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Explore the world of books, guidelines, online resources to enhance and improve your management of volunteers .

~May 2009~


Learning to Care:  Education, Volunteering, and Community Service
Dr. Patricia Mihaly Nabti
ISBN 9953-0-0534-6

         The school term for children is drawing to a close in much of the northern hemisphere, with a few months left prior to a summer respite.  It seems now would be a good time for teachers and administrators to consider the value of “service learning” for children from ages 6 – 18.  And Nabti’s book is the best resource available to establish a new program to engage children in volunteering and community service, whether you work in a school, nonprofit, or faith based organization.  It is also a wealth of new ideas for those who have programs, but are striving to improve them. 
         There are chapters on how to assess what is being done now and how to organize the effort to start the educational process for children.  In one section Nabti covers the characteristics of a high quality program:

    • Integrated learning
    • High quality service
    • Student voices
    • Collaboration
    • Civic responsibility
    • Reflection
    • Evaluation
    • Preparation
    • Supervision
    • Diversity
    • Demonstration
    • Recognition and celebration

She goes on to elaborate how to reach those lofty goals.  There is special attention given to “academic” rigor in planning and preparing for community service.  An important issue for educators.
         Each page of the book has photos of kids at work, quotes and examples from leaders on the importance of volunteering, and examples of the types of things children can do when volunteering.  The book is a 375 page “bible” on service learning.  You do not need to be a school to find this book useful.  Anyone who engages young people in their volunteer corps can get sound advice on planning, organizing, and implementing a youth volunteer opportunity.  Add it to your bookshelf. 

Mary Kay Hood makes a case for including youth in a volunteer program.  Read her ideas on the Health Care Volunteering page in Volunteer Today.

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