When students begin to look at issues, problems, and needs in their communities, we ask them to define the scope in terms they can understand. Will we focus on just our school or the entire county? By defining the community, they can also identify stakeholders, nonprofit partners, government agencies, civic organizations, and especially the businesses they patronize. Our students need the support of the community to do high-quality service-learning projects. Here is how you can help!
Stakeholders - these are the people at the center of the issue or need the students deem critical. Including stakeholders in the investigation and planning of a service-learning project is key to creating meaningful service opportunities.
Using this strategy, we put the issue at the
center and the stakeholders around it, using
the boxes to note perspectives, needs,
Nonprofits - there are many nonprofits already focused on the needs or issues students hope to address. Working with these organizations is critical because some of the work has already been done. These groups, such as Feeding America Tampa Bay, need volunteers, food collections, referrals, and more.
Government Agencies - making connections with our government not only supports investigation into how it deals with issues and needs, but it is also a powerful lesson in how democracy works.
Civic Organizations - Students need to see civic action from adults and can benefit from the expertise and connections to be made through civic organizations in their community.
Businesses - Businesses and corporations can assist in many ways beyond financial support. They can offer resources through in-kind support and marketing opportunities through sponsorships.
We use this strategy to brainstorm assets and resources in the community.