Service in Schools

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Elementary school teachers are invited to apply to launch a Service in Schools Kids Action Team at their school. The Kids Action Team will meet once a week from December 2019 to May 2020 and complete a service project by May 2020. Teachers participating in the Service in Schools Kids Action Team Program receive free professional development, resources, and support to complete a service-learning project with students. The program culminates in the Celebration of Service on Thursday, May 28, where students will share out their service accomplishments. Learn more about this opportunity, and apply to launch a Service in Schools Kids Action Team.

Teams of two teachers of middle or high school students are invited to apply for the Race Against Waste program, a collaboration between Service in Schools and the Office of Sustainability to support teachers in leading students through an investigation of waste in their community and developing a service-learning project that focuses on reducing and reusing.

The Race Against Waste program is structured as an after-school program led by a team of two teachers and can be used to launch a new Race Against Waste Green Team or extend the work of an existing Green Team. Teachers participating in the Race Against Waste program receive professional development, opportunities to work with partners from non-profits leading waste reduction initiatives in NYC, and resources and support to complete a service-learning project on reducing and reusing with students. Professional learning sessions will be held on December 12, January 15, March 3 and April 29 from 8:30-3:00pm in Manhattan. Teacher teams selected to participate must attend all four days of professional learning. Learn more about this opportunity, and apply to participate in this program.

About Us

The NYC Department of Education's Service in Schools initiative began in August 2010 in partnership with NYC Service, Office of the Mayor.

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Service in Schools strives to expand the number of NYC students engaged in transformative community service and service-learning experiences that enable them to use their voice, skills, and critical thinking to affect positive change in their communities and the world. Learn more about Service in Schools’ programs

Direct Support

Service in Schools directly assists schools to develop and improve their community service and service-learning programs. Through school site visits as well as email and phone outreach, Service in Schools works with educators and school leaders to answer questions and provide resources and ideas to expand their school service programs. Email to have a member of the team visit your school to learn about your service projects and see the impact you're making on the community.

Service Programs and Resources

Service in Schools provides schools with resources to create and enhance their community service and service-learning programs. Through the monthly newsletter and this website, Service in Schools regularly communicates upcoming school and student opportunities, professional learning workshops, local service projects, partners, and helpful resources. Service in Schools offers a range of resources for schools to empower students, as well as recognizes and helps schools sustain outstanding service and service-learning programs. Learn more about Service in Schools’ programs


Service-learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with classroom curriculum, allowing students to connect academic studies with real-life solutions in order to strengthen communities. Within the classroom, students identify community needs, apply their skills and studies to research solutions and plan service activities, implement the activities, and evaluate and reflect on the experiences and impact.

Each school year, Service in Schools provides professional learning workshops for schools interested and ready to implement service-learning, a teaching strategy that integrates meaningful community service with classroom curriculum. The workshops provide strategies for building a culture of service and service-learning in your school community as well as how to evaluate its impact on students' achievement. The Service in Schools Service-Learning Institute offers K-12 teachers in all content areas the opportunity to participate in four full-days of professional learning focused on connecting service to classroom curriculum and leading students through action that helps the community.

Community Service

Community service is an activity that engages students with real-life solutions to strengthen communities. Learn more about community service opportunities and resources for NYC students and educators. 

Service Coordinators

The Service Coordinator is a school-based staff member who oversees school’s service initiatives and is designated by the principal in the Consolidated Plan. Throughout the year, Service Coordinators receive communications from Service in Schools about opportunities for teachers and students. At the end of the school year, Service Coordinators complete the Service in Schools End-of-Year survey to report on the service activities of their students.

Impact on NYC Public Schools

Data gathered from educators in the 2018-2019 school year revealed Service in Schools’ impact on students and schools in NYC. Important findings include:

  • 359,191 students participated in at least one school-led service and/or service-learning activity
  • Students performed more than 9,259 school-led service and/or service-learning projects
  • An overwhelming majority of responding schools reported that school-led service and/or service-learning activities had a positive impact on their students’ development and ability to benefit their community
  • Approximately 90 percent or 1,052 responding schools, reported that they accessed resources and/or partnered with at least one external organization to support their service initiative
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