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Learn & Serve Grants

Learn and Serve Leaders' Institute
February 6, 2004

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The first Georgia Learn and Serve Leaders' Institute was held at the Lake Lanier Emerald Point Conference Center on February 6, 2004. Co-directors of the University of Georgia's League of Professional Schools, Kathy Thompson and Lew Allen, facilitated the institute. Director of the Georgia Department of Education Learn and Serve project, Myra Tolbert, provided participants with up-to-date information about the grants. What follows is a summary of the key points made during the day. Copies of overheads can be found on the League's web site, www.leagueschools.com, on the Learn and Service Grants page.

  • Learn and Serve grants are as much about building schools' capacity to integrate service learning into their curricular choices and instructional practices as they are about carrying out service learning projects.

  • Learn and Serve grants can help us better understand how Service Learning can help schools meet NCLB requirements.

  • Learn and Serve grants need to produce knowledge that will benefit future grantees.

  • Our theory of action is that we all bring expertise to this effort. Our collective success depends on our ability to learn from each other.

  • There was general agreement that the purpose of public schools is to provide students with the kind of skills and civic attitudes that they will need to be participating citizens in our democratic society. Democratic Learning is an instructional approach that can help schools meet this purpose. Service learning projects that are planned and carried out following Democratic Learning principles have great potential for improving student achievement.

  • Service Learning, as informed by Democratic Learning, shouldn't simply be added to a school's curricular choices and instructional practices. Rather, Service Learning should be integrated into a school's curricular choices and instructional practices.

  • By June of 2004, each school will have an action plan for how they will use Learn and Serve grant money to improve the CRCT scores of their students.

  • To prepare for the March 6th meeting, participants are asked to 1) be ready to share their progress on their action plan, 2) read the Powerful Learning section of Glickman's book Revolutionizing America's Schools, and 3) bring their school's mission statement.