Planning Your Project
Are you searching for tools you can use to assist you in planning your service learning project? Use this quick list to guide your process.
- Form Your Team – Identify team members and an adult coach.
- Brainstorm Community Issues – Explore the media, talk with people, connect with decision makers, choose an issue of concern to your group.
- Select a Strategy – Focus on a goal for your group within the larger issue, choose a project, set a goal and write it down
- Engage the community – identify who in the community can help, interview those in power, find collaborators and helpers
- Create a Plan of Action – list the steps you will need to follow to reach your goal, delegate responsibilities to team members, plan a budget and decide what resources (people, money, materials) you will need.
- Identify strategies to involve others
- Deal with obstacles and do problem solving, evaluate along the way
- Write up your results – include reflections from the group and from those served by your project
- Celebrate your success and tell your story. Share your story with others in the community. Be sure to write thank you notes to those who helped along the way.
Use the two manuals below to help you with your planning.
Service Learning Planning Guide - leads you through the planning process and illustrates the process with a sample project.
Service Learning Coach's Manual - helps the adult volunteer to understand more fully their role as a coach for the youth-led project
Evaluating your Project
Project evaluation needs to be a part of every plan. This answers the question of whether the project met its goals. Evaluation does not have to be complex or prove that the project solved a large societal problem such as the elimination of homeless pets. Instead, evaluation shows what happened as a result of the team's efforts. Check out the evaluation section of the Project Planning Guide or the template evaluation from the There's No New Water! curriculum.