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In June 1998, the Board of Education of the School District of Philadelphia passed a resolution mandating that all students demonstrate citizenship competencies by completing a service-learning project for promotion to grades 5 and 9 and for high school graduation. This resolution, part of Children Achieving–– Philadelphia’s education reform plan––launched an initiative supporting service-learning practice on an unprecedented scale for one school district.

Four years later, the District had formed partnerships with over 250 community agencies, trained 2,400 teachers in the philosophy and methodology of service-learning, and leveraged approximately $20 million per year in financial and in-kind resources to support this initiative.

Since then, the District has received countless requests for information about this initiative. These inquiries include such questions as “What specific policies support this effort?” “What types of funding were used?” and “What key staff functions are required to manage such a large initiative?” This guide provides answers to these questions and many others.


District Lessons, Number 2