At Westwood Charter, service learning is a structured teaching approach that enriches learning by engaging students in connecting classroom content, literature, and skills to local and or global community needs. In the lower grades, teachers model the process. In the upper elementary grades, students are encouraged to lead the process with adults as partners, applying critical thinking and problem solving skills to issues of social justice.
Students grow as individuals, gain respect for their peers and enhance civic participation. Students will gain a deeper understanding of themselves, their community and society and experience success at every ability level. Our students will develop as leaders who take initiative with solving problems, work as team players, and demonstrate their abilities through service to others.
"Simply put service learning connects school based curriculum with the inherent caring and concern young people have for their world - whether on their school campus, at a local food bank, or in a distant rain forest. The results are memorable, lifelong lessons for students and foster a stronger society for us all” (from The Complete Guide to Service Learning, 2004). Because service learning stems from content, as well as from the hearts of young learners, the projects differ across grade levels and change over time.