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Afterschool Service-Learning

Afterschool Service-Learning

Supporting Service-Learning in Afterschool Programs

Through funding provided by Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, NYLC is seeking Eight Statewide Afterschool Networks who wish to develop or expand service-learning programs in your state. Selected Networks will receive a $10,000 grant, technical support, and trainings so that service-learning becomes a sustainable and systematic part of afterschool learning.


Service-learning is an approach to teaching and learning in which youth use academic knowledge and skills to address genuine community needs. It empowers them to make positive and authentic change in their communities through experiential, hands-on learning and skill building.

A growing body of research recognizes service-learning as an effective strategy to help students by:

  • Promoting learning through active participation in service experiences;
  • Providing structured time for students to reflect by thinking, discussing and writing about their service experience;
  • Providing an opportunity for students to use skills and knowledge in real-life situations;
  • Extending learning beyond the classroom and into the community; and
  • Fostering a sense of caring for others.

Service-Learning also strengthens both education and local communities by:

  • Building effective collaborative partnerships between schools, afterschool programs, or colleges and other institutions and organizations.
  • Engaging parents and other adults in supporting student learning.
  • Meeting community needs through the service projects conducted.
  • Providing engaging and productive opportunities for young people to work with others in their community.

*The above information was provided by the Corporation for National and Community Service, Learn & Serve America

The benefits to service-learning are vast and varied but when service-learning is woven into a program’s fabric, youth enhance their academic, 21st Century, leadership, and social emotional skills because they are physically out in the community, making real change happen. It demonstrates that afterschool programs are developing the next generation of engaged and informed citizens who are ready to address community needs.


NYLC’s Afterschool Service-Learning program supports the Statewide Afterschool Networks in organizing activities that contribute to the social-emotional, personal, and leadership development of young people. Past Networks have:

Past Grantees have:

  • Partnered with Learning to Give to develop and launch a Service-Learning Pilot program with ten afterschool programs in their state (Michigan).
  • Worked closely with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to enhance its statewide partnership in support of quality programming and bringing renewed focus to the value of service learning, both in and out of school, thereby increasing the number of children who will have service-learning opportunities (Massachusetts). 
  • Partnered with New Jersey Department of Education to host an instructional training to benefit afterschool programs with a focus on civic education (New Jersey). 
  • Provided a service-learning breakout session to 700 YMCA Youth in Government students. Through this session, 30 students participated in a week-long summer Y-CORPs service-learning project trip (Pennsylvania).
  • Created a train-the-trainer program impacting 50 sites across the state (Tennessee).

This grant period has closed. This opportunity will be available in fall 2020 to all Networks whether you are at the beginning of your service-learning journey or have been using it for years. Support can be used in a variety of ways depending on the needs and goals of your state.

Grant Recipients will receive:

  $10,000 grant in year one (October 15, 2019 - September 30, 2020).

  Opportunity to apply for an additional $10,000 in year two.

  Training and Technical Assistance from the National Youth Leadership Council, including remote and individual coaching and planning support.

  Access to NYLC’s online community for service-learning which includes tools, resources, and a network of people from across the country.

Year Two Service-Learning Grant Opportunity

Current NYLC Service-Learning grantees have the opportunity to apply for a second year of funding. Only Networks who received year one funding are eligible to apply for this grant.

Year-Two Service-Learning Grant will receive:

  • $10,000 grant for the grant period of October 1, 2019 - September 30, 2020.
  • Training and Technical Assistance from the National Youth Leadership Council, including remote and individual coaching and planning support.
  • Access to NYLC’s online community for service-learning which includes tools, resources, and a network of people from across the country.

Applications are closed - thank you to all who applied!

Current Afterschool Partners Include:

  • Beyond School Bells - Nebraska SAN

  • Georgia Statewide Afterschool Network

  • Ignite Afterschool (Minnesota)

  • Indiana Afterschool Network

  • Louisiana Center for Afterschool Learning

  • Michigan Afterschool Partnership

  • New Jersey School-Age Care Coalition

  • North Carolina Center for Afterschool Programs

  • OregonAsk

  • Pennsylvania Statewide Afterschool/Youth Development Network

  • Tennessee Afterschool Network

  • Massachusetts Afterschool Partnership


To learn more about our work with Afterschool programs, email