Community Learning

What is Community Learning?

Community learning is a teaching method that promotes student learning through active participation in meaningful and planned service experiences in the community that are directly related to course content.

Community learning differs from volunteering and community service.Community learners focus not only on the service they provide, but also on the academic and personal learning they gain as a result of that service experience. Community partners work closely with RSD6 administrators, teachers, staff and students to design the service and learning experience.

Who are Community Partners and what do they do?

Community partners are nonprofit organizations, public agencies,government offices, schools, and certain private business where students provide community service as an integral part of their academic courses. Service may include direct service with clients, special projects, research, or other activities that are identified by the community partner to meet a real community need.

Partners serve as co-educators, engaging students in meaningful service activities that support students’ personal, academic and civic growth. Effective community learning partnerships involve joint planning and ongoing communication among RSD6 administrators, teachers,staff, students and community partners.

Community Partners                      
  •   Patty's Restaurant, Litchfield
  •   Popeye's Ice Cream, Morris
  •   Ripe Tomato, Morris
  •   John Sheeper's Tulips, Bantam

How can community learning benefit community partners?

Students are a source of enthusiasm, skills and knowledge and can be a great resource for community partners. Whether the students provide direct service to clients or work on specific, short-term projects for the agency, community learning students get things done! Unlike unaffiliated student volunteers, community learning students are working toward specific goals under the guidance of instructors.

Faculty and community partners work together to identify meaningful service activities that are appropriate for the skill level and learning objectives of the students involved. The project may engage individual students, small groups or an entire class, depending upon the needs and capacity of the community partners.

Becoming a community partner for community learning

New community based agencies, schools, and institutions interested in developing community learning partnerships are encouraged to contact Deb Foley, Special Services Director at (860) 567 - 6642.