January 07, 2008

What Presidential Candidates Are Saying About Service-Learning

Since the days when President John F. Kennedy challenged the nation and its people to “ask not,” national and/or community service has been included in every U.S. president’s domestic agenda. Our current presidential hopefuls are continuing this tradition.

The Iowa Caucuses kicked off the official electoral road to the White House. As voters gear up to take the polls on January 8th in New Hampshire, January 19th in Nevada, January 26th in South Carolina, and in 22 additional states on February 5th, we thought it might be interesting to explore how the candidates propose to engage younger Americans in meaningful service and civic action.

Only a few candidates have issued official policy proposals regarding national service for Americans of all ages. Of these plans, however, a few propose specific plans to engage young people in service-learning and school/campus-based service opportunities—including one very comprehensive proposal to expand service-learning by now former presidential candidate Senator Christopher Dodd.

Check out What the Presidential Candidates Are Saying, a non-partisan brief overview of these plans and proposals.

Let us know what you think. Post your comments or reactions.


Liz Morrison said...

What is your view of the current administration's contribution to service-learning?

Nelda Brown said...

The current administration took some important steps to support and even promote youth civic engagement through service-learning, particularly after the events of 9/11. In the early years of the administration's first term, a resource called Students in Service to America was created and the president held public forums to promote the teaching of history and civics. Service-learning was not always as prominent as we would have liked it to be, but these were important first steps.