Far too often, students in alternative educational settings become disengaged with learning. Long histories of school failure hamper progress, and far too often, students drop out of school entirely. They fail to see how their Algebra class, for example, has any applicability to the real world. With service learning, students use the knowledge they have gained in classroom settings to address real-life needs within the school, community and the world. Service learning differs from true volunteerism in that service learning tends to increase motivation and retention of academic skills since those specific academic skills are tied to needs within the community.
The design of the NEW Saline Alternative will require that each student engages in service learning. Students will learn to apply their academic skills in a work-based situation, developing mutualistic relationships that could lead to paid employment in the future. Resume-building, civic responsibility and self- confidence building are interrelated benefits to the students.
Staff members will guide each student in identifying skills that can be further developed and applied within a community setting. Working in collaboration with the greater Saline Area Schools, the Saline Chamber of Commerce, The Saline Senior Center and the World Wide Web, students will choose from a variety of available venues for their service learning experience. For further information on service learning, please consult the following websites: