This Community Servicing Learning (CSL) Resource Guide will give information about CSL, offer tips and ideas for effective CSL, and share examples of CSL done across various Teen Outreach Programs. While this CSL Resource Guide is specific to the Teen Outreach Program, other programs may use the CSL approach and resources in this guide to support CSL successfully within their own programs.
In Community Service Learning (CSL), teens actively participate in meaningful service and practice skills they are learning. CSL is a core component of Wyman’s Teen Outreach Program® (TOP®).
A meaningful CSL experience is one in which a teen feels an emotional connection with his/her efforts and feels like his/her actions truly make a difference. CSL should not be boring or busy work to be checked off a list of requirements!
Through meaningful CSL, teens have an opportunity to
- See and feel a difference they made in their community- “feel the glow!”
- Increase their self-efficacy (self-confidence)
- Reflect on experiences and apply learned-knowledge moving forward in their daily lives and future projects
Here’s why CSL is critical to outcomes: when engaged in meaningful CSL activities, teens increase their self-efficacy (self-confidence). Young people need to feel like they have something to give and share with others. When this happens, they are impacted on an emotional level- they feel the glow!- and their confidence in themselves and their ability to achieve their goals, also known as their self-efficacy, increases. After effective CSL, teens literally feel differently about themselves and this shift in perception leads to healthy behaviors and risk reduction!
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How could you implement this in your program?