January 2021 Newsletter
Program Highlights
Student Advocacy
January was a busy month for Service in Schools students and educators as they applied their learning from fall research on a variety of topics to the development of advocacy campaigns to impact issues and support causes in their communities. 
  • 29 high school students participating in Teens Advocating for Change met to share advocacy proposals they developed and chose the format for their final advocacy pieces on housing policy, LGBTQ+ rights, disability rights, and fast fashion. 
  • 30 middle and high school students participating in a Race Against Waste Green Team or class attended an after-school enrichment session led by the Office of Sustainability to learn about public service campaigns and draft their own advocacy materials on issues such as ocean plastics. 
  • In the Kids Action Team program, teachers met for collaboration and professional learning sessions to share promising practices and resources for guiding K-5 students in developing advocacy campaigns that will be shared at a student showcase in March. 
In addition, this month Service in Schools kicked off a new program for K-8 teachers and their students, Students Taking Action Today (STAT)! 27 educators participated in a live info and professional learning session, where they learned the basics of service-learning and how they can best utilize it to empower their students to effect change in their communities. There are still spots available in the program! See below for more information.
Seal of Recognition for Service
The NYC Department of Education offers a locally approved diploma seal of recognition for youth service. The Seal of Recognition for Service, or Service Seal, recognizes high school students who accumulate a minimum of 100 hours of service over their high school years. Service hours may include community service completed independently or as part of service-learning and/or a school-led service program. 
For further guidance on the Service Seal, teachers and school-based staff can refer to the Seal of Recognition for Service guidance document behind login on the InfoHub. For questions, email ServiceinSchools@schools.nyc.gov.
Students Taking Action Today (STAT): Opportunity for K-8 Teachers
There is still time for K-8 schools to get involved in the Students Taking Action Today (STAT) program! Don’t miss this opportunity to lead service-learning for your students and get expert knowledge and experiential learning opportunities from program partners Animal Care Centers of NYC, GrowNYC, Community Food Advocates, Gowanus Canal Conservancy, and DOROT. Complete the brief registration form to initiate participation and email ServiceinSchools@schools.nyc.gov with any questions.
Lead your students through a FREE program on history and the arts!
Apply now to be part of the History by Design: NYC Edition program and start engaging your students in experiential learning aimed at exploring the hidden voices of lesser known figures in NYC’s history using the NYC DOE’s Hidden Voices project. Classes will go on three live virtual field trips to museums, conduct research, and then create and present a museum exhibit of what they have learned. Teachers will attend four professional learning sessions and are eligible to earn CTLE credit. Participation in History by Design: NYC Edition is free and open to grades 3-8 teachers and their students. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, February 3, 2021. Learn more and apply today.
School Spotlight
Service in Schools Kids Action Teams have been working hard to learn about community needs and find ways to help out from their remote and blended classrooms. 
The group at P.S. 56 in Staten Island is working on a project to address animal welfare. They met virtually with a representative from the Animal Care Centers of New York to learn about animal adoption and are in the process of developing PSAs to encourage community members to adopt a pet. 
Multiple classes from the Young Leaders Elementary School in the Bronx are working together on a project where students analyze their backgrounds and what is important to them, then figure out how they can use their skills to effect change. Students researched their family histories and created maletas (suitcases) with pictures of their family members, cultural history, traditional foods, clothes, and music. They answered a series of questions about their city and local community and will utilize a variety of advocacy strategies to address hunger and environmental issues in their neighborhood.
The Service in Schools team is excited to see all participating schools present their work at the Kids Action Team Student Showcase on March 9! 
Virtual Opportunities and Resources for Youth
Hunger Free America

Hunger Free America is a nonpartisan, national nonprofit group working to enact the policies and programs needed to end domestic hunger and ensure that all Americans have sufficient access to nutritious food. Hunger Free America assists low-income families in obtaining aid from government programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and connects families nationwide with private food resources. Through volunteer opportunities at Hunger Free America, youth and families can join in the fight to end hunger. There are also virtual volunteer opportunities for high school students, such as phone banking to raise awareness of federal food benefits and other available resources. 
Roots & Shoots

Roots & Shoots is a global movement of youth leading change in their communities. The youth empowerment and education program inspires and supports youth with a variety of resources to nurture the next generation of compassionate change-makers and leaders. At Roots & Shoots when young people practice compassion, determination, collaboration, and are empowered to use their voice and take action, transformational change occurs in their communities and in themselves. The Roots & Shoots website provides resources, activities, and lesson plans for youth to stay engaged and make an impact during this challenging time. Check out the family toolkit, Mindfulness: Acts of Kindness Activity Guide, and more.
 Educational Resources for Students, Educators, and Families

GLSEN was founded by a group of teachers in 1990 in order to create positive learning environments for LGBTQIA youth.  GLSEN works to ensure that LGBTQIA students are able to learn and grow in a school environment free from bullying and harassment by providing educators with resources and curriculum to help them support LGBTQIA students and to transform K-12 schools into safe and affirming environments.
Association for Experiential Learning

The Association for Experiential Education (AEE) is a membership organization that strives to elevate and expand the global capacity of experiential education. AEE works to bring educators interested in experiential learning together to exchange ideas and information. AEE provides a free resource library for educators with curriculum ideas, strategies, and tools to inform their students on various social justice topics in order to empower them to transform their communities. AEE empowers global members through community, resources, and professional development opportunities.
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 ServiceinSchools@schools.nyc.gov 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.