Author Archive: Marissa Nadjarian

Support ECSL’s Next Generation!

A former ECSL guest speaker and founder of LemonAid Warriors, LuLu Cerone, is launching her book. Come support our next generation of service advocates!



Saturday, May 13th from 1:30 PM to 5:00 PM
Bookstar (Barnes & Noble) 1:30-3:00pm AND Artisan Cheese 3-5pm
12023 Ventura Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

Social Justice Meeting Resources



Identity and Diversity + Building Empathy & Tolerance

Human Library –  “The Human Library challenges stereotypes and prejudices through dialogue.The Human Library is a place where people are books on loan to readers for a chat.”

Listening Booth: Public Displays of Attention – An example of a sturcture to discover people’s personal narratives and practice attentive listening.

Greater Good Science Center on Empathy – The GGSC “sponsors groundbreaking scientific discoveries—and turns them into stories, tips, and tools for a happier life and more compassionate society.”

Greater Good in Action – “Synthesizing hundreds of scientific studies, Greater Good in Action collects the best research-based methods for a happier, more meaningful life.” There are several activities and practices to try centered around building empathy.

Exploring Power & Privilege

Privilege Exercise – One example of an activity that explores how people experience privilege in certain areas of their identities.

Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ)

Alliance of White Anti-Racists Everywhere (AWARE)

  • Summer Institute (July 27-30, 2017)
  • Monthly Saturday Dialogues in Santa Monica

The Center for Investigative Reporting, Reveal News – The mission of The Center for Investigative Reporting is to engage and empower the public through investigative journalism and groundbreaking storytelling in order to spark action, improve lives and protect our democracy.

Curriculum Reources

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Speak Truth to Power – “A human rights education program that strives to create a global citizenry dedicated to the highest standards of justice and equality.”

Teaching Tolerance – “A place for educators to find thought-provoking news, conversation and support for those who care about diversity, equal opportunity and respect for differences in schools.”

Facing History and Ourselves – “Whole-staff professional development, school-wide programming, curriculum sequencing in civics, social studies, humanities, and language arts education.”

Perspectives For a Diverse America – A curriculum developed by Teaching Tolerance with a focus on providing literacy-based, anti-biased social justice curriculum. Register for free to access the Central Text Anthology- a collection of texts and mixed-media providing diverse voices and perspectives, and that carry anti-bias themes while aligning with Common Core State Standards. The Tasks and Strategies section provides lessons that meet literacy goals and lead students to engage in social action.

Ashoka Changemakers – “Connect here with other social innovators, entrepreneurs, funders, connectors, thought leaders, communicators, citizen sector organizations, and citizens to accelerate lasting social change.”

join the conversation – SOCIAL JUSTICE + SERVICE LEARNING – spring workshop


RSVP for the Spring Meeting here:

Vital Workshop to Grow Your Service Learning in the New Year



RSVP by using the contact form below:

Lesson Planning for Service Learning

At our fall meeting, ECSL advisor Sammy Lyon outlined how planning for service learning fits seamlessly with the classroom planning you’re already doing. The article For Teachers Who Think They Can’t Do Service Learning accompanies the easy-to-implelement lesson planning tools that were presented and gives you a road map for integrating student-led action into the curriculum you already use. Download a free copy of the tools- Backwards Planning for Service Learning- to support your service learning curriculum.



Save the Date: Fun-raising & Fundraising for Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone Rising (formerly the Kposowa Foundation) is celebrating its 10 year anniversary with an evening of African drumming & dance, salsa dance performances, and fundraising for projects in Sierra Leone. Thanks to ECSL advisor, Sarah Culberson (co-founder of Sierra Leone Rising) for sharing this local opportunity to effect change in the areas of education, public health and female empowerment in West Africa.


Local Fair to Launch Service

Bridges Academy in Studio City is hosting a community service fair on October 15th that may give you and your students some opportunities to connect with organizations and launch service learning ideas:



Share with your community: bridges-academy-community-service-fair

ECSL Fall Workshop: Conversations that Matter!


RSVP to join us!

Environmental Service Learning PD this Summer


Image via Generation Earth

Check out these two environmental service learning summer professional development opportunities brought to you by Generation Earth. Both these experiences provide access to personalized support, links to standards, toolkits, and eligibility for stipends and bus funds for a related field trip next school year.


This is How You Hack the Curriculum

On Saturday, April 16th ECSL joined with the Green Ambassadors Institute, a professional development program through Environmental Charter High School, to engage in a first-of-its-kind experiment: The Curriculum Hack. April 16 Small CardIt was based on the shared experience of many teachers that there is no one-size-fits-all curriculum. An educator is a kind of jigsaw puzzle expert. They are constantly fitting together the puzzle pieces (standards, time, current events, learning styles, youth interests) to create the big picture (a curriculum that best serves their students).

With so many factors to consider when deciding how to deliver content, teachers rarely use a published curriculum verbatim. They take out, add on, or adjust lesson plans to create something that fits the needs of the class. Teachers may do this in isolation or amongst their planning teams on campus. But at this spring’s BioDiversity Summit, Green Ambassadors gave educators access to a valuable resource in this process of tailoring curriculum- diverse perspectives.

IMG_6863In our increasingly interconnected world, there is a need to bring together all community stakeholders to create curriculum that helps students prepare for the challenges we face as a society. Everyone was invited to the table. Educators, students, community organizations, businesses and government leaders all lent their ideas and expertise. In real-time, this melting pot of perspectives helped shape curriculum for pressing essential questions we need to cover in our classrooms, like “How can we undo environmental injustices within our communities in order to keep people safe and healthy?”

At the start of the summit, ECSL led participants in a personal inventory activity that revealed each other’s interests, skills and talents through a guided interview process. Later, when it was time to hack the curriculum together, each member could reflect on their traits, background and experiences that would impact their group’s lesson planning process. Gingerbread Inventory

This year’s institute theme was BioDiversity, and the experience lived up to its name. The diverse skill sets present amongst each group member led to rich explorations of environmental justice themes for all grade levels.

Green Ambassadors has made available the lesson plans created in this collaborative curriculum development experience (where you can also access the Personal Inventory activity presented by ECSL).

We look forward to connecting with members and new participants alike at the ECSL Fall Meeting scheduled for September 27th at The Skirball Cultural Center from 3:15-5:30pm. Join us for another unique opportunity to network with a variety of stakeholders in the service learning community.