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Welcome!

Welcome to The CES Northwest Service Learning Exchange—a resource developed by the Coalition of Essential Schools Northwest Service Learning Network with support from the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Each year, Merit Research develops and administers on-line surveys, completed by teachers, students, and community partners who participated in service-learning projects developed by Network schools. View the data for the 2007-08 school year.

We hope this website will be a useful resource for classroom teachers interested in learning more about service learning and seeing actual examples of projects. The projects on this site were developed using the five stages of service learning and each highlighted project includes teacher planning forms, student work samples, reflection questions and prompts, performance assessments, and other useful tools.

Bridging the Gap Between a School and a Community:

Service Learning at Clover Park High School examines three service-learning projects through the eyes of students, teachers and community partners.

Check Out Our Projects:

Many thanks to the teachers involved in these projects for agreeing to share their projects and make their work public.

Service Learning and Senior Exhibition

The mission of Riverdale High School, in Portland, Oregon, is to “cultivate in students a passion for personal interests, a habit of critical thinking, and a deep understanding of civic virtue.” Teachers and students pursue this mission through classroom curriculum, but also through the school-wide activities that lead up to and produce the senior exhibition.
The senior exhibition has three parts: an in-depth research paper, service-learning project, and a public presentation. All of these elements are driven by the students’ essential questions. As students develop each component of the senior exhibition they benefit from thoughtful peer and teacher review. Senior exhibition is a powerful opportunity for students to apply their thinking, research, and knowledge to a service-learning project, which makes a positive impact on their world.

Speak Out: A Dialogue about Conflict and Community

Centennial Learning Center 9-12 language arts students explored a variety of real-world issues through reading, writing, and extensive interviewing of community members who had experienced war, either as soldiers, peace activists or refugees. During class discussions and writing, students tackled tough subjects, from violence and conflict in schools, to the war in Iraq, to the Holocaust and other genocides around the world. These young people then compiled their work with the voices of community members to publish an anthology of voices on war and peace.

Social Justice through Social Action

Approximately fifty-five seniors in Phoenix Academy a small school located at Clover Park High School in Lakewood, explored social justice issues of interest on either a local or national level as part of their humanities class. Students worked individually and in small groups to research an issue and the factors that give rise to social injustice. As their culminating project, the students created short digital films, which were shown at a Film Festival and Community Service Expo, planned and implemented by the students.

Vertical Teaming Science Fair

During December 2008, the gym at Heritage High School was abuzz as 200 elementary students described their science research projects to parents and hundreds of guests. Standing beside these students were their high school mentor who beamed with pride as their elementary buddies defined terms and explained their science fair buddies. The goal behind the “vertical teaming” was to identify students (tenth graders and fifthgraders) who were struggling academically, specifically with science.

Shifting Currents: Elwha River Restoration Project

An interdisciplinary science/social studies/ language arts/service learning project in cooperation with Olympic Park Institute, the National Park Service, and Olympic ESD, related to the removal of two dams in the Elwha (Clallam County) River and subsequent restoration of the watershed. Eagle Harbor High School students studied related issues and spent a week residency at OPI. The project culminated with the release of, Shifting Currents, a student-produced documentary of the Elwha River dam removal.

Echoes of History

This project required ninth and tenth grade English and U.S. History students at Windward High School to interview over 25 community members and Lummi elders in order to produce Echoes of History: Lummi and Early Whatcom County History, a bound collection of oral histories.

Project Under Construction: Nutritional Analysis

The Evening Program at Centennial Learning Center (CLC) in Gresham, Oregon has developed a relationship with Snowcap, a local food bank that provides food packages to homeless and low-income community residents.

During the developmental stage of this project, students investigated which foods provided the highest amount of nutritional value for the lowest cost. During the 2009-2010 school year, the students will share the results with Snowcap employees and customers through the development of a rating system. Learn More…

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