Let’s face it, whether you’re overjoyed or absolutely miserable, summer is out and school is back in. One thing that is absolutely certain, is that at the start of every school year, you will receive an abundance of information regarding rules, procedures, issues, and of course, how to stay safe. It’s a beneficial and common practice to provide students with information about issues they may face throughout the year such as bullying, dating violence, or harassment. But the real question is, once they receive this information, what are they going to do with it?
Service-learning for crime prevention is a hands-on approach that integrates knowledge and skill-building with community service experiences. As students move through the year and gain valuable information about crime prevention topics, it is important to also teach them the skills needed to address local community problems. Challenging students to work together to set goals, plan, and execute a project will develop not only their self-esteem, but their feelings of connection to the larger community. Some examples of service-learning projects include:
• Create posters or palm cards with safety tips to hand out at relevant school events
• Work with seniors at a local nursing home
• Create a quilt with students’ signatures in memory of lives lost to violence or drugs and alcohol
• Restore school-pride and host a clean-up day
As we continue to educate our youth on crime-related issues, it is important that we also challenge them to take an active role in educating others and being a part of the solution. To learn more about NCPC’s service-learning based curriculum, Community Works, click here.