Service-learning is a teaching tool that allows our SDGVA students to develop internal assets necessary for becoming responsible adults who contribute to our global society. More specialized than just community service, service-learning involves applying classroom learning through investigation of a community problem, planning ways to solve it, action through service, reflection on the experience and what was learned, and demonstration of results. Participation in service-learning projects creates leaders who take initiative, solve problems, work as a team, and demonstrate their abilities while and through helping others.
Service-learning is a dynamic process, through which students' personal and social growth is tightly interwoven into their academic and cognitive development. According to scholars Eyler and Giles (1999), with the service-learning model "experience enhances understanding; understanding leads to more effective action.” SDGVA utilizes service-learning as a teaching strategy that engages students by making education relevant. Our SDGVA Service-Learning curriculum and professional development model is led by Valentyna Banner who is a certified service-learning consultant and professional development coordinator of Volunteer San Diego.
SDGVA’s service-learning curriculum for K-6th is generated yearly to meet the CA Common Core State Standards, Next Generation Science Standards and/or the 1997 CA Content Area Standards for History. SDGVA Educators meet throughout the year at professional development sessions to share age appropriate service-learning projects developed in their classrooms that foster learning opportunities for students locally, state-wide, nationally or globally.