Service Learning is defined as work that benefits others while the benefactor gains new or deeper knowledge or skills.
At Open World Learning Community, we deeply value stewardship. From the founding of our school in 1971, we have required students to go beyond state and district graduation criteria by fulfilling significant service commitments. OWL requires each graduate to perform 150 hours of school service learning and 150 hours of community service learning. Opportunities to meet this requirement abound, within classes, Crews, and through extracurricular groups. For decades, OWL graduates reflect on the profoundly heightened sense of competence, connectedness, and compassion that emerges from their service experiences.
School Service is defined as work that benefits Open World Learning Community. School Service can be earned mentoring younger students, assisting in classrooms, working at school events, cleaning and maintenance projects, and contributing to the library or school office.
Community Service is defined as work that benefits anentity or entities beyond OWL Community. OWL students have volunteered and interned at Bridge View School, local women's shelters, Como Zoo and Conservatory, the Minnesota Children's Museum, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Mosaic on a Stick, the Salvation Army, and area hospitals.
Service Learning is one of the distinguishing strengths of Open School graduates. However, it can be challenging to find the perfect volunteer opportunity from scratch. Here are some suggestions and links to get you started.
Finding the Best Service Learning Job
Open School is a caring place where service to the school and wider community forms the foundation for students to live their lives as active citizens.
Community Service Projects
Although many students complete service projects in their home or church communities, OWL offers coordination of service placements, service-based enrichment classes, and a community experience class.
Service Learning in the Curriculum
Expeditionary Learning provides a framework for incorporating service projects directly into classroom work, allowing students to apply knowledge in meaningful ways. A few examples include: