One of the pledges that all 4-H members make is to pledge “my hands to larger service,” and while that can be accomplished many different ways, a great opportunity to consider is through the Community Pride service-learning program!
Service Learning vs. Community Service
You mean doing community service, right…? Yes, and no! While community service does make a meaningful difference in doing something positive for the community, service learning takes it a step further. The goal of service learning is to help the community, while also developing personal life skills; enhancing learning and encouraging further civic engagement.
What Does That Look Like?
An example of community service would be if your club decided to get together and pick up trash to do a lake clean-up. An example of a service learning project would be to complete the lake clean -up but also, say, identify the source of the pollution, contact local government to see if action can be taken to prevent continued pollution, learn about the plants and animals that may be affected by the pollution, and so on!
Can We Get Financial Support for our Service Learning Project?
Absolutely! Each year, Community Pride Service Learning Grants can be applied for to financially assist your club in their project. The deadline for submitting a proposal is December 1st and your club can apply here.
This is a competitive project. To be eligible for one of the Top Community Pride Project Awards, groups must have submitted a proposal and a final report. Even groups who do not receive funding are eligible to submit a final report and compete for one of the Top Awards.
Can We Get Club Leader Support for our Service Learning Project?
Of course! There is a Leader’s Guide available as a resource for you here. You can also contact your 4-H Agent with any other questions or support you may need. This not only explains the concept and benefits of service learning further, but also walks you through how to achieve the steps of the process and complete each portion of the project.
Complete information can be found at the Florida 4-H Community Pride site. This is a great way to make a positive difference in your community and your self.