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Learn & Serve Challenge Spotlights Students as Solution to Community Issues

In celebration of the National Learn & Serve Challenge, this week, students across the country have been serving meals, cleaning up the environment, tutoring their peers, and raising money for cancer research. Each student is demonstrating how he or she can make a difference through service-learning during the special week, held October 6-12.

Focusing on the slogan, “Be a Solution,” more than 85,000 young people, educators, business leaders, and community partners nationwide have come together to spotlight the ways youth are translating what they learn in the classroom into action to improve their personal lives and those in surrounding communities.

The National Learn & Serve Challenge is a concentrated week of activities designed to increase public understanding of service-learning, the federal Learn and Serve America program, and to inspire more communities to launch service-learning programs. More than 200 events, ranging from service projects and community presentations to service-learning fairs and celebrations were scheduled.

Last month the House of Representatives passed a resolution recognizing the benefits of service learning and supporting the National Learn & Serve Challenge. In addition, 14 governors and chief state school officers have issued proclamations.

The America's Promise Alliance is committed to the idea that young people have an important role to play serving their communities. Through our work with the Ready for the Real World initiative, we are promoting service-learning as a hands-on teaching method that engages young people in solving problems within their schools and communities as part of academic work and other activities students participate in when not at school.

Research has demonstrated that service-learning increases academic achievement and student engagement, improves civic attitudes and community involvement, and decreases risky behaviors.  

About Learn & Serve America
Learn and Serve America is the nation’s largest source of support for service-learning.  In 2007, the program supported 1,700 grantees across the country that engaged more than 1.4 million students, serving 27.9 million hours with more than 124,000 community partners. The Corporation for National and Community Service also supports service-learning through its other core programs and special initiatives, including the National Service-Learning Clearinghouse training and curriculum website, the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll that recognizes outstanding colleges for their service commitments, and the Bring Learning to Life television PSA campaign. The Challenge supports the federal goal to engage five million college students serving and ensure that 50 percent of America’s K-12 schools incorporate service-learning into their curricula by 2010. 

The Learn & Serve Challenge is a signature event of the National Service-Learning Partnership, made possible with support from the State Farm Companies Foundation and partners including  Lead Organizing Partners include: SEANet, Camp Fire USA, Youth Service America, among many others.

For a list of activities, visit www.learnandservechallenge.org.