Around the World in 180 Days via Global Service-Learning

Guest Blog by Beth Smith, genOn IN Consultant 

Service-learning that addresses the needs of others around the world is also known as global service-learning. Global service-learning prepares students to address 21st century global challenges. It prepares students for future professions and life in our global community and encompasses service-learning experiences both in the local community and abroad. Incorporating service-learning with a global perspective allows students to go Around the World in 180 Days and develop civic and intercultural knowledge – outcomes that are essential in the 21st century.

Global service-learning helps students become informed, open-minded, and responsible. Students often become attentive and understanding of diversity and learn how their acts of service can make a difference in the local and global community. The Learning to Give Global Issues Service-Learning Toolkit has ideas for service-learning experiences, suggestions for community partners, and links for student research.

Classrooms in Action

Ms. Weiler at Milan High School and her students in her child development class, through the Learning to Give lesson Global Issues, learned how poverty can impact families, especially young children. They focused on the importance of hygiene and proper diapering for keeping young children healthy. They then explored different examples of poverty, especially in Haiti, where many families do not have access to diapers. With the assistance of a generationOn Indiana mini grant, child development students started making reusable cloth diapers and diaper pads to send to Haiti. These were delivered to a local mission group that went on a summer mission trip to Gandou, which is a poverty stricken area of Haiti where they were given to those in need.

Students at Indian Creek Intermediate School in Ms. Rainwater’s 4th grade class completed the lesson, Everyone Can Be a Philanthropist, learning how they can give back in so many ways to their schools and community. Students were given basic first aid training. During the training, students learned that many schools in third-world countries lack basic necessities, especially when it comes to first aid care. With the help of a generationOn Indiana mini grant, they put together classroom first aid kits with supplies from a first aid kit drive: band aids, cotton rounds, neosporin, alcohol wipes, chewable children's Tylenol and digital thermometers for classrooms in Haiti. There are no nurse's stations or offices for many of these schools in Haiti. If children are sick or need a band aid, teachers must supply them so many times students have to go without.

Students at Boonville Middle School in Mr. Dupp’s class learned details about a school in Uganda and became penpals. After studying the LTG lesson, Schools Around the Globe, the students gathered needed supplies to donate to their penpals: shoes, socks, blankets, and school supplies. With the assistance of a genOn IN mini grant, students shipped the donated supplies to their penpals’ school.

Take students Around the World in 180 Days through global service-learning!

Show students that they are an integral part of the community around the world, and they can make a difference.