Service Learning Student Essay Contest

The Second Annual Service Learning Student Essay Contest (2013) supports student achievement and student learning. By participating in this contest, you will enhance a critical component of successful service learning: reflection!


Graduate and undergraduate students who have participated in a Service Learning project during Fall 2013, Spring 2013 or Summer 2013.


Essays will be accepted from May 13, 2013- June 19, 2013. All essays should be sent electronically to:

Mary Grace Luibrand, M.S. Ed
Associate Dean of Advising
The Sage Colleges
Esteves School of Education
(518) 244-4578 
[email protected]


Winners will be notified via e-mail, no later than June 28, 2013


“Service learning can be defined as a research-based teaching method where guided or classroom learning is applied through action that addresses an authentic community need in a process that allows for your initiative and provides structured time for reflection on the service experience and demonstration of acquired skills and knowledge.” (Kaye, 2010 p.9)

How has participation in Service Learning made you aware of the importance of Service Learning as an effective pedagogy in teacher education?  Discuss the alignment of your Service Learning project to the Common Core standards.  Describe the implementation of the project and the beneficiaries of the service.  How has participation in service learning made you aware of community issues and how they can be related to the curriculum and learning outcomes in the P-12 setting? Describe the reflection process and how this component of service learning will guide your future teaching practices.

Please be sure to include the following in your essay:

  • What did you do when you served or when you facilitated service in your classroom? What did you observe, hear, and read while serving or facilitating service?                                                    
  • How did the service experience relate to the learning objectives of your course?  If student teaching, relate the learning objectives to your unit plan.
  • How did your feelings about the population you or your students served change or grow after serving?
  • How has engaging in service learning affected your view of utilizing this pedagogy in your future classroom?


  • Essay length should be a maximum of three pages
  • All essays must be academically relevant to the course in which service learning was instructed or the placement in which the service learning was implemented
  • All materials must be the original work of the person submitting the essay
  • The essay should be double spaced with a 12 point font
  • The title page must include:
    • Title of essay centered approximately in the middle of the page
    • In the lower right corner, student name; student e-mail address ; course name and course number; faculty or supervisor name; and semester when course was taken


Prizes will be awarded to two students:

1st Place: $300 Award

2nd Place: $150 Award