Community Service Learning

Service-Learning is a highly engaging method of teaching and way of learning; students use academic knowledge and skills to meet real community needs through service activities connected to their curriculum. Recent research demonstrates that effective service-learning increases student engagement and academic achievement, develops civic attitudes and behaviors, and builds personal and social skills. Research also supports that service-learning can be an effective strategy to reduce drop out rates and prevent risk behaviors.


PeaceJam @ Pittsfield High School

This year’s PeaceJam Northeast Youth Conference, with 2003 Nobel Peace Laureate Shrin Ebadi from Iran, was held on March 26-27 at the Watkinson School in Hartford Connecticut.  Twenty PeaceJam @ PHS students attended and presented their Global Call to Action project to Shirin and their peers.  They had the opportunity to interact with Shirin, other PeaceJam Ambassadors youth and advisors from around the Northeast, and college student mentors,  including two former Peacejammers from PHS.  They deepened their understanding of key issues related to peace and social justice, participated in community service in the Hartford area, and attended workshops to raise awareness and build skills.

PeaceJam @ PHS students presented their Global Call to Action project:  educating students and transforming attitudes and behaviors about one of our most precious resources – water.  Students began by watching all or portions of several documentaries about the topic:  Flow, Blue Gold, and Running Dry. They also met and listened to two representatives from the BARKA Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to bring sustainable development to Barkina Faso, one of the poorest countries in the world.   PeaceJammers then surveyed PHS students about their preferences for bottled water when compared to tap water.  In order to reduce the use of bottled water in the highschool and educate PHS students about the need to do this, PeaceJammers showed The Real Story of Bottled Water to all English classes.  A BPA-free reusable water bottle was designed and is being sold to raise funds to donate to BARKA to help dig a well in Barkina Faso.  Students also examined their own water habits and collectively reduced their shower time by fifty percent.  They are currently working on a bottle recycling program for PHS.

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