The growing emphasis on teaching soft skills to students requires continued support for lessons that promote practical application of content knowledge, analysis, and evaluation. One way to wrap that into an applicable and useful package is through the use of service learning projects. Service learning in your classroom is a great way to engage students and help others. In the case of health education, this can be especially true.
Service Learning Projects on Health and Student Safety
If you’re looking for a health-related service learning project, the following resources may give you the springboard you need to get a project, and all of the value that comes with it, off of the ground.
1. World’s Largest Lesson, in partnership with Unicef, has created 17 goals to achieve by 2030. Teachers can select among those goals ones that address climate change, inequality and poverty, and obtain lesson plans and ideas for bringing a project to life in their classrooms. We especially love the lesson plans included in Goal 3: Good health and wellbeing.
2. NOYS (National Organization for Youth Safety) tackles the issue of teen driving and car crashes through their Seatbelts Save initiative. This initiative shares the dangers of not using a seatbelt and encourages students to use a seat belt each time they get in a car through a friendly competition yielding some great prizes.
3. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among American teens. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s “BeThe1To” campaign prepares you to help someone at risk of committing suicide by teaching 5 steps to help someone in a crisis. Graphic kits for displaying signs as well as script ideas for social media posts are included.
Service Learning Projects on Compassion and Going Green
1. To improve the climate and culture in schools and reduce bullying, GenerationOn’s Rules of Kindness Campaign challenges kids and teens to build empathy, create projects around kindness, act with compassion, and comprehend the activities.
2. If you’d like to tackle an environmental issue at your school, Health World, with support from UL, provides UL’s Safety Smart® and Safety Smart® Science curriculum free of charge. These programs can provide the content knowledge for students to start a campaign about going green. For example, after viewing Safety Smart® Goes Green, or Safety Smart® Science: Renewable Energy, students can work together to:
● Encourage students to only use 1 napkin in the cafeteria
● Start a recycling program on campus
● Start a “bike to school” day or walking school bus
● Start a campaign that encourages students to turn off the water when brushing their teeth We hope you will take advantage of these free resources to implement a service learning project in your classroom. And for $250 to use towards a project, consider registering for a 'We Volunteer Now' grant! (avialable through August 2019 or until funds are exhausted.)
Here are some snap shots of Service Learning in Action in classrooms around the country: