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 Welcome to NC Service Learning         


Thank you for accessing the NC Service Learning PB Wiki site.   The social studies section of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI), as do many other social studies standards and curriculum agencies, supports the use of service learning as a means to engage student awareness of their responsibilities as citizens within their local communities, state, and nation.  We also believe that service learning, when connected to the North Carolina Standard Course of Study (NCSCOS), improves and sustains student understanding of social studies content and skills. 


We encourage teachers to employ this site as a resource tool for service learning in the North Carolina social studies classroom.  The site divides service learning education into a series of seven training modules that address current research and resources available to teachers. This site is a "living" resource, as well as, an eventual professional development tool, and your feedback is welcome.  For answers to questions about the resource or to join the North Carolina Service Learning Social Network please contact Fay Gore, K-12 social studies section chief, at Fay.Gore@dpi.nc.gov .


It is our hope that this site will assist social studies educators in creating greater student self awareness and civic mindedness as it relates to the NCSCOS through service learning. 



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"We need your service right now, at this moment in history -- I'm not going to tell you what your role should be -- that's for you to discover.  But I'm asking you to stand up and play your part. I'm asking you to help change history's course, put your shoulder up against the wheel."


President Barack Obama, April 21, 2009 while signing a bill  that would triple the membership of AmeriCorps,  a government program which provides funding for voluntary service groups, non-profit groups and faith-based organizations to get people involved in helping others.



Definitions of Service Learning  

  • Service-learning is distinguished from community service or volunteerism in two ways. First, the service activity is integrated with academic skills and content. Second, students engage in structured reflection activities on their service experiences.  Thus, service-learning connects meaningful service in the school or community with academic learning and civic responsibility. Effective service-learning projects go beyond simply using the community as a learning laboratory for student development. Of equal importance is the attempt to solve community problems, meet human and environmental needs, and advocate for changes in policies and laws to promote the common good. Through addressing real-life problems in their communities, students are challenged to work together to exercise the rights and responsibilities of democratic citizenship.

            A Position Statement of National Council for the Social Studies   

            Prepared by the NCSS Citizenship Select Subcommittee Approved by

            the NCSS Board of Directors, May 2000, Confirmed 2007 


  • Service-learning is a course-based, credit-bearing educational experience that allows students to (a) participate in an organized service activity that meets identified community needs and (b) reflect on the service activity in such a way as to gain further understanding of course content, a broader appreciation of the discipline, and an enhanced sense of civic responsibility. 

            Bringle, R., & Hatcher, J. (1995). Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 2, 112-122.  


  • Service-learning engages students in the educational process, using what they learn in the classroom to solve real-life problems.  Students not only learn about democracy and citizenship, they become actively contributing citizens and community members through the service they perform. Service-learning can be applied across all subjects and grade levels; it can involve a single student or group of students, a classroom or an entire school. Students build character and become active participants as they work with other in their school and community to create service projects in areas like education, public safety, and the environment.                

           Corporation for National and Community Service Learn and Serve America, 2009


  • Service-learning is the potent combination of meaningful service to the community, academically rigorous classroom education and deliberate, structured reflection so that students connect what they are learning to the service performed. Service-learning is not just about "going out and doing good." It involves learning and intellectual skills, performing needed service and producing real results that command respect. Service-learning provides students with the skills and virtues that enable them to participate fully in a civil society and contribute to the sustainability of our democracy.

            Education Commission of the States, 2009   







   Essential Question          


  • Why should one learn how to serve?


A View of Service


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“Everybody can be great because everybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love."



Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “The Drum Major Instinct” Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia, February 4, 1968 







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“Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”


Robert F. Kennedy

“Day of Affirmation Address” University of Capetown, Capetown, South Africa, June 6, 1966






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"Citizen service is the main way we recognize that we are responsible for one another. It is the very American idea that we meet our challenges not through heavyhanded Government or as isolated individuals but as members of a true community, with all of us working together."


Bill Clinton

The President's Radio Address
April 5, 1997


  Training Modules



  North Carolina Service Learning Social Network


The NC Service Learning Social Network is designed to be an online collaborative professional learning community (PLC) for integration of service learning in the social studies.  Through forum questioning, blogs, and online shared resources, the social studies section at the Department of Public Instruction hopes that social networking makes service learning a more accessible, manageable, and integral part of the North Carolina social studies classroom.

   Introduction to Professional Development (Available in Spring 2012)


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