April 2021 Newsletter
Program Updates
Virtual Leadership Institute

This spring break, high school student leaders from all five boroughs joined together to participate in the Service in Schools (SIS) Virtual Leadership Institute. The students were chosen from a highly competitive pool of applicants, and each of the selected 42 students expressed a deep commitment to making a difference in their community.
During the Institute, SIS student leaders investigated different issues affecting NYC: food access, environmental justice, housing, and animal welfare. To enrich their learning on these topics, Service in Schools collaborated with Rethink Food, WE ACT for Environmental Justice, Part of the Solution, and The Humane Society of New York. Students interviewed representatives from these partner organizations in order to learn more about how youth can help impact each issue. Later in the week, students considered how to use advertising techniques that they learned from The Paley Center for Media to make engaging virtual lessons.
Finally, students collaborated in small groups to create original lesson plans. SIS student leaders will teach these service-learning lessons to elementary school classes during the SIS Virtual Youth Service Summit during the week of May 25-28. Through the lessons they designed, high school students will teach elementary students about a community issue and how they can address the issue. The Virtual Leadership Institute proved to be an exciting and informative experience for everyone involved, and the SIS team is looking forward to the Virtual Youth Service Summit!
School Spotlight: P.S. 212 - Queens
P.S. 212 is located in Jackson Heights, an epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was one of the hardest-hit communities last year, and many students were affected. Students in grade 4 participating in the SIS Students Taking Action Today program decided to spread kindness and make a change by “paying it forward'' to their community. They researched hunger in the U.S. and in their own neighborhood, and learned about community fridges, including one that is located two blocks away from their school. Students were eager to visit the fridge and bring donations. To learn more about the community fridge movement, students met with a member of the Jackson Heights Community Fridge aid group over Zoom.
Students created PSA posters with messages about hunger and food access. Students displayed their posters while walking to the fridge and stocked it with food. Within minutes, their donations were gone. They couldn't believe the level of need for food in the neighborhood. The fourth graders plan on creating video PSAs about hunger and continuing to donate to their local community fridge once a month through the end of the school year.
Opportunities for Youth
Luv Michael

Luv Michael is a non-profit organization with the goal of providing meaningful employment and on-the-job training to those diagnosed with autism. In 2020, Luv Michael launched a virtual volunteer program to inspire students to become advocates for autism acceptance. What began in NYC is now a global movement. Students around the world are earning community service hours through digital outreach. Volunteers educate their peers, friends, and families about the issues facing autistic individuals. With their service, they will create a more accepting world for all people. The Luv Michael program is one part learning about autism, one part advocating for autism acceptance, and one part creating meaningful work for adults with autism. Sign up to receive more information on the virtual volunteer program and register for an introductory call.
Multiplying Good

Students in Action, a Multiplying Good program, is a unique youth service, leadership, and recognition program that empowers today's youth to be leaders, problem solvers, entrepreneurs, and impactful global citizens. Through in-person and virtual leadership trainings, an online network, and end-of-year competition, students across New York City and the country are changing themselves and their communities with Students in Action. Students in Action focuses on engaging a diverse cohort of youth to learn from and about each other through the process of community change. Youth in this program are provided with tools to help them investigate the needs of the community and develop high-quality service projects. This year, Multiplying Good has adapted components of the Students in Action curriculum for remote learning. Contact Janai Smith to learn more.
 Resources for Educators and Youth

GrowNYC improves New York City's quality of life through environmental programs that transform communities and empower all New Yorkers to secure a clean and healthy environment for future generations. GrowNYC’s Food Justice: In the Community curriculum is designed for NYC high school students and can be adapted for learners of all ages and places. The eight lessons feature interactive NearPod presentations. Each lesson introduces a different aspect of food justice, with guided audio on each slide, key vocabulary, videos, discussion questions, and a post-activity. Educators can visit the GrowNYC Food Justice Google Classroom. The presentations can be accessed as Google Slides, copied to your Google Classroom, and adapted for students. For technical issues accessing the classroom, email [email protected].
Contact the Service in Schools Team
Does your school have a great service project to share? If so, the Service in Schools team wants to know!

Invite the Service in Schools team to visit your service project. We want to see your students and school community in action. Email the Service in Schools team at [email protected] with two weeks’ notice, and we’ll schedule a visit to your school to learn about your project and see the impact you’re making on the community. 
Follow @ServicenSchools on Twitter and @ServiceinSchools on Instagram to receive program updates, upcoming service opportunities, resources, and more. We encourage students who use social media and are interested in service opportunities to follow us.
Mission: Service in Schools strives to expand the number of NYC students engaged in transformative community service and service-learning experiences that enable them to use their voice, skills, and critical thinking to strengthen communities.