Learn and Serve Illinois

Learn and Serve America Program in IllinoisMeeting community needs in Illinois through Service Learning.

The Office of the Governor has programmatic oversight for the Illinois Learn and Serve America Program – providing three-year continuation grants to school districts seeking to create or expand service learning opportunities with young people of Illinois.

More than 57,387 students grades K-12 in Illinois are participating in the Corporation for National and Community Service, Learn and Serve America, federally funded grant program.

Service learning offers a concrete opportunity for students from kindergarten to high school across the Land of Lincoln to get involved in their communities in a tangible way by integrating service projects with classroom learning. Service learning engages our young people in the educational process, combining what they learn in the classroom to solve real-life problems. Students not only learn about democracy and citizenship, they become actively contributing citizens through the service they perform.

Educators throughout Illinois have applied Service-learning across all subjects and grade levels, as Service-learning can involve a single student or multiple students, a classroom or an entire school. Students engaged in service-learning to build character and become active participants as they work with others in their school and community to develop service projects in areas like education, public safety and the environment.

In 2006, as the Lieutenant Governor, Pat Quinn assumed responsibility for Illinois' Learn and Serve America program. This joint federal and state initiative provides three-year-grants to school districts seeking to create or expand service-learning opportunities. Fiscal Year 2008-2009 marked the 3rd year of our grantees three-year continuation grant cycle. More than 156,086 students participated in the Learn and Serve America Program in Illinois under Governor Quinn's leadership.

The Office of Governor Quinn has partnered with the Illinois Resource Center (IRC) to provide training and technical assistance for recipients of the Illinois K-12 School-Based Learn and Serve America grants. These grants, which are determined by the Illinois State Board of Education and the Office of Governor Quinn, foster the growth of service learning – a curriculum-based pedagogical method that is rapidly gaining acceptance across the nation.