Far too often, students in alternative educational settings become disengaged
with learning. Long histories of school failure hamper progress, and far too often,
students drop out of school entirely. They fail to see how their Algebra class, for
example, has any applicability to the real world. With service learning, students
use the knowledge they have gained in classroom settings to address real-
life needs within the school, community and the world. Service learning differs
from true volunteerism in that service learning tends to increase motivation and
retention of academic skills since those specific academic skills are tied to needs
within the community.
The design of the NEW Saline Alternative will require that each student engage
in service learning. Students will learn to apply their academic skills in a
work-based situation, developing mutualistic relationships that could lead to
paid employment in the future. Resume-building, civic responsibility and self-
confidence building are interrelated benefits to the students.
Staff members will guide each student in identifying skills that can be further
developed and applied within a community setting. Working in collaboration with
the greater Saline Area Schools, the Saline Chamber of Commerce, The Saline
Senior Center and the World Wide Web, students will choose from a variety of
available venues for their service learning experience.
For further information on service learning, please consult the following websites: