Service-learning is a method of teaching that allows students to take the knowledge they are learning in a classroom and apply it in the real world through volunteer service projects. It is a powerful tool that can be used in many contexts, such as academic classrooms, afterschool programs, youth-specific volunteer programs, and civic and educational clubs like 4-H and scouts.

Youth participation in high quality service-learning has been linked to:

  • Greater engagement in school
  • Improved grade point average (GPA)
  • Avoidance of risk behaviors such as smoking and alcohol use
  • Feelings of empowerment to take on leadership roles
  • Greater acceptance of cultural diversity
  • Growth in skills for project planning and implementation
  • Growth in awareness of community needs
  • Higher intentions to vote
  • Greater awareness of career options
  • Development of positive work skills and attitudes

High School Service-Learning in Arkansas: A primer, toolkit, and resource directory

A general resource about service-learning for educators and after-school facilitators

Act 648 of 1993: Community Service Learning

Legislation passed in 1993, Act 648 allows a secondary student who has completed a minimum of seventy-five (75) clock hours of documented community service learning, as certified by the service organization to the school, to be eligible to receive one (1) academic credit that may be applied toward graduation. The Arkansas State Board of Education is the authorized agent to promulgate rules and regulations necessary for implementation of Act 648 of 1993.

VolunteerAR and the Department of Human Services - Office of Communications and Community Engagement, in partnership with the State Board of Education, provides support and consultation for community organizations interested in becoming a certified service-learning site. For more information on ACT 648, visit the Arkansas State Board of Education Community Service Learning webpage


Guidance and rules governing Act 648 of 1993: Community Service Learning