Learning to Give in Your After-School Program 

Use our step-by-step mini-courses for teaching generosity and building community connections in your after-school program. Learning to Give’s Free Teaching and Learning Mini-Courses linked below guide After-School instruction and discussions to help your students internalize that what they do matters in their community, and what is good for their community is good for them. 

We suggest you first read through the whole course, then go back to the beginning and follow the “Do This with Your Students” steps at the top of each section. Reflection and interaction with your peers are built in. You earn a certificate to honor your learning and practice at the end of the mini-course.

Introduction to Giving and Making a Difference in Community

This first mini-course provides background and step-by-step guidance for teaching and learning through service-learning and community interactions. We introduce definitions and activities that explore passions, and then guide you to investigate, plan, take action, and demonstrate a project and impact to a public audience. 



Making a Difference for Refugees

This step-by-step mini-course guides teaching and learning related to giving and responding to needs related to refugees in the community. Just like generosity is part of all aspects of your life, teaching generosity in community can be part of every aspect of teaching. We’ll walk you and your students through the steps of connecting with others in community and taking action. We start with definitions and activities that explore the life of a refugee, and then guide you to investigate, plan, take action, and demonstrate a project and impact to a public audience.



ALL Students Are Able

This step-by-step mini-course guides educators to facilitate the service-learning process with students related to generosity and inclusion for people with all abilities. Just like generosity is part of all aspects of your life, teaching generosity and inclusion can be part of every aspect of teaching. We start with definitions and activities that explore concepts of community and able-ness, provide lesson plans and teaching background, and then share tools for students to investigate, plan, take action, and demonstrate a project and impact to a public audience. 



Today's Challenges

In today's world it can be difficult for kids to see opportunities or know what they are capable of beyond their own lives. They have little experience taking responsibility to address conflict and challenges. Research shows that a lot of youth feel anxiety and isolation. Together we can help them see potential in their communities! 

The Learning to Give Solution:

Students learn about their communities and how they can help others with their time and talent – their unique gift.

Giving promotes happiness and purpose, while teaching the givers that they are a vital part of something bigger.

Pilot Research: The Impact of Learning to Give in After-School Programs

In the winter/spring of 2019, Learning to Give piloted a teaching and learning training and implementation guide in three after-school programs. Step-by-step instructions led instructors and students through activities, discussions, and community interactions over a few weeks that boosted students’ understanding of the diverse opportunities, needs, and service actions they can take in their communities.

Data from the 2019 pilot show positive results for using Learning to Give lessons and activities in after-school programs:

  • 91% increase in caring attitude
  • 54% increase in philanthropy knowledge
  • 18% increase in community knowledge
  • 11% increase in volunteering knowledge

“I believe talking about service-learning and lending a hand to the community has opened [students’] eyes to helping their community in new ways,” said after-school program leader, Fayzah Yahya.

With successful pilot data as a guide, Learning to Give developed the full virtual mini-courses BELOW to help out-of-school-time programs teach generosity in community. The goal of the mini-courses is to help your students internalize:

"I am part of a community," 
"What I do makes a difference," and 
"What is good for the community is good for me." 

Review the full report

Additional Learning to Give training is available on

Two newly available EduPaths courses offer 0.5 SCECHs. Check with your State Department of Education or school district for specific information on course credits outside of Michigan. 

Learning to Give: Generosity for All
This course introduces generosity and guides you to educate, equip and empower your students to be giving and caring. 
Learning to Give: Service-Learning 101
This course helps you guide your students through the strategy of service-learning. You gain strategies to connect your students to the community and enhance their attitudes of caring.

Michigan Programs

If you are from a Michigan-based after-school program, visit our Michigan resource page for additional details, support, and funding opportunities.