The Importance Of Service Learning

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Service learning is an important concept because it builds one’s character by allowing an individual to step outside their comfort zone and become involved in the community. This year, the Dragon Battalion was tasked to create a fleece blanket to donate to the Salvation Army. Before we began our project, we had to learn what service learning was and what we needed to know about the overall project. Lesson one discusses the difference between two types of service: community service and service learning. Unlike community service, where you are forced to help the community, service learning allows an individual to learn from an experience. You voluntarily help those in need, and since it is meaningful, it will impact you personally and others around you. In contrast, service learning is also composed of three parts: orientation and training, meaningful service, and structured reflection. Orientation and training is where you prepare for the project by establishing goals, learning about the organization you are working with, and listing resources you need to have to ensure the project can be done successfully. Then there’s meaningful service in which you execute the task by doing the project. Finally, you have the structured reflection. In structured reflection step, you reflect upon the task and how it has impacted you. This can be done by reflecting on your learning logs, or by writing an essay discussing your thoughts and emotions about the service learning task.

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