June 2021 Newsletter
Program Updates
Celebrations of Service

Over the last month, students and educators involved in this semester’s Service in Schools programs came together virtually to share what they have accomplished. During the Students Taking Action Today program showcases, students presented on a wide range of service-learning projects, including but not limited to providing supplies and hand-made toys to animal shelters, making connections with socially isolated elders, supplying community fridges with healthy and culturally relevant foods, and reducing plastic waste. Their service efforts involved deep research, including interviews with experts and community surveys. During the virtual showcases, students had a chance to learn about the service activities completed by classes across the city and offered one another inspiration for continuing service this summer and next school year. View students’ presentation materials to get ideas for youth service in your community!

At the end of May, high school students who participated in Service in Schools’ Virtual Leadership Institute led the Youth Service Summit! These 39 student leaders planned and led engaging virtual lessons for students in grades 3-5 that addressed issues that impact NYC communities: homelessness, pollution, food insecurity, and animal welfare. After learning how they can take action and reflecting on the virtual lessons, the participating elementary school students were empowered to serve as agents of change in their own community. View the Youth Service Summit lessons to learn more about these issues and how young people can make an impact. 

Students came away from these celebrations of service feeling proud of their achievements and motivated to do more. The Service in Schools team is excited to see how these young people continue to serve their communities in the future!

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 ServiceinSchools@schools.nyc.gov.
School Spotlight: I.S. 63 - Staten Island
Students at I.S. 63 Marsh Avenue Expeditionary Learning School in Staten Island researched climate change with a specific focus on how community members can make a positive impact. They researched the plastic bag ban, impact of paper bags, and solutions to help reduce waste, as well as the detrimental impacts that paper and plastic bags have on our planet. Students came to the conclusion that using reusable bags is the best and most environmentally conscious choice a consumer can make. To learn more about climate change, students interviewed CBS meteorologist Jeff Berardelli and built a survey with the goal of learning how people in NYC felt about the plastic bag ban and global warming. Over 100 people responded to the survey!
While analyzing the survey data, the students realized that while most people supported the plastic bag ban, many struggled to remember to bring their reusable bags with them when leaving the house. They decided to make posters and public service videos to remind community members to bring reusable bags with them wherever they go, using the tagline “Just bring it!” They also presented their advocacy campaign to three other middle schools at the Students Taking Action Today Showcase in June. This experience helped students to realize that they could enact real change in their community and made them eager to do more work in the future to help Staten Island and the city as a whole.

Opportunities for Youth and Families
Summer Meals NYC

This summer, students and their families can get free "grab and go" meals across New York City starting on June 28 through the Summer Meals program. No registration, documentation, or ID is required to receive a free breakfast or lunch meal. Breakfast and lunch service times will be from 9:00am to 1:00pm. Vegetarian, Kosher, and Halal meals are available at select locations
 Resources for Educators and Youth
National Youth Leadership Council

Are you curious about integrating service-learning into K-12 teaching? Do you wonder how social and emotional learning fit with service-learning? Are you ready to get started?
Check out the National Youth Leadership Council’s newly revised Getting Started in Service-Learning publication, available for free thanks to generous support from the Allstate Foundation. This entry-level guide helps educators identify desired results, develop plans for assessments to measure student progress, and design learning experiences accordingly. The digital book includes fillable PDFs, self-assessment tools, project examples, and teacher tips with suggestions for moving from service to service-learning. Learn more and download it for free from the National Youth Leadership Council store.
Materials for the Arts

Materials for the Arts (MFTA) strives to keep valuable art-making materials from entering the landfill by putting them into the hands of arts professionals, educators, and students across New York City. MFTA gives unwanted items the opportunity to become something new through creative reuse, inspired education, and unlimited imagination. They provide professional development workshops for educators, and their website features an Online Education Center filled with creative arts education resources and tutorials for students and educators. MFTA also offers virtual field trips for students as well as arts residencies for schools. Email questions to education@mfta.nyc.gov

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.