More information about this region's service-learning programs can be found by contacting the following local educational agencies:
Los Angeles County - Long Beach Unified School District
The Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD), in collaboration with the Long Beach Nonprofit Partnership, strives to enhance service-learning activities and solidify the district’s service-learning high school graduation requirement. The district serves more than 93,000 students through 80 public schools in the City of Long Beach, Signal Hill, Lakewood, and Avalon on Santa Catalina Island. As the third-largest school district in California, it serves the most diverse large city in the United States (Census 2000), with more than 46 different languages spoken by students. In addition, the district is the largest employer, with 8,000 staff members.
In spring 2003 the district’s school board instituted cutting-edge educational reform by making service-learning a graduation requirement. The district’s initiative focuses on the institutionalization of service-learning at the kindergarten through eighth grade levels. The district encourages rigorous teacher training and curriculum development that connects solidly with the state’s academic content standards, creating a seamless service-learning system from kindergarten through higher education that partners with key stakeholders.
Key partners include California State University, Long Beach and Long Beach City College. The highlight of the service-learning activities is the annual communitywide Volunteer Village, where students, parents, and staff of community organizations gather to identify opportunities for service-learning. In 2006 nearly 1,200 students and parents and more than 75 community agencies are expected to attend the event.
Long Beach Unified School District
1299 E. 32nd Street, # 10
Signal Hill, CA 90755
Coordinator: Merideth Joyce
Los Angeles Unified School District
The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) encompasses 710 square miles. In addition to the city of Los Angeles, the district serves many other cities and several unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. It consists of 1,300 schools and sites that service over 670,000 kindergarten through twelfth grade students. Over 31,000 teachers, 2,000 administrators and 34,000 staff support these students. Student demographics include almost 70 percent free and reduced-price lunch program and 32 percent English learners.
The vision of LAUSD for the use of service-learning is aligned with the California Department of Education's (CDE) service-learning goals—each student will have at least one high-quality service-learning experience at each grade span prior to high school graduation. The LAUSD service-learning board policy states that beginning with the class of 2007, students will complete a service-learning experience integrated into the curriculum of an academic course in grades nine through twelve in order to graduate from high school. The graduation requirement is not hour-based, but rather experience-based.
The district developed the LAUSD Service-Learning Guidebook which includes service-learning certification forms, and over 70 high-quality service-learning activities. These activities are aligned to academic standards and embedded into the eleventh grade United States History curriculum and a variety of other high school courses. The LAUSD Service-Learning Partnership is a collaboration of people and organizations supporting service-learning throughout the eight local districts. The Partnership consists of administrators, teachers, community organizations, parents, and students. Primary funding has been received from the CDE CalServe Initiative, as well as from other secondary sources.
The following illustrates a few of the service-learning activities found in LAUSD that support the focus for service-learning as an instructional tool to increase student academic performance, promote civic engagement and responsibility, develop student assets, support character education, and support preparation for post secondary education and career:
- Project Citizen: Students participated in a service-learning project that resulted in the installation of additional street lighting as part of a larger effort to reduce neighborhood crime and graffiti;
- High School Heroes Program: Students teach a Junior Achievement Curriculum to elementary students after school;
- Wheelchairs for Humanity: Special education students repair wheelchairs to be shipped to disabled individuals in Third World Countries;
- Cross-Age Tutoring: High School students teach fourth and fifth-graders about constitutional freedoms and how to participate in the political process;
- Middle School Bridge to Success (Pilot) Summer Program: Embedded into the summer intervention program is a service-learning curriculum designed to support literacy and the development of assets; and
- Student Leadership Senate: High School students are mentored in the areas of communication, team work, and ethics and develop service-learning projects to use these skills while giving back to the community.
Los Angeles Unified School District Service-Learning
333 South Beaudry Avenue, 25th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Advisor: Jay Gonzalez