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5 steps to developing a meaningful service project

The best way to engage students in service is to make it personal and allow them to lead the way. The beginning of the school year is a great time to empower Builders Club members to take a deep look around the school and the community, and investigate how the club can make a big impact. Here are 5 steps for developing a meaningful and impactful service project:

  1. Conduct interviews. Encourage members to use this service project interview guide to help determine who in their school and/or community could benefit from a service project.
  2. Research and explore. After the interviews, help members begin researching and exploring some of the topics discussed in the interviews for themselves and document their findings.
  3. Presentations. After the research and idea-gathering, ask members to form groups—each of which should present one or two findings that could lead to a service project.
  4. Brainstorm solutions. After each group has presented, the club should brainstorm possible solutions. (For great club discussions, encourage members to use accountable talk.) Next, the club could take a vote on which service project the club should plan and execute.
  5. Start planning. When the club has voted and decided on a service project, it’s time to start putting it all together. 

As an advisor, you can help guide the members through these five steps by asking them great questions along the way. Challenge them to reflect on how their decisions and the project will be impactful. Members will feel empowered and connected to their service—because they’re putting their leadership skills into practice.