Johnny Key

Commissioner of Education

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Community Service Learning

Community Service Learning Webinar - April 2018

Community Service learning (CSL) in Arkansas is specific to the implementation of Act 648 of 1993 which combines service to the community with student learning in a way that improves both the student and the community. CSL is best defined as volunteering or serving in a worthwhile capacity in the community while making a conscious effort to reflect, through some thoughtfully designed method, on what is learned from the service experience. Guidance for districts and nonprofits is provided in “An Approach to Implementing Community Service”. An excellent resource for districts offering CSL is “Service Learning in Arkansas Toolkit and Resource Directory”. These documents as well as a list of all State Board of Education (SBE) approved sites (businesses and nonprofits) are located under Related Files; school districts do not need SBE approval. 

Community Service Learning:

  • A method whereby students learn and develop through active participation in thoughtfully organized service that is conducted in and meets the needs of communities;
  • All eligible community service learning activities or programs must include preparation, action, and reflection components;
  • An approach to teaching and learning in which students use academic knowledge and skills to address genuine community needs;
  • A way to help foster civic responsibility;
  • Is more than just volunteering - activities must benefit the community in some way;
  • Coordinated with an elementary school, secondary school, institution of higher education, or community service program and the community.

Act 648 of 1993 states that beginning with the 1996-97 school year, "a student who has completed a minimum of seventy-five (75) clock hours of documented community service in grades nine (9) through twelve (12), at any certified service agency or a part of a service-learning school program shall be eligible to receive one (1) academic credit that may be applied toward graduation."

 

For more information, please contact:

Melissa StarkeySocial Studies Specialist
Arkansas Department of Education
Division of Learning Services
Four Capitol Mall, Room 202-B
Little Rock, AR 72201
Phone: 501-682-6584

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