SLP Online: Summer & After School Labs

SLP Online: Summer & After School Labs

Looking for virtual after school activities for your child or teen? SLP Labs are a unique opportunity for students across the country in grades 4-12 to make real change on a social issue they are passionate about!

What is SLP?

The Service Learning Project (SLP) is an action civics program for elementary, middle, and high school-aged youth. Through our in school, after school, and virtual programs, our students become leaders and agents of positive change in their communities by working together to help solve social problems of their choice. The students are in charge at SLP – every step of the process is youth-driven – and every final project has a real and profound impact.

What is SLP Lab?

This virtual version of SLP takes place over 8-12 weeks during the summer, fall, and spring. Each participant commits to one group meeting per week –  meetings take place through Zoom at a set time – and a minimum of 30 minutes of independent work. SLP Lab follows our proven effective model of action civics. With the guidance of an experienced facilitator, as well as a teen advisor, participants work together to:

  • Choose a social issue which they are passionate about
  • Become experts on their issue through extensive research
  • Develop an alternative solution
  • Create and implement a plan to advocate for their solution
  • Reflect on the experience and consider how they can continue to use their new leadership and advocacy skills

Who can participate?

SLP Labs are open to 4-12th grade students from anywhere in the United States and are organized by mixed age groups: upper elementary (4th-5th graders), middle school, and high school.  Lab groups are small, with 10-15 students each, ensuring that each student can participate fully and receive individual support, when needed, from the facilitator.

How do SLP Labs Work?

All SLP projects, including Labs, are entirely youth-driven.  This means that the students drive every step of the process from selecting the social problem to deciding how they want to help solve it to implementing their plan for positive change.

Our experienced Faculty support Lab participants as they move through the five phases of an SLP project:

  • Week 1: Introduction and Issue Brainstorm
    Students will get to know each other and the SLP process. They will also brainstorm a list of possible issues to work on.
  • Week 2-3: Issue Selection
    Students come to consensus on one social problem to help solve (this process includes small group pitches for specific issues).
  • Weeks 4-8: Research
    Students become experts on their issue by conducting extensive research both as a group and independently for at least 30 minutes per week. They will decide what research activities to conduct but typical examples include online research, data collection, surveying members of their community, interviewing experts, and more!
  • Week 8-10: Action Planning
    Students consider a range of possible solutions and then decide which one(s) they believe would be most effective. They then develop a plan to implement or advocate for their solution.
  • Week 11-12: Take Action! And Reflect
    Previous SLP projects include advocacy campaigns directed at local legislators, producing Public Service Announcements (PSA) and other awareness raising campaigns, fundraising and other direct service, and more! Click here for examples of SLP projects completed by students in grades K-12.

Every SLP project looks different because the students drive the process. The ultimate goal is to give young people the opportunity, tools, confidence, and support they need to create real change in their community.

How can I apply?

Applications are currently closed for Fall 2020 Labs. Be the first to hear about our Spring 2021 Labs by completing this interest form and signing up for our monthly newsletter.  If you have questions about the application, the Labs, or SLP more generally, please contact us at info@servicelearningnyc.org.

What is the cost and are scholarships available?

The fee for SLP Lab is $250 per student. At SLP, we are dedicated to full and equal participation for all students and believe every child should have the opportunity to participate in the summer and after-school programs of their choice. To that end, we have a limited number of full and partial scholarships available on a first-come first-serve basis for eligible students. Please email info@servicelearningnyc.org for more information about the SLP Lab Scholarship.

Want to learn more about how you can get involved with SLP? Click here.