The mission of the Academic Service Learning program in Lake Orion Schools is to connect meaningful service to the community with classroom instruction that enriches learning, promotes student achievement, teaches civic responsibility and enhances personal growth. (Endorsed by the Lake Orion Board of Education, 2010)
The Benefits of Academic Service Learning
- Self Esteem - Students earn a sense of empowerment because they are valued, needed and respected.
- Citizenship - Students learn that citizenship requires an actively engaged community life.
- Academic Skills - Students' desire to learn is heightened by experience in community service. They learn to connect classroom experience with life in the community. Students learn relevance of academic subject matter from science and mathematics to the social sciences and humanities. Students reflect on important moral ethical issues.
- Career Education - Students directly experience the world of work.
- Curriculum broadened/deepened
- New roles as mentors, facilitators and guides
- Performance-based evaluation
- Staff collegiality improves
- School/Community Partnerships
- Development and renewal
- Recipients receive direct aid
- Agencies receive hard work and creativity from youth
- Creates community-minded youth citizens
- Youth seen as a resource, not source of problems
The Academic Service Leaning Program in Lake Orion Community Schools is funded by United Way of Southeastern Michigan. Laurie Trafton, Academic Service Learning Coordinator, works with teachers in all district school buildings to help them find ways to extend what they are teaching in the classroom out into the community, which includes our own community of Lake Orion to the entire United States.