"In The Service Of What? The Politics of Service Learning" is written by Joseph Kahne and Joel Westheimer. The authors discuss how important and beneficial service learning is to those that participate and the community. Service learning allows students to take what they are learning in the classroom and apply to every day situations. This is a great program for students to get involved in because it helps communities and allows students to take what they are learning in their classrooms and apply it which extends their learning. I believe that the easiest way to learn is through hands on work and that is exactly what service learning does.
I am currently working on a service learning project at Mary Fogarty Elementary School in South Providence. For the past three weeks I have going into a first grade classroom and helping the students with literacy. To be completely honest, I was slightly concerned going into the school because of the area it is in. South Providence does not have a great reputation. I come from a middle class family who lives quite comfortably. I knew that I would be helping those who are less fortunate. As soon as I walked into the classroom, the teacher as well as the class welcomed me with open arms and it was obvious that the teacher found my coming to be very helpful for her. She has a full class with 24 students, many whom speak spanish as their first language. I work with the students who are on the level of reading and those who are below the level. Many of them can use the extra help that they may not get at home and I am very pleased to give them that help. It is also great to see that I am helping the teacher in the classroom get a break from keeping the entire class in control. I have been working with the students for just three weeks now, but I have already learned so much. It is such a joy to see how excited they are when I walk in the class and it feels great to help others. Working with the students and watching the ways in which the teacher conducts her class has helped me grasp the understanding of teaching and gets me excited to one day have a class of my own.