More information about this region's service-learning programs can be found by contacting the following local educational agencies:
Fremont Unified School District
The Fremont Unified School District (FUSD) serves more than 32,000 economically and culturally diverse students in 40 schools located throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. The district’s mission is to "provide equitable opportunities that educate, challenge, and inspire students of all ages, talents, and ability levels while preparing each with the skills required for adapting and succeeding in an ever-changing world.”
Support for civic engagement within the FUSD is widespread, and service-learning is becoming a key strategy to help fulfill the district’s mission. In 2000 the district board established a service-learning graduation requirement and funded two full-time equivalent service-learning coordinator positions at each of the district’s five high schools. The district seeks to build teacher training for service-learning into such existing structures as beginning teacher support and assessment and in-service staff development to ensure the sustainability of service-learning as a teaching strategy and expand high-quality service-learning into all schools.
Service-learning has been implemented in 26 out of 28 elementary schools through the district’s participation in the Head, Heart, Hands (H3) program, which ties character education to language arts content and skills development through service-learning. The district’s participation in H3 has been enthusiastic; 1,000 elementary school teachers have been trained in service-learning, and each elementary school has implemented schoolwide service-learning projects. For example, students at Parkmont Elementary conducted a book drive for migrant students in California’s central valley after learning about Cesar Chavez. They collected thousands of books, wrote and attached reviews of their favorite books to encourage other students to read them, and then donated the books to a central valley school for distribution.
In partnership with teachers, the district’s Math and Science Nucleus and the City of Fremont bring curriculum to life through service-learning. The Math and Science Nucleus provides teacher training and offers hands-on science service-learning to students who participate in its environmental stewardship. The program’s executive director has written supplemental science texts that focus on what can be learned by studying and caring for local watersheds. In one ongoing long-term project, students from Irvington High School, a National Service-Learning Leader school, are restoring the Tule Ponds near the Bay Area Rapid Transit station.
In 2001 the City of Fremont adopted a Community Building and Engagement Initiative to strengthen and expand involvement in community life. The district has witnessed rapidly changing demographics and an influx of immigrants from around the world has contributed to the impetus to build a more cohesive community. In 2002 the district and the City of Fremont established a service-learning partnership consisting of students, parents, teachers, and school administrators, as well as representatives from businesses, nonprofit organizations, city and county government, and community groups, to draft a planning document to guide the development of service-learning for students across the district. Support for the district’s service-learning program to strengthen students’ involvement in civic life is the primary strategy for 2006. The city and district partnership has been a key motivator for service-learning within the FUSD.