Student Service-Learning

Student Service-Learning Ideas

Student Service-Learning Approval Form
Student Service-Learning FAQ

Student Service-Learning Requirement

All BCPS students must earn 75 service-learning hours by the time they complete high school; this is a Maryland state graduation requirement.  Students may begin earning and accumulating hours toward this graduation requirement in 6th grade. 



What is “service-learning?”

By definition: Service-Learning is a teaching method that combines meaningful service to the community with curriculum-based learning.  Students improve their academic skills by applying what they learn in school to the real world; they then reflect on their experience to reinforce the link between their service and their learning.

Service-learning is often confused with volunteering or community service. While both activities are defined as forms of service within a community, they do not necessarily include a structured educational connection for participants, which is a foundation of all service-learning projects.  Therefore, not all volunteering or community service satisfies the requirements for “service-learning.”  Complete the Student Service-Learning Form or speak with the PHMS Service-Learning Coordinator, Benjamin Allen ([email protected]) to review your activity and ensure it meets the criteria.



Service-Learning Project Components

All service-learning experiences must include PREPARATION, ACTION, and REFLECTION. 

PREPARATION: Students identify an issue affecting their community, select a project site, and plan or otherwise prepare to engage the work. Complete page 1 of the  Student Service-Learning Form and send it to Benjamin Allen ([email protected]) for pre-approval.

ACTION: Students carry out their project through acts of service or advocacy work.  Document the actions taken including dates and hours.

REFLECTION: Students look back at their completed project and review what they have learned.  Complete page 2 of the Student Service-Learning Form and send it to Benjamin Allen([email protected]) for final approval.

Once all three steps have been taken and the project is approved, service-learning hours will be added to the student's educational record. 



Types of Service-Learning Projects

Direct Service: Students have face-to-face contact with service recipients.  Examples = tutoring other students, serving meals at a homeless shelter, working with the elderly in a senior citizen community, etc...


Indirect Service: Students perform a service without having direct contact with the recipient. Usually resources are channeled to help alleviate a problem.  Examples = food and clothing drives, environmental projects, raising money for a cause through activities such as a walk-a-thon, etc...


Advocacy: Students educate others about a selected issue with the goal of eliminating the causes of a particular problem.  Please attach a copy of letters or work samples with your Student Service-Learning Form for advocacy work. Examples = writing letters to legislators or newspaper editors, creating web pages, creating and displaying posters within the community, writing and performing informative plays, creating educational materials for other target groups, legislative testimony, etc... 




BCPS webpage

Benjamin Allen PHMS Service-Learning Coordinator [email protected] (443) 809-5102