December 2017 Newsletter
Program Highlights
Race Against Waste and Kids Action Team Kick Off!
December marked the commencement of two new Service in Schools (SIS) programs: Race Against Waste, a collaboration with the Office of Sustainability, and Kids Action Team. Respectively, the two programs focus on service-learning initiatives regarding environmental issues and empowering youth in elementary schools. 

During these sessions, the participants learned about the foundations of service-learning and engaging techniques and activities for connecting service to academic learning. The Kids Action Team participants then went on to explore service-learning in an elementary school context under the guidance of Liz Pitofsky, director of The Service Learning Project .
The Race Against Waste cohort delved into ways to connect service-learning to reducing waste in New York City and worked with international service-learning expert Cathryn Berger Kaye of CBK Associates . In the coming weeks, participants in each program will attend subsequent professional learning sessions, receive on-the-ground supports from the SIS team to develop investigations of community needs with their students, and begin planning for action in their school and local communities.

Both sessions were illuminating, and the SIS team is looking forward to seeing which community needs the participants and their students choose to work on! The SIS team would like to extend thanks to The Paley Center for Media and Project Farmhouse for hosting these programs and to Liz Pitofsky and Cathryn Berger Kaye for sharing their expertise.
School Spotlight
P.S. 811 X
Project Summary: Students in Sandy Helms’s social sciences class were concerned about hunger and access to nutritious food in their community. In order to help meet this community need, they collaborated with not-for-profit organizations to create a farmers’ market called Healthy Choice Farmers Market to provide nutritious food at discounted prices in their South Bronx Community.

Investigation: Before they decided to create a farmers’ market, Helms’s students observed that it was difficult to access affordable, nutritious food in their neighborhoods. They learned about the long-term health impacts of eating mostly processed foods, and this spurred them to action.
Planning: After deciding to create a farmers’ market, Helms found government and not-for-profit organizations to collaborate with in order to make their dream a reality. The Department of Health assisted with allowing the market to take WIC and Senior Bucks as payment and helped pay for produce, which they obtained from their own horticulture program, as well as GrowNYC’s Greenmarkets .

Action: During the fall, students and volunteers run the P.S. 811X farmers’ market once a week. Due to their efforts, they have become a designated New York State Federation of Farmers Farmers’ Market.

Reflection: The students and teachers at P.S. 811 understood that while they were helping their neighbors eat well, they were also learning valuable vocational skills, like handling money and communicating with customers, as well as reading, math, healthy eating, and gardening. They also have started investigating their own health choices and how they can promote healthier beverage choices throughout their school community. After seeing how much of a win-win this project was, the students and their teacher are working to keep it up and running in the years to come.
Current and Upcoming Opportunities
VISIONS Intergenerational Program
Ongoing opportunity for students 14 and up
  VISIONS Intergenerational Program recruits and trains students 14 years of age and over to assist seniors who are blind or visually impaired. Working in pairs, volunteers travel to the homes of seniors to visit, read, assist with the computer, shop, run errands, and/or escort them within the neighborhood. These friendly visits help to decrease the loneliness and isolation often experienced by homebound elders. Students will also volunteer at the senior center at 135 West 23 rd  Street by providing meals to seniors. A training session is required before volunteering. For more information, click here . To learn more about the Intergenerational Program, contact Carrie Lewy or call Jose Gil at 646-486-4444 x233.
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Student Series Program
Ongoing opportunity for middle and elementary schools
Did you know that 50% of F.D.A approved cancer treatments started off as blood cancer treatments? Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) invites students to be a part of the team that cures cancer. Pennies for Patients is a 3-week long spare change collection program for elementary and middle schools. Students bring in spare change, fundraise online, and learn while helping those that are less fortunate. All materials are provided, including individual boxes for every student, classroom boxes, posters, and a personalized online fundraising page. Staff members will come to visit schools for strategy meetings, student group planning sessions, and kick-off assemblies. This year, LLS offers a new K-5 STEM curriculum and prizes for meeting fundraising goals. Click here to register for the Student Series. Join other NYC schools in Making Someday Today and email Madeleine Hamingson to learn more.
Habitat for Humanity
Ongoing opportunity for all ages  
Habitat for Humanity New York City transforms lives and communities by building and preserving quality, affordable homes together with families in need, and by uniting New Yorkers around the cause of affordable housing. Habitat NYC’s greatest need for volunteers is on weekdays, Wednesday through Friday, and during the colder months, January through March. Volunteers who sign up between January 1 and March 31 are dubbed ‘Winter Warriors.’ Habitat NYC’s School and Youth programs provide an opportunity for youth ages 5-25 to build on Habitat’s vision of a city–and a world–where everyone has a decent place to live. Though not all ages of students are permitted to volunteer on a construction site, there are many ways for school groups to get involved. Click here to learn more about opportunities for school groups or contact for more information.
Resource Highlights
Teaching Tolerance
Classroom Resources
Teaching Tolerance is an organization dedicated to reducing prejudice, improving intergroup relations, and supporting equitable school experiences for the nation’s children. They are guided by the belief that schools must educate all students for full participation in a diverse democracy. To this end, Teaching Tolerance provides free educational materials to teachers and other school practitioners. Free resources include a wide variety of lesson plans on topics such as challenging identity-based stereotypes, recognizing prejudice and discrimination, and taking action toward a better future for all. These lesson plans can bolster the curriculum for an existing service-learning project or inspire new service-learning projects on topics relevant to youth. Click here to access to these lessons and other free classroom resources.
Contact the Service in Schools Team
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 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 to receive program updates, upcoming service opportunities, resources, and more. We encourage students who use Twitter 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.