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Other Youth Topics

Diversity & Intercultural Service-Learning

Service-learning offers rich opportunities for students to understand and experience diversity in meaningful ways, demystifies stereotypes, and provides a way for students to learn about other cultures and to explore differences, including race, gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status, geographic location, environment, values, beliefs, traditions, and abilities.

Importance of Intercultural Service-Learning

Given the interconnectedness of our global communities, the issues of intercultural respect and dialogue have recently become the highlight of national and international discussions. Because youth represent the future, their participation in successful intercultural service projects on the local, national, and international levels can have an impact on global issues that affect all of us. When service and intercultural learning are combined, young people are able to contribute their time and talent from the perspective of their own diverse backgrounds and enrich not only their own lives but also the lives of those with whom they come into contact. Cooperating with youth from other countries, cultures, regions, or communities of the world can result in dialogue, tolerance, and universal peace. Moreover, intercultural service-learning projects allow young people around the world to expose and address multifaceted local, national, and global problems. These opportunities contribute to the development of civic responsibility among youth in partnering communities throughout the world and also allow them to design sustainable efforts that focus on issues such as disaster relief, famine, equal rights, poverty, disease, and more.

Resources

Service for Peace
Service for Peace is an international nonprofit organization that promotes sustainable and participatory community development through service. Service for Peace is associated and affiliated with, among others, the United States Agency for International Development and the Corporation for National and Community Service.

International Education Resource Network (iEARN)
iEARN is a nonprofit organization consisting of more than 20,000 schools worldwide in more than 115 countries that seeks to empower students and teachers to work together online on selected projects that are integrated into their classrooms.

Global Youth Service Day
Global Youth Service Day is an annual campaign that celebrates and mobilizes the millions of children and youth who improve their communities each day of the year through service and service-learning. This website offers resources, information about funding opportunities, news, and opportunities to connect with service-learning projects.

Youth Service America (YSA)
YSA aims to improve communities by increasing the number and the diversity of young people, ages 5–25, serving in substantive roles. Resources and training provided by YSA include the Global Youth Service Day Planning Tool Kit, the Service-Learning Curriculum Guide, the National Service Briefing, and Youth Service Institute information, webinars, and individual support. This project is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of State, and other organizations.

Coverdell World Wise Schools
Coverdell World Wise Schools offer resources to help integrate global issues and cultural awareness into core content areas. The service-learning page provides lesson plans categorized by grade levels (K–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12) that guide students through planning, undertaking, and evaluating service-learning projects. In addition, students are encouraged to reflect on the importance of community service by reading stories about Peace Corps volunteer experiences, articulating needs within their own communities, and generating ideas about how to address those needs through service.