Service in Schools offers a range of resources for schools to build a culture of service and provide youth with opportunities for service in their classroom, school community, and city.
High School Leadership Institute
The Service in Schools Leadership Institute is an exciting opportunity for NYC public high school students in grades 10-12 to build their leadership skills over the course of a five-day Institute during spring break. It culminates in the planning and implementation of the Youth Service Summit for elementary school students. Email Service in Schools with questions.
Service in Schools Kids Action Team
Through the Service in Schools Kids Action Team program, teachers learn how to integrate academic learning into after-school service activities, implement and document a service-learning project with their students, and cultivate a service mindset in young students to increase the likelihood of continued service engagement throughout their lives. Students on a Kids Action Team gain knowledge of local issues and experience presenting their work to peers, families, and other stakeholders at the Celebration of Service in the spring.
Race Against Waste Program
The Race Against Waste program is a collaboration between Service in Schools and the Office of Sustainability to support teams of teachers from middle and high schools in leading students through an investigation of waste in their community and developing a service-learning project to address it. Participating teachers can launch a new Race Against Waste Green Team or extend the work of an existing Green Team. Through the Race Against Waste program, student Green Team members plan, carry out, and document a service-learning project that serves a community need while learning from experts in the field of waste reduction.
Youth Service Summit
The Service in Schools Youth Service Summit is a day of service to mobilize elementary school youth across the city. Students engage in service projects led by high school student leaders that address local and global issues including homelessness, hunger, health, the environment, and animal welfare. The summit culminates in a celebration in which students reflect on the power of youth to make change in their communities on a school, neighborhood, or even worldwide scale.
Service in Schools Newsletters
Read about additional service-learning programs and service opportunities for NYC public school students in the Service in Schools newsletter.
Partners in Youth Service
The following organizations work with New York City public schools to engage students in community service and service-learning.
American Red Cross in Greater New York
The American Red Cross in Greater New York partners with NYC high schools through the Red Cross Clubs program. The program provides club members with meaningful opportunities to serve their community and develop leadership skills. Student leaders plan and implement school and community-based service projects, such as organizing blood drives and providing disaster preparedness education.
The Bronx River Alliance
Cathryn Berger Kaye and CBK Associates
A national expert in K-12 service-learning, Cathryn Berger Kaye and CBK Associates provide a robust portfolio of service-learning books, authors, and free curriculum resources for educators. Cathryn also leads multi-day professional development workshops and conferences for teachers, school districts, and nonprofit organizations to develop and expand their service-learning programming.
City Harvest is New York City’s largest food rescue organization, helping to feed the nearly 1.2 million New Yorkers who are struggling to put meals on their tables. They will rescue 64 million pounds of food this year and deliver it, free of charge, to hundreds of food pantries, soup kitchens, and other community partners across the five boroughs. Their programs empower individuals through nutrition education, increase our partners’ capacity, and strengthen the local food system, helping New Yorkers who are experiencing food insecurity to access, afford, and consume nutritious food. NYC students can get involved by organizing food drives for City Harvest and volunteering.
Doing Good Together
Generation Citizen partners with NYC middle and high schools to lead students through an in-class Action Civics curriculum that allows young people to learn about the democratic process by taking action on issues that matter to them. Classroom teachers and trained college Democracy Coach volunteers work together as students brainstorm and analyze community issues, develop and execute strategic action plans, and become change-makers in their own communities.
GenerationOn offers service-learning training and curriculum resources to teachers and school leaders. It strives to help students develop into healthy, empowered, creative problem-solvers and global leaders by experiencing their power and potential through service and service-learning.
GlamourGals organizes and inspires teen volunteers to provide ongoing companionship and complimentary beauty makeovers to women living in senior homes. GlamourGals is creating a movement of compassionate teen leaders working to end elder isolation. Chapters are student-led and based in high schools (grades 9-12).
Global Glimpse provides powerful international travel opportunities to high school students from diverse backgrounds. Students engage in a structured 16-day international experience focused on service-learning, cultural immersion, and leadership development. The Global Glimpse program builds empathy, agency, and global perspective to empower students to succeed in college and drive change locally and globally. Since 2007, Global Glimpse has served over 6,000 students and 600 educators across 80 high schools and provided over $13.2 million dollars in travel scholarships to ensure that travel is accessible to all.
The GO Project provides year-round educational and family support services to children who are performing below grade level and equips them with the confidence and skills needed to succeed at school, at home, and in life. The GO Project calls upon passionate individuals to provide critical academic support to students in Saturday classes. GO Project Volunteer Tutors are placed in a 1st-8th grade classroom led by a professional Head Teacher and GO Project volunteers. Volunteer Tutors can sign up today to join the movement for educational equity.
GreenThumb provides educational, technical, and material support to NYC urban gardeners. GreenThumb’s Youth Leadership Council (YLC) program is a free program designed for youth (12 to 21 years old) to volunteer in community gardens located throughout the five boroughs, working alongside experienced community gardeners to promote intergenerational service learning.
Gowanus Canal Conservancy
Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots
Roots and Shoots is the Jane Goodall Institute's global environmental and humanitarian youth program. It offers service-learning professional development and free curriculum for educators in NYC. With members in more than 120 countries, Roots and Shoots provides a network where schools can take action to help people, animals, and the environment.
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Pennies for Patients is a three-week service-learning campaign where students collect loose change for blood cancer patients. This provides students with tangible life skills and allows them to see the difference they are making in the lives of others. The school-based community program, which includes a free STEM Curriculum, has evolved to encompass key competencies of the social and emotional learning (SEL) framework that promotes a healthy foundation for learning, both in school and in life.
The goal of MillionTreesNYC is to plant and care for one million new trees throughout New York City over the next decade. Through their Educator Toolkit, MillionTreesNYC provides educators with extensive resources to support student learning about caring for the environment and trees. Classrooms can participate in free tree education programs, plantings on school grounds and service-learning opportunities from the NYC Parks Department, New York Restoration Project and other nonprofit organizations.
New York Cares
NYC Service, a division of the Office of the Mayor, promotes volunteerism and engages New Yorkers in service. NYC Service seeks to elevate Youth Volunteer Service as a leadership and development strategy for the city. NYC Service offers a range of citywide volunteer opportunities for all ages to participate in.
Reading Partners is a national education nonprofit dedicated to improving students’ reading skills. Reading Partners connects passionate high school student volunteers with struggling readers to help students build strong literacy skills, gain confidence, and discover a passion for reading. Volunteers are trained to work one-on-one with students for 45 minutes twice a week following a structured, research-based curriculum.
Parents Community Service Network (PCSN)
PCSN is a network of New York City-based parents who are who are working on community service projects in their children’s schools. Through regular meetings, panel discussions, and online postings, PCSN provides parents with the opportunities and resources to foster service and service-learning programs in partnership with their local schools.
The Service-Learning Project (SLP)
The SLP is a New York City-based civic engagement program for public school students in grades K-12. SLP staff are available to co-facilitate service learning projects with classroom teachers or train and provide technical assistance to school staff.
WE Schools provides free educational resources and service-learning campaigns to help students further their curricular learning and develop the 21st century life skills needed for success. Young people are challenged to research and take action on the social issues they are most passionate about. In addition, the new WE Teachers program provides free resources and training to support teachers in addressing critical social issues with their classes.
Youth Service America (YSA)
YSA educates teachers with strategies to empower youth to be problem-solvers and engages youth to volunteer, succeed academically, and be leaders in their communities. YSA coordinates Global Youth Service Day for students and Semester of Service for schools and provides a wide variety of resources and trainings. It also distributes over $1 million in grants annually to support service-learning.