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Programs > Service-Learning

Service-Learning in Maryland


Service-learning is a teaching method that combines meaningful service to the community with curriculum-based learning.


Students improve their academic skills by applying what they learn in school to the real world; they then reflect on their experience to reinforce the link between their service and their learning.

- Learning in Deed

In Focus

Maryland's 7 Best Practices are now aligned with the new national standards!


In Focus

Service-Learning Project: Reducing Heroin Use & Overdoses

Reducing Heroin Use & Overdoses


Maryland is the first state in the nation to require high school students to engage in service-learning activities as a condition of graduation.


Each of the 24 school districts in Maryland implements the service-learning graduation requirement differently, because they tailor the specifics of their program to their local community.


In April 2008, the National Youth Leadership Council released the K-12 Service-Learning Standards for Quality Practice.  There are eight national standards in comparison to Maryland's 7 Best Practices of Service-Learning Most of the national standards have a direct corresponding match with one of Maryland's existing seven standards.


What makes a project meaningful and effective?

High quality experiences meet Maryland's Seven Best Practices for Service-Learning (now aligned with NYLC's K-12 Service-Learning Standards for Quality Practice). These projects allow students and teachers to:

1.         Address a recognized need in the community


2.         Achieve curricular objectives


3.         Reflect throughout the service-learning experience


4.         Develop student responsibility


5.         Establish community partnerships


6.         Plan ahead for service learning


7.         Equip students with knowledge and skills needed for civic engagement


If you would like to evaluate the effectiveness of a service-learning project you current offer or engage in, use our Seven Best Practice Evaluation Tool.

Contact Information
Julie Ayers, Service-Learning Specialist
Maryland State Department of Education
200 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone:  410-767-0358
Fax:  410-333-8010
Email:  jayers@msde.state.md.us
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