Service Learning

Students, it's time to take what you are learning out of the classroom and into your community!

Middle and high schools develop leadership skills and have a positive impact on our community through service learning. Here's how it works. You will experience service learning throughout your school experience.  In addition, you may participate in service learning independently or as a member of a community group.

  • As an elementary student, service learning takes place in classroom or school-wide service learning projects.
  • As a middle school student, service learning occurs in your classroom, within your grade level teams, and in school or community activities.
  • As a high school student, you participate in independent service learning opportunities, as well as service learning associated with your classes and school or community activities.

Want to suggest a 501(c)3 agency that you think would benefit from Millard's Service Learning? Please email us at ServiceLearningCoordinator@mpsomaha.org.

Middle School Requirements

Middle school students, want to know how you can get involved? It's easy! You will take part in service learning experiences through your middle school social studies classes, within your grade level team, and in school and community activities.

Here are a few thoughts to keep in mind:

  • In Ancient Civilizations 6 and World Geography 7, you will complete an assignment connecting your service learning experiences to the class. 
  •  In American History 8, you will complete a culminating project and engage in conversations with other students to connect your service learning experiences to your class and explain the meaning of civic engagement and responsibility.
High School Requirements

As a high school student you may be thinking, how do I find time to participate in service learning? It's not hard. You are only required to complete ten hours of service learning during your high school career.  These hours should be completed before taking United States Government & Economics -or- Advanced Placement® United States Government & Politics in 11th or 12th grade. 

Here are additional thoughts to keep in mind:

  • You may start logging your service learning hours the summer prior to 9th grade in your Personal Learning Plan in Family Connections. 
  • Service learning may be through experiences on your own, those arranged through a class, or completed as a member of a school or civic organization.  Service learning must occur with an approved agency.  Please refer to the List of Approved Agencies and review the Frequently Asked Questions below.
  • In all of your required high school social studies courses, you will reflect each year on your service learning progress and record your experiences in your Personal Learning Plan.
  • Your service learning hours should be completed before beginning the United States Government & Economics -or- Advanced Placement® United States Government & Politics courses in 11th or 12th grade.  In these classes you will complete a culminating project and engage in conversations with your peers to connect your service learning experience(s) to the class and further define the meaning of civic engagement and responsibility.
F.A.Q.'s

1. What are the components of Service Learning in Millard?

  • Preparation and Research: This component will be included in the service learning connections lesson in each required social studies middle and high school course.
  • Forms of Student Service Learning Opportunities:

          a. Direct Service: tutoring, mentoring, working with members of the community 
          b. Indirect Service: collections, fundraisers, drives, working on behalf of the community 
          c. Advocacy: lobbying, speaking, performing, engaging the public or greater community

  • Reflection: High school students will respond to reflection questions on Service Learning in their Personal Learning Plan.
  • Interaction: Students will engage in lessons and activities in all their required middle and high social studies courses. In 8th grade American History and 11/12th grade United States Government & Economics or AP® United States Government & Politics courses, students will complete a culminating project and engage in conversations with peers to further connect Service Learning experience(s) to these courses.

2. What are the expectations of middle and high school students participating in Service Learning? Middle school students will participate in service learning in their classroom, with their grade level teams, and in school or community activities. High school students may participate in independent service learning experiences and those experiences completed as a member of a school or civic organization.  Students will not be excused from class in order to participate in Service Learning activities.    

3. How many hours need to be completed?
High school students are required to complete a minimum of 10 hours of Service Learning experience(s). There are no requirements of hours for middle schools students.

4. When do the hours for high school students need to be completed?
High school students are required to complete a minimum of 10 hours of Service Learning experience(s) prior to taking United States Government & Economics or AP United States Government & Politics courses in 11/12th grade. 
 
5. How do I keep track of my experiences? 
Students are encouraged to participate in Service Learning activities as early as possible. Incoming high school freshman and current high school students may independently record information in their Personal Learning Plan after the first day of school. Students will be asked to print and submit their Personal Learning Plan responses to their social studies teacher if they are currently taking a required social studies course.

6. Will someone at school be checking? 
Yes, students will be asked to print and submit their Service Learning Personal Learning Plan responses to their social studies teacher if they are currently taking a required social studies course. This reflection will help students as they work in class on to lessons, activities, and culminating projects.

7. I help with childcare at my church. Why does this not count?
Service learning for which a place of worship is a direct beneficiary will not fulfill the requirement. Students must volunteer with a government agency or non-profit organization that qualifies as a nonprofit under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Please refer to the list of approved agencies.

8. My church youth group or school club is going to participate in service for a non-profit organization. Does this count? Yes. Service learning for which an outside non-profit organization benefits counts as long as the recipient organization qualifies as a non-profit under Section 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. Please refer to the list of approved agencies.

9. My school club is selling t-shirts to raise money for a trip. Does this count?
No. Service learning for which a student’s high school or club is the direct beneficiary will not fulfill this requirement. An outside organization must benefit and qualify as a non-profit under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Please refer to the list of approved agencies.

10. May I volunteer with a political party for service learning credit? 

Political parties are not 501(c)(3) agencies and therefore do not qualify for service hours.

11. What if there is an agency not on the list?
Please click on the link “List of Approved Agencies” and then “Contacts” to directly contact the Service Learning Coordinator. In order to nominate an agency that meets the Federal 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) designation for approval, please indicate the agency name. 

12. What does 501(c)(3) and 501 (c)(4) mean?
These are organizations recognized as exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code.

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