May 2021 Newsletter
Program Updates
Youth Service Survey

Service in Schools wants to hear from you! Complete the Service in Schools Youth Service Survey to share your experience with youth service in the 2020-21 school year. Whether you are a student who has volunteered in your community, a teacher who led students in a school-based service project, a family or community member who facilitated a community service project for students, or someone who wanted to get involved in service but could not find the right opportunity, we want to hear from you! Email questions to
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
School Spotlight: P.S. 315 Lab School - Bronx
Sixth graders at the Lab School in the Bronx are advocating for a cleaner and healthier environment! They participated in a variety of virtual field trips with NYC-based cultural institutions to learn about relevant issues. One was with the Bronx Zoo where students heard about conservation innovation and another was hosted by the New York Aquarium where they learned how all living organisms are interconnected. Students also met with an educator from GrowNYC to discuss where their food comes from, how much of it is wasted, and how they can reduce that waste.
In order to raise awareness in the community about the issues they studied, students made posters advocating for different ways to reduce people's impact on the environment, such as minimizing electricity use, recycling, and composting. They also worked in the neighborhood and on school grounds to care for green spaces by doing trash cleanups, aerating the soil, and planting new vegetation. Students look forward to watching their plants grow and maintaining a clean and healthy neighborhood throughout their time at Lab School!
At-Home Service Opportunities for Youth
Animal Care Centers of New York

 Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC) welcomes educators and students to learn about how they help the pets and people of our city. ACC is New York City's official animal shelter, as well as the only open-admissions shelter in the city, which means they take in every animal that is brought to them. ACC’s virtual presentations cover a variety of different topics about caring for animals both in a shelter and a home setting. Visit the ACC Community Kids page to view opportunities for students to help make a difference for animals in need from home. To schedule an ACC presentation for your class, fill out a virtual presentation request form. ACC looks forward to working with young people who want to create projects to help animals and to join in their mission to end animal homelessness in NYC!
 Resources for Educators and Youth
Hunter College New York City Food Policy Center

The Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center develops solutions to promote food security and works to make NYC a model for smart, fair food policy. Through research and data, they produce reports and resources on topics including organic food labels, the price of food at various supermarkets in NYC, and how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted the food system in New York City. To help connect community members in need with food resources during the pandemic, the Food Policy Center created Coronavirus NYC Neighborhood Food Resource Guides for each NYC neighborhood in all five boroughs. The Food Resource Guides are updated daily to ensure that community members are able to access accurate information about food resources nearby. Sign up for the Food Policy Center's newsletter for more updates on food policy issues in NYC.
Gowanus Canal Conservancy (GCC)

Gowanus Canal Conservancy (GCC) advocates and cares for ecologically sustainable parks and public spaces in the Gowanus lowlands while empowering a community of stewards. Since 2006, GCC has led volunteer projects focused on garden and street tree stewardship and educated and activated community stewards, volunteers, and students in urban water issues. GCC has also equipped the community to build and advocate for a healthy waterway and environmentally resilient neighborhood and worked with agencies, elected officials, and the community to advocate for, build, and maintain innovative green infrastructure in the Gowanus Watershed. GCC provides a resource guide for educators and opportunities for students to take action to stop the pollution of waterways. In addition, GCC's virtual Urban Ecology field trips are free to all K-5 teachers within the Gowanus Watershed and New York State Environmental Justice areas throughout Brooklyn. In 45-60 minute virtual field trips, K-5 students will investigate biodiversity in an urban ecosystem as they explore human impact on the Gowanus Canal, a former salt marsh estuary. View your school’s eligibility and the booking calendar to schedule your trip today!
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 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.