Learn and Serve America supports service-learning programs in schools and community organizations that engage youth in addressing education, public safety, environmental, and other human needs. Funds are used to create new programs or replicate existing programs, as well as to provide training and development to staff, faculty, and volunteers. Learn and Serve America projects are required to match federal funds with resources from the community.

Service learning is a method by which students improve academic learning and develop personal skills through structured service projects that meet community needs. Service learning builds upon students' service activities by providing them with opportunities to learn by preparing, leading, and reflecting upon their service experiences. Evidence from a national study of Learn and Serve America programs suggests that effective service-learning programs:
¨ improve academic grades;
¨ increase attendance in school; and
¨ develop personal and social responsibility.

FY 1996-98 Learn & Serve America: School-Based Programs (LSA:SBP):
Current programs engage over 6,000 K-12 students in quality school-based service-learning activities in 40 schools throughout 12 schools districts. The service learning activities that students are engaged in address one or more of the following priority areas: human needs, public safety, education, or environment. Programs work collectively with over 900 adult volunteers and approximately 100 community-based organizations to teach students.

FY 1999-00 LSA:SBP:
In order to strengthen the Learn & Serve America Program model, a new program design was developed that links service learning to the School-to-Work Opportunities Initiatives. This new design synthesizes elements of New Jersey's successful service-learning and School-to-Work programs as a means for school districts to implement the State's Core Curriculum Content Standards.

It is the intention of the Department of Education that each sub-granted LSA:SBP will become a self-sustaining integral part of the schools' and district's effort to implement the Core Curriculum Content Standards.

FY 2001 LSA:SBP:
The NJ DOE anticipates continued funding from the Corporation for National Service in FY 2001. If funding is available, Request for Applications (RFP) should be available in the winter of 1999. If you would like to be place on a mailing list, please call 609-633-9627.

For more information about service-learning programs, publications, events, and training call the Learn and Serve America Clearinghouse at 800-808-SERVE. For specific information about NJ's Learn and Serve America programs, contact Michael Gowdy at (609) 633-9627 or by mail:

Michael Gowdy
Department of Education
P.O. Box 500
Trenton, NJ 08625-0500 E-mail: mgowdy@doe.state.nj.us