May 2018 Newsletter
Program Highlights
Sustainability Showcase
On May 18, middle and high school Green Team members participated in the second annual Sustainability Showcase as a culmination of their work in the Race Against Waste program. Program participants and student representatives shared the innovative work they have taken on this year to reduce waste in our city. Projects ran the gamut from a bike that doubles as a blender, a Waste Not Want Not store in which students can redeem recyclables for prizes, costumes made from discarded plastic, and more. Along with the Expo portion that highlighted sustainability work in schools, teachers from the Race Against Waste program led a workshop on the nuts and bolts of sustainability-based service-learning, and select schools won grants to continue their efforts. All who attended left with tools to create a cleaner, greener planet. 
Youth Service Summit
Elementary students from across New York City came together at NYU Kimmel Center in Manhattan to participate in the fifth annual Service in Schools (SIS) Youth Service Summit. High school student leaders led the Summit as the culmination of their participation in April’s weeklong Service in Schools Service Leadership Institute. These high school leaders planned and led engaging lessons and service projects for students in grades 3-5 that addressed issues that impact NYC communities: homelessness, pollution, hunger, health, and animal welfare.

Elementary school students created animal adoption kits, decorated tote bags to promote water conservation, designed pipe cleaner “flowers” to bring cheer and information to soup kitchen guests, packed fitness kits with exercise suggestions for children, and made kits for children in shelters that included journals with encouraging messages. These service projects were donated to The Humane Society of New York , Fit 4 Life NYC , Bronx River Alliance , The Bowery Mission, and Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen . The Youth Service Summit also included a fun and inspiring performance from beatboxer Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan , who motivated students to use their talents and passions to contribute to their community. After learning, taking action, and reflecting on their service, elementary and high school students alike were empowered to serve as agents of change in their own communities
School Spotlight
25Q263 Flushing International High School
Project Summary: Students at Flushing International High School, a school comprised entirely of recently arrived immigrants, are using social media to dispel myths about immigrants in the United States.  

Investigation: This past fall, students began a unit on migration in Mr. Andrew Maikels’s Global History class. While learning about new restrictions on immigration in the U.S. and harmful stereotypes that many Americans, including policy makers, believe about immigrants, students decided they needed to take action.

Preparation: Since their main goal was to dispel myths and stereotypes against immigrants, students decided to share their own immigration stories publicly. After much discussion, Mr. Maikel’s class decided to use Instagram as a platform for sending out their stories for others to see.  
Action: The Stories Without Borders Instagram went live on February 12, 2018. Many students have shared their stories on the page. Their posts include where they’re from, what they miss about their home country, the hardships they faced on their way to their new country, and their dreams for the future. Their stories are powerful, inspiring, and honest, but most importantly, they show the truth: that immigrants are not very different from people born in the United States. 

Reflection: While their initial goal was to spread awareness and dispel damaging myths about immigrants, they also realized that their page could be a source of comfort and strength for other immigrants. Their work encourages others to take pride in their stories regardless of who they are, where they come from, or even their status as citizens. If you would like to know more about today's American dream, you can read their stories here
Current and Upcoming Opportunities
Friends of Van Cortlandt Park
Spring Wetland Volunteer Day: Saturday, June 16, 2018
Friends of Van Cortlandt Park invites educators to bring students of all grade levels to the third largest park in New York City for a unique service-learning experience in a beautiful natural setting. On June 16, volunteers will help with native species planting, removal of non-native invasive plants, and trash clean up within Tibbetts Wetlands. To participate in this exciting opportunity to explore and restore NYC’s wetlands, contact John Butler , or call 718-601-1553.
New York Restoration Project
Forest Crew (Ongoing Opportunity for High School Students)
High school students interested protecting the environment can volunteer on Sundays in Highbridge Park with the NYRP Forest Crew . This volunteer program is open to community members who wish to improve the health of the forest by identifying and removing invasive plants on a weekly, bi-monthly, and monthly basis. High school students, environmental enthusiasts, and those who are looking to enter the green collar field are strongly encouraged to attend regularly and to view this as an apprenticeship opportunity. Priority registration will be given to regular and repeat volunteers if attendance approaches program capacity. Email to RSVP. 
Bowery Mission
Volunteer Meal Service Opportunities (Ongoing for students 14 and up)
The Bowery Mission has been providing help and hope to the homeless and impoverished in New York City for 139 years. Their combined program sites serve more than 1,000 meals per day to poor and homeless men, women, and children and more recently, to the unemployed who are doing everything possible to make ends meet. Volunteers help to prepare, serve, and clean-up lunch or dinner alongside staff and resident students at 227 Bowery. During the lunch shift there may also be opportunities to help sort and organize food and clothing donations. This opportunity is for groups of 8-12 volunteers, depending on the shift, and is for ages 14 and up. All minors under 18 must bring a signed release from a parent or legal guardian, and the ratio of adults to minors in the group must be at least one adult to four minors. This is The Bowery Mission’s most popular volunteer opportunity, and bookings are made at least one month in advance. Breakfast shifts are from 7:30-9:30am, lunch shifts from 9:30am-2:30pm, and dinner shifts from 5:30-7:30pm, seven days a week. Click here for more information and email with questions.
Resource Highlights
Karma for Cara Foundation Microgrants
Upcoming Deadline: July 1
Karma for Cara Foundation  (K4C) focuses on creating opportunities for youth engagement and volunteerism in communities & supporting the well-being of cancer patients and their families. In the effort to support youth volunteerism, K4C runs a Youth Microgrant program. Youth 18 years of age and under are encouraged to apply for funds between $250 and $1,000 to complete service projects in their communities. These grants have engaged thousands of volunteers in more than 3,000 hours of community service. Click  here  for more information, and click  here  to apply for a microgrant.
EarthEcho Action Guides
Action Guides for Educators
EarthEcho International  provides high-quality educator resources to inspire, cultivate, and activate middle and high school students to take action now for a sustainable future. EarthEcho’s free resources range from EarthEcho Expeditions video resources that explore global environmental challenges to service-learning action guides that equip young people to explore and protect their local natural resources. Action guides are available on a variety of topics including storm water, waste stream, water quality and more. These comprehensive guides, co-written with service-learning expert Cathryn Berger Kaye, not only incorporate best practices for service-learning but also satisfy Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards. Action guides and other resources can be found  here and questions can be directed to .
Cafeteria Culture
Cafeteria Culture is a non-profit environmental education organization that creatively works with student leaders of all ages to achieve zero waste schools and plastic-free waters through citizen science, arts, and civic action. Cafeteria Culture’s SORT2SAVE Kit and Cafeteria Ranger Program give students the opportunity to take the lead on recycling and composting and transform their school cafeteria into a zero waste zone. The SORT2SAVE Kit is a free online resource with short videos co-created with student partners and an eight-step guide to setting up a zero waste school cafeteria. It also includes downloadable signs, badges, letter templates, scheduling templates, and job descriptions. Click here to access the Sort2Save Kit.
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.