Category Archives: Youth Voice

Dynamic Educator Opportunity in Los Angeles

In January, the Museum of Tolerance is offering top-notch educational trainings exclusively for CA based educators.  A great fit for service learning practitioners is Rock Your World, a social justice program that engages upper elementary, middle and high school students, as well as higher ed/teacher training programs and community partner organizations.

Rock Your World is a perfect complement to service learning and project based learning experiences, technology integration and the Common Core.

The two day course is free.  All costs, including travel and accommodations for those out of area, are covered. And, teachers can earn CEUs/LAUSD salary point credit.

The Museum of Tolerance is a powerful experience in and of itself. The exhibits and speakers, coupled with this program, will promote understanding of human rights issues, inspire youth voice, integrate digital literacy and strengthen curiosity while leaving students (and teachers) eager to take action about the things they care about.

To learn more and to register go to and see the flyer attached.

January 8th and 9th
Rock Your World: Online Curriculum for Social Action
Museum of Tolerance
Register by Dec. 21st
(max enrollment is 65)

*Rock Your World, part of the Creative Visions Foundation, is a featured component of the Become a Defender unit of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights’ Speak Truth to Power curriculum.

Tech Tools 101 Fall Session

tech-tools-101-logo       ECSL Advisor, Sammy Lyon, is conducting Tech Tools 101 at The California Science center this fall! Learn practical skills for using technology and social media to engage youth in service learning and community-based education. Get more information and register here. You can also check out this synopsis from a recent session of Tech Tools 101 to learn more about this dynamic workshop.

And Now it’s Time for … Demonstration!

Demonstration     Soon the curtains will close on another school year. You may be starting to wrap up your service learning efforts that you embarked on with your students. But, before the lights go down … roll the credits!  Recognize and celebrate all that was learned and accomplished along the way.

Demonstration is a valuable step in the service learning process that helps tell the story of your service learning journey. This stage allows students to share what they have learned. They can continue their critical thinking by synthesizing their experiences and teaching others about the social issue they encountered. Of course, celebrating their hard work and effort may be a natural part of this process too.

But most of the time, the end of the school year comes, and the social issue you addressed still exists. Can demonstration be used to help continue the process beyond what was accomplished this school year? Here are a few ideas for using what this year’s students generated as a starting point for future service. Think of it as an outline for a movie sequel! Continue reading →

High School Opportunity: Human Trafficking LA Youth Poster Contest

Lauren McCabe of Westridge School (an ECSL member school) shares this opportunity to raise your students’ awareness for the critical issue of human trafficking:

Students at Westridge have been working with a coalition of local non-profits and government agencies on a youth poster contest focused on the issue of human trafficking, presenting a tangible way for students to get involved in the issue.  The poster contest is designed for students ages 14 to 25. After the contest, students at Westridge will be organizing a conference/workshop that trains peers to be advocates in the implementation of SB 1193 and the posting of fliers at businesses affected by the bill.  This training will take place in early February, with more information to follow as the details of the training become available. This will also be a great way for your students to get involved in the issue of human trafficking.

A link to information regarding the poster contest announced by the National Council for Jewish Women, Los Angeles is included here.


ECSL Meeting, Feb 13, 2013 at TreePeople

ECSL Meeting, Feb 13, 2013 at TreePeople

Back-to-School routines are all too familiar: faculty meetings, reading files, organizing the classroom, lesson planning. But have you considered any “Back-to-Service” routines to kick-start your service learning program? Here is one  to consider: The Personal Inventory. Developed by one of our Educators Consortium for Service Learning (ECSL) advisors and a leader in service learning curriculum, Cathryn Berger Kaye, it is a great get-to-know-you activity that will provide useful information about your students, which can be used throughout the  service learning process.

For the Personal Inventory, students partner to interview each other about their interests, skills and talents, followed by creating a class inventory for ongoing reference. Uncovering students’ interests may help the group determine a social issue to focus on, one that students are passionate about. Knowing students’ skills and talents helps promote student-driven service learning experiences. Students can apply their various skills and talents during the service process, promoting the importance of each individual’s contributions.

After students complete the Personal Inventory with their peers, they can also interview their parents leading to a list of parents’ interests, skills and talents that can be a great asset. This can also be used with your entire school faculty, and may help you discover a service learning partner or advocate.

Perhaps, you have attended an ECSL meeting in the past and have participated in this exercise with us. You can find the Personal Inventory described in Kaye’s book, The Complete Guide to Service Learning: Proven, Practical Ways to Engage Students in Civic Responsibility, Academic Curriculum, & Social Action. We hope that as you get “Back-to-Service” you will consider ECSL a partner and advocate throughout your service learning experiences this year. We look forward to supporting you at our meetings, as well as providing you with resources through our website and Facebook page. Welcome back to service learning!

Have any “Back-to-Service” routines or ideas that might be useful for other educators? We’d love for you to share. Return to the top to leave a comment.

 For more on Personal Inventory, visit Cathryn Berger Kaye’s website where you can download the elementary and secondary Personal Inventory forms:

TEDxSanta Monica from Lulu Cerone

This is Lulu Cerone. I am from LemonAID Warriors and wanted to share information about the TEDx event in Santa Monica on Dec. 8th. Youth Voice is a theme and it is FREE to students. I filmed some interviews with youth activists that will be shown.

tedxsantamonicaAttend an upcoming TEDx event in Santa Monica, California — absolutely FREE for students (registration required)! In case you are not familiar with it,TED is a global non-profit organization that hosts annual events where the world’s trailblazers share ideas.



Kids Helping Schools


Kate Aschkenasy, a thirteen year old student at The Shipley School in Philadelphia, started an organization called Kids Helping Schools that raises money and provides school supplies to Philadelphia inner city schools. Watch her on ABC News here.

Youth Summit: Plastic Ocean Pollution Solutions

From Anna Cummins, Co-founder, The 5 Gyres Institute | |Cell: (310) 998-8616 | Twitter: @5gyres

We are getting closer to the PLASTIC OCEAN POLLUTION SOLUTIONS YOUTH SUMMIT and want to encourage you and your students to attend!

This is the perfect opportunity for students (and you) who are already involved in the fight against plastic pollution to take it to the next step!

The summit will be educational, inspirational and most importantly FUN!  It will be a great opportunity to learn more about the issue, get inspired by other youth solutions, network and come up with some great ideas!


WHEN:           October 27, 2012, All Day

WHO:             YOU!

WHERE:         Google Offices, Venice CA 90291

STUDENTS: The summit is FREE!! Please encourage your students to APPLY on our website BY SEPTEMBER 21st.

EDUCATORS: You are encouraged to attend!  If interested, send a request to letting us know how you are active and what attending the training will help you do!

Visit the website to learn more and to APPLY.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter



Girl Up UN Opportunity for Your Students



My name is Annie Gersh, and I am a member of the Girl Up club at Marlborough School as well as the Co-Chair for the Girl Up Teen Advisor Board. I am currently working on a project for Girl Up, an innovative campaign of the United Nations Foundation. They give American girls the opportunity to become global leaders and channel their energy and compassion to raise awareness and funds for United Nations programs that help some of the world’s hardest-to-reach adolescent girls.
I am working towards creating a Los Angeles coalition of Girl Up supporters made up of Girl Up club heads, teen advisors, and student activists. Through this coalition, the hope is to create inter school events to educate students and raise awareness so that together we can have a larger impact. This coalition will serve as a model for cities across the country, and I would love it if your students could be a part of this project. If there are students at your school who are in 7th grade or older and would be interested in being a part of this coalition, I would really appreciate it if you could send me their information or pass along this email.

Thank you for your support!

Annie Gersh
Grade 9
Marlborough School

More information on Girl Up

The Challenges
There are more than 500 million adolescent girls living in developing countries today. These girls are bright, talented and full of dreams, but are often unable to reach their full potential.

Many of them struggle for the opportunity to go to school, see a doctor or be included in their communities. This has serious consequences including: low levels of enrollment in school, high levels of child marriage and way too many girls facing health risks from pregnancy and early child birth.

The Solution
Girl Up believes that American girls are a part of the solution. We know that girls give, girls talk and girls get involved. This generation of girls cares about global issues and is concerned about the challenges facing other girls around the world.

Lulu Cerone’s LemonAID Warriors

Lulu CeroneLulu Cerone first learned about social activism in kindergarten. Through service learning programs offered at school and the consistent support of her mother, she developed a deep sense of empathy and civic responsibility. That’s why at age nine, when she first heard about the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Lulu pushed past her sense of being overwhelmed by the tragedy and chose to take action. Lulu set up a competition between the boys and the girls in her grade to sell lemonade; whoever sold the most cups would be the winner. Never mind that it was January and that particular year there were non-stop rain showers! Camped under umbrellas in the baseball field, the boys were out in full force to sell lemonade and the girls pushed just as hard. In less than a month, Lulu had managed to raise $4,000.

And that was just the beginning. She also had to find out how to put the money to its best use.

Lulu founded LemonAID Warriors last summer and her National LemonAID Campaign inspired 500 lemonade stands from coast to coast. Encouraged by the power of her generation, she continues to unite kids to create change by organizing creative events she calls PhilanthroParties. For the past two years, Lulu and her friends have joined forces to change their birthday parties into a PhilanthroParties. They also raised awareness in their community by organizing a ‘water-walk’ – by going on a two mile walk carrying gallons of water, the children got a glimpse of what life might be like when water is a rare commodity.

As a result the children were able to raise enough funds to create a number of water wells in northern Rwanda. Their efforts led to villagers having access to clean water in addition to brokering peace between two tribes that had been at war for many years.

At a very young age, Lulu has become a committed change-maker inspiring children and adults alike. Here is her presentation at ECSL’s ‘Youth Voice’ meeting, which took place at Oakwood Elementary School on May 1, 2012.