Life Service Action
“If we don’t like something in our school, we should begin the change we want to see.” — Amie – 8th grade
Studies consistently show that students who participate in a service learning program have improved academic performance and positive behavior in school. To enhance student achievement, help students develop as leaders, and inspire participants to engage in their communities, ASAS launched Life Service Action. Through their participation in student-led, curriculum-driven service learning projects, ASAS students are exposed to new concepts in learning and develop a stronger sense of social responsibility and civic awareness.
85% of participants from the 2014-15 school year said they’ll continue doing community service after graduating from ASAS.
The structure and type of after school clubs vary across all the schools, but some notable ones are Student Council, National Junior Honor Society, and environmental Clubs. These programs engage students in service in their school and community by running school wide food and clothes drives that benefit local non profit organizations, such as the Salvation Army. These clubs are student led, meaning the students take charge in planning service actions about causes they care about- such as donating old clothes to make dog toys for PAWS.
Youth Service Day
Chicago Youth Service Day (CYSD) is an exciting opportunity for young people across the city to join together for a day of service, non-violent action, and celebration.
CYSD is held annually to celebrate the service-learning achievements of Chicagoland youth ages 7 to 24. The goal is to unite thousands of youth in service, all happening at the same time across the city. During CYSD participants execute a service project for their community. Service projects range from gardening to neighborhood clean up, school beautification, visiting nursing homes. In the afternoon they come to celebrate their service at Grant Park. The day culminates at an afternoon rally held in Grant Park, where students come together to celebrate their service and participate in fun activity stations and musical performances by Kuumba Lynx, Lil Kemo, and FM Supreme in the past.
“Over the time that I went to volunteer at the Brightview facility, I became more engaged than I had expected to. I helped make a box to collect donations for the residents at the facility & the outcome was fantastic. I worked on spending my 1 hour on as many people as I could and truly enjoyed it. I realized how much their day could change with just a weekly visit from someone. I’m ecstatic to continue working with the residents there.”
-Anthony – Courtenay Elementary & CYSD 2014 participant
Spotlight: Youth Service Day 2015
CYSD 2015 was held Saturday, April 25th from 9am to 2pm, and engaged more than 1,000 youth. Service projects were executed all over the city and the rally was at Grant Park. Special guests included:
- FM Supreme – Chicago’s own international recording hip hop activist
- Kuumba Lynx – Spoken word magnates and 2015 Louder Than A Bomb Team Champions
- David Otunga – Two-time WWE Tag Team Chamion
- Danny Bender – NASCAR Driver for Mazda and 2014 SCCA T4 Northern Conference Champion
CYSD 2015 partners included: Chicago Public Schools, The Jefferson Awards for Public Service, Chicago Cares, KIND Snacks, and the Mazda Foundation.
School Spotlight: Lincoln Elementary
ASAS students in Lincoln’s “Eat What You Grow” club learn about organic and community gardening and plant seeds in their own greenhouse. After initial care helps the plants grow into seedlings, students host a school-wide plant sale to raise awareness about healthy eating. Last year, more than $400 in profits from the plant sale was donated to a local food pantry supporting families in need.