In light of COVID-19, we have modified the Student Service-Learning (SSL) Verification Form so the parent or guardian can sign off on the form as students complete independent SSL hours at home (virtually). Forms are attached in English, Spanish, and French. Students and parents should email the completed form back to their professional school counselor or service-learning coordinator so that they may enter the SSL hours into SchoolMax.
For service hours earned during the summer months, students may continue to use the COVID-19 forms or they may use the standard forms.
Please Use the Revised Service-Learning Verification Forms During COVID-19:
Here are a few suggestions from the MSDE Specialist who oversees Student Service-Learning regarding service opportunities during COVID-19:
During this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, recommendations and restrictions change frequently and rapidly. Most critically, everyone needs to follow the State and national guidance and regulations issued to keep everyone safe. The Superintendent of the Maryland State Department of Education will issue any school policy changes. Please continue to follow that guidance.
As all of this unfolds, many young people and school systems are asking what they can, cannot, should, or should not be doing in relation to service-learning. Schools are closed, but many students either want to be helpful and support their communities during this pandemic, and/or want and/or need to earn service-learning hours towards fulfillment of the current service-learning graduation requirement.
As physical distancing is required right now, the best option for young people looking for ways to be of service to others would be through indirect and advocacy service-learning projects they can engage in at home.
News stories abound right now of creative, thoughtful young people taking the initiative collecting and assembling essential supplies for at risk populations (hygiene kits that include hand sanitizer, wipes, soap, etc. for people who are homeless; food baskets for people who are food insecure; activity kits for people who are homebound, etc.).
Technology provides unique opportunities for students to reach out, support, and encourage people who are the most isolated. Nursing homes and care facilities have needed to stop all visitation in order to protect their residents who are most at risk from COVID-19. But technologies like ZOOM, Skype, Google Hangouts, WebEx, and FaceTime could allow youth to still interact with these populations who are feeling especially isolated. Students could arrange with facilities, using video conferencing technology, to perform music for residents, organize a sing-a-long, play games, hold a virtual prom, read together, and visit.
There have been calls for community support in the creation of masks, gowns, and face shields that can be used by hospitals. Students who are interested and able to have access to materials and equipment like sewing machines or 3D printers might decide to engage in those actions. Students could also participate remotely in long-established activities with organizations like Project Linus, Casey Cares, Kids Helping Hopkins, Cool Kids Campaign, The Ronald McDonald House, Believe in Tomorrow, and The Children’s Inn at NIH, etc. to provide support.
Students could also engage in advocacy projects from home: emailing leaders advocating on issues on which students have conducted research and want to see policy changes; creating social media campaigns on various issues, including promoting critical COVID-19 safe behaviors such as the need to physically distance ourselves from one another. Keeping physical distance does not have to mean social isolation, and students can help the community understand ways to remain connected despite keeping physically apart.
High-quality indirect and advocacy service-learning projects can be done from home as long as students work to meet Maryland’s Seven Best Practices of Service-Learning. Students need to be encouraged as they research the issue they are working on to vet their sources of information.
Service Learning Opportunities (Virtual/In-Person):
- Youth Service America - Global Youth Service Day (April 29th - May 1st) is the largest youth service and civic action event in the world and the only one that celebrates and builds the capacity of all youth ages 5-25 to help our communities and democracy thrive by working together for the common good.
- Easter Egg-travaganza - Students will assist with setup/breakdown of props and staging, crowd control, game activities, photo assistants, registration, and working with youth and children on April 16, 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm. Flyer/Registration
- Growing Green with Pride - Students will help beautify our county by joining neighbors in your community for a day of cleaning, weed removal, and mulching on Saturday, April 23, 8:00 am - 12:00 pm. Flyer/Application
- ElevateHER, Inc. - Students will collect community concerns within Prince George's County to create questions for the candidates in the upcoming elections. Students will participate in civic engagement and learn the importance of using their voices to enable change.
- Vision Zero Youth Video Contest - The deadline to apply is 4-24-22
- Disabled Veterans National Foundation - This partnership would include students volunteering their time and efforts to assemble our general and women's signature comfort kits in our warehouse.
- Luv Michael - Earn community service hours by volunteering with Luv Michael. Through digital outreach, you can advocate for autism acceptance and make a difference in your community.
- Maryland Natural Resources Conservation Service - Earth Team Volunteer Program
- Latino Student Fund - Provides individualized academic support to underserved students in the DMV area. Volunteer. Make a Difference. For more info click here
- Blood Donor - American Red Cross
- Give Blood. Donating blood makes a big difference in the lives of others. Visit the American Red Cross and learn more.
- Maryland Responds Medical Reserve Corps Volunteer
- Willing to provide services during a disaster or emergency situation? Register today at Maryland Responds.
- Maryland Unites Opportunities
- Governor Larry Hogan has shared how Marylanders can help during the COVID-19 pandemic - learn more.
- Virtual Volunteer Opportunity - City Nature Challenge Washington, DC
- Virtual Volunteer Opportunity - Library of Congress
- Volunteer online at By the People, the Library of Congress's crowdsourcing project. By the People invites you to make documents more searchable for everyone by transcribing, reviewing, and tagging digitized images of manuscripts and typed materials from the Library's collections. This work improves search and discovery of this important content. Read more or get started now!
- Virtual Volunteer Opportunity - Zooniverse.org
- Join Zooniverse.org and become part of a global community of people-powered research. The main ways of volunteering are helping with classifications on data, being a beta tester on projects yet to launch, and being a moderator for a project. Read more information or sign up to volunteer.
- The following WE@home resources emphasize well-being, social and emotional learning, service-learning, and fostering resiliency.
- Official Student Election Judges Application
- M-NCPPC (Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission) Volunteer Opportunities - Want to give back? Volunteer! Opportunities to volunteer with The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission's Prince George's County Department of Parks and Recreation are almost unlimited. Help out at a one-day special event or assist on an ongoing basis. Students can even earn student service learning hours by volunteering with our organization.
- Prince George's County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS) - Volunteer opportunities
- Anacostia Watershed Society Service Opportunities are available throughout the fall. Go to the Our Events tab for more information!
- University of Maryland Service Opportunity Resource Link - provides access to a variety of service/community opportunities for volunteers. **Please note that these organizations and opportunities are not necessarily endorsed by PGCPS and that parents are highly encouraged to investigate the opportunities to determine if the organization and/or activity is appropriate for their child.** If you would like for an organization to go through the process of pre-approval, please contact the Office of Teaching and Learning at 301-952-6395.
- Maryland Tutoring Program Needs Volunteers
- We look for volunteers ages 16 and up interested in working one-on-one with students on Saturday mornings from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. in Riverdale, MD. Latino Student Fund (LSF) staff provides lesson plans and guidance, so all tutors have to bring is enthusiasm and dedication. We have permanent tutors assigned to a student and expected to come every week, and floaters who we call on only when we need extra tutors (which is most weeks).
- To get involved, volunteers are required to make an appointment for an orientation with LSF staff. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, or sign up to be a volunteer at the Latino Student Fund. View the flyer
COVID-19 Service-Learning Resources for Local School Systems
Online Service-Learning Project Ideas
Project Search Engines
- All For Good - (Search on Maryland and projects come up)
- Volunteer Match
- Mothers of Vision and Purpose - initiatives that intentionally impact individuals across Prince George's County.
Articles on Online Service-Learning and Engaging Students in Online Courses