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Service-learning is defined as a method:

a) under which participants learn and develop through active participation in thoughtfully organized service experiences that meet actual community needs that are coordinated in collaboration with the community;

b) that is integrated with specific learning objectives and provides structured time for participants to think, talk, or write about what they did and saw during the actual service activity;

c) that provides participants with opportunities to use newly acquired skills and knowledge in real-life situations in their own communities; and

d) that enhances what is done in a program by extending participant learning beyond the organization and into the community, and helps foster a sense of caring for others.

In other words, service-learning is made up of activities that connect serving your community with the learning you already do in your program or organization. Service-learning provides a real-life application of knowledge and skills to real-life community needs.