National Center for Learning and Citizenship at ECS
700 Broadway, Suite 810
Denver, CO 80203-3442
Associate Policy Analyst
Asst. Editor/Administrative Asst.
Visit the Grant's Lick Elementary School website
Grant's Lick Elementary School is located in a small, rural community in Northern Kentucky. Service-learning has provided an avenue for the students to make real-life connections both locally and globally. These connections have provided a foundation for student learning, while at the same time making an extreme impact on the lives of many people. By providing staff with the tools to make formal service-learning project plans — including purposeful connections to the curriculum, student input, as well as project reflection and celebration — the school's culture has been enriched while making service-learning the preferred pedagogy of Grant's Lick teachers.
Students have taken on leadership roles by initiating and leading projects. At the start of the 2009-10 school year, a student-led initiative consisting of "Service-Learning Ambassadors" was created. Each month these designated representatives from each intermediate homeroom initiate a school-wide project along with individual classroom projects. Such projects include, but are not limited to, food and clothing drives, school supply drives as well as advertising campaigns to promote service-learning within the building. The ambassadors are in charge of service-learning public relations and are often the initial contact for media related to service-learning. This student-centered approach to service-learning cultivates the next generation of service-learning leaders.
Professional development is provided yearly to all staff members. Although service-learning has always been a part of the culture at Grant's Lick Elementary, in the past five years, the availability of yearly service-learning training has allowed the staff to reach a new level. In addition, school administration actively supports service-learning by providing organized time each month for teacher professional learning communities to network and brainstorm ideas for projects related to Kentucky's state learning standards. Adding weight to the sustainability already in place, the administrative team leads by example, actively participating in all projects and believing that no dream is too big.
Grant's Lick works with area businesses to support student learning through service projects. Outside agencies and businesses have sought out the school to be a part of their programs. In addition, they also partner in service-learning with Northern Kentucky University, Xavier University and University of Cincinnati.
Grant's Lick Elementary's goal is to create large-scale networking opportunities and, in turn, increase student achievement as well as the skill and will of education leaders across our district, region and state in promoting service-learning. Looking ahead, they are working in collaboration with all district elementary teachers to refine their science and social studies units. This will be an excellent opportunity to embed service-learning connections within existing units of study. This step will be critical in the long-term sustainability of service-learning in Campbell County Schools.