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Service Learning

Program Contact: Yakima County 4-H Program Coordinator
(509) 574-1600 •

Through service learning, youth gain an understanding of what it means to be active members of their club, community, country, and world.  They plan projects, learn what it takes to make those dreams a reality, and dive deeper into the why behind their ideas and the needs they are trying to meet.


Youth will:

  • Become engaged with your community
  • Identify community needs
  • Be inspired by other youth who have made impacts
  • Plan, implement, and reflect on a service project

Four youth in green 4-H shirts pick up trash and sweep a sidewalk with an adult holding a trash bag

4-H Service Learning Curriculum

Level 1: Agents of Change

Appropriate for Middle School aged audience. Youth become “Special OPPortunities Agents,” as they follow a series of exciting activities that engage them in their community. Youth identify community needs, plan a service project, and execute their ideas.

Level 2: Raise Your Voice

This no-nonsense guide engages older youth as young leaders. Voices of real young people engaged in service inspire youth and connect them with others who make an impact. Youth plan and implement their own service project.

Service Learning Curriculum Helper’s Guide

This exciting guide for leaders offers group service learning activities like community mapping, identifying group roles, and journaling. It offers advice for mentors seeking to guide youth through enriching learning opportunities.

Washington 4-H Records, Forms, and Guides

For youth members

Coming soon!

For adult helpers and club leaders

Coming soon!

State 4-H Community and Volunteer Service Resources
At left, a light blue line drawing of three people holding up a heart. At right, two hands, one with dark skin, one with light skin, are clasped in a circle that has two opposing beads on it, one blue, one red. At center, the title "Service Learning" in light yellow. The background is green

Helpful Resources

Activity Ideas

Building a Community Legacy Together (BCLT): An Intergenerational Program for Youth and Older Adults

The goal of this program is to implement, evaluate, refine, and disseminate an intergenerational program called Building a Community Legacy Together (BCLT). The BCLT program gathers the wisdom of older adults so their advice for living can be passed down to future generations. The BCLT program does this by providing a structured opportunity for high school-aged youth to interview elders living in the community and in senior living settings about their life lessons, and to present these life lessons to their communities. It allows youth to learn about older people and aging, and helps to create respect for the wisdom of age and combat ageism.

In addition, the BCLT program provides youth with an opportunity to develop skill sets that will be useful to them in the future (e.g., interviewing, research, and public speaking skills). From the standpoint of older participants, the program provides an opportunity for elders to benefit from the experience of sharing wisdom with the young. In so doing, it may reduce their sense of social isolation, provide a sense of usefulness, increase self-esteem, and improve their attitudes toward youth.

Washington Specific Reference Material

What is Service-Learning? – Washington State University Student Engagement Services

Other Reference Material

From 4-H Programs

4-H Youth Voices

Stories of 4-H youth who create positive change in their communities.

Service Learning:  more than community service – Oklahoma 4-H (PDF)

Conducting 4-H Community Service Learning Projects:  Youth Leader’s Guide – Virginia 4-H (PDF)

Core Elements of a 4-H Service Learning Project – Missouri 4-H (PDF)

Key Components of 4-H Service Learning – California 4-H (PDF)

From Higher Education Institutions


From Related Organizations, Journals, and Professionals

A large group of youth hold up personal care items, food, and other necessities donated to a project to help homeless kids


Kits, Projects, and Activities from National 4-H

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