Service Learning

Service Learning

What is Service Learning?

Service learning is a method of teaching and learning that connects classroom lessons with meaningful service to the community.

Integrated into the academic curriculum, service learning helps students and schools meet academic goals. Service learning enables students to apply their knowledge in support of their neighbors and community as they gain knowledge and skills from meeting real community needs.Students build character and become active citizens as they work with others in their school or community to create service projects in areaslike education, public safety, and the environment.

Service learning can be applied across all subjects and can involve a single student or group of students, a classroom, or an entire school. For example: one student may serve at a local food pantry while studying the roots of poverty; a science class may clean-up a local streambed while analyzingwater samples; and an entire school may adopt a service learning curriculum focused on community health. Whatever the focus,service learning benefits the school, community, and the students.

Download Psychology 203: Abnormal Psychology Service Learning Project and Paper Overview.

Download Fall 2015 Service Learning Project.

Service Learning Opportunities


Bloom Township

Bloom Township
425 S. Halsted St.
Chicago Heights, IL 60411
(708) 754-9400
Contact: Anna Scrementi

Service Learning Opportunity: Food Pantry

Catholic Church Charities
16100 16100 Seton Drive
South Holland, IL 60473
(708) 333-8379

Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity
180 W. Joe Orr Road
Chicago Heights, IL 60411
(708) 755-1840
Contact: Ted - gohabitat.net

SouthSTAR Services

SouthSTAR Services
1005 West End Ave., Chicago Heights. IL 60411| info for mandatory background check
Contact: Sarah Hartt at shartt@southstarservices.org
(708) 747-0627 X116

Service Learning Opportunities:
  • Computer lab assistance for persons with disabilities
  • Need computer literate person(s)to help staff improve their abilities with computer programs, such as spreadsheets and Microsoft Word usage
  • Need assistance with helping persons with disabilities improve reading skills
  • Need students to develop a fitness program for persons with disabilities
  • Need someone to update the web site
  • Need someone who can create and develop flyers for various events
  • Opportunity for someone to learn event planning and marketing
  • Minimum of five to six students

Required training:

  • Contact will provide training

Other requirements:

  • Willingness to work with persons with disabilities

PSC course correlation: All disciplines, especially Computers, Psychology, Sociology, Physical Education/Health and Fitness, Reading and Communications

Harold Colbert Jones Memorial Community Center

Harold Colbert Jones Memorial Community Center
220 East 15th Street | info for mandatory background check
Chicago Heights, IL 60411
Telephone: (708) 757-5395 X 24
Fax: (708) 757-3114
Contact: Tonnettia Ivie

All opportunities are available Monday - Friday from 3 to 5 p.m.

After School Club
Educational, social, and recreational activities for ages 5-17
***Art students needed to work with youth on a variety of art projects***
Tutoring / Mentoring
Specialized help for youth with greater academic needs
One-on-one relationships with caring adults for 4-8 graders

Computer Learning Center
Hands-on computer training utilizing PLATO software and online capabilities
Training: The site contact will train student participants

Other requirements

  • Background check paid by the Jones Center
  • Sexual Offender Check for all volunteers

Students may not perform service learning at this site without meeting with Esther Pacheco, and completing and passing the background check.

PSC course correlation: All disciplines, especially Art, Computers, Psychology and Sociology

Park Forest Public Library

Park Forest Public Library
400 Lakewood Blvd
Park Forest IL 60446
(708) 748-3731 ext 20
Contact: Miranda bell
Email: mbell@sslic.net
Service Needed: Tutoring K-8
Time: 4 – 6 p.m.


Homeless Shelter Assistants-Overnight Shelter
414 West Lincoln Highway
Chicago Heights, IL 60411
Contact: Dawn Thrasher, Community Coordinator
(708) 754-4357

Four shifts are available for students to assist

First Shift: 6-11pm
From 6 to 7 p.m., volunteers put out mattresses and linens and prepare site.
Beginning at 7 p.m., each guest is registered and photo taken to accompany permanent registration card.
Special needs for social and medical services are noted so referrals can be made.
A hot dinner is served from 7:30-8:30 p.m. Breakfast and a sack lunch are provided for the next day.
Each guest is provided a mattress, a pillow clean linens and toiletries. Guests are in bed by 10 p.m.

If you do not show up for your scheduled onsite project you will not be allowed to return.

Second shift: 10:45 pm- 3 am
Sack lunches are prepared and given to guests as they leave in the morning.
Monitor sleeping guests

Third shift: 2:45 - 7 am
Volunteers continue to monitor sleeping guests.
By 6 a.m., guests are awakened. Guests sterilize their mattress and pilow and put linens in laundry.
Breakfast is served and guests are out the door by 7 a.m.
Volunteers make sure guests leave residential areas and head to major streets where they can obtain bus

Fourth shift: 5:30- 7:30am
This shift assists with breakfast and stays for final clean-up of site after guests depart.

PSC course correlation: Psychology, Sociology, Social Work and Communication

Respond Now

Respond Now
1439 Emerald Ave.
Chicago Heights, IL 60411
(708) 755-4357
Contact: Anita Alvardo

South Suburban Family Shelter

South Suburban Family Shelter
18137 Harwood Ave.
Homewood, IL 60430
(708) 794-2140
Contact: Vicki Meilach

South Suburban Humane Society

South Suburban Human Society
1103 West End Avenue
Chicago Heights, IL60411
Contact: Julianne Watterson, Volunteer Coordinator
(708) 755-7387 X 276
(708) 755-PETS X 276

Service Learning Opportunities:
  • Dog and cat walking
  • Kennel Cleaning (All students must be willing to clean kennels or they will not be permitted to perform the service learning opportunity.)
  • Fundraising
  • Animal feeding

Orientations are on Wednesdays from 6to 7 p.m.

Students must contact Katie at the e-mail address listed above for days and times of service, and you must complete and submit the volunteer form at southsuburbanhumanesociety.org.

Jennifer S. Fallick Cancer Support Center

Jennifer S. Fallick Cancer Support Center
Cynthia Turnquist, Volunteer Coordinator
2028 Elm Road
Homewood, IL 60430
Phone: (708) 798-9171
Fax: (708) 798-0052

Service Learning Opportunities
  • Greeter/Answering Phones
  • Event Volunteer
  • General Office
  • Village Door Belle
  • Mailings

Volunteer Requirements

  • Understand and promote the mission of the Cancer Support Center
  • Submit a completed Volunteer Application
  • Interview with the Volunteer Coordinator
  • Complete volunteer orientation and appropriate training

PSC course correlation: All disciplines

Eugene Dumas

The Center for Multicultural Communities

202 South Halsted Street
Chicago Heights, IL 60411
(708) 709-3797

On Campus Opportunities

  • Phi Theta Kappa International Honors Society Major Service Events (more details to come)
    Please contact Melanie Eddins-Spencer, Advisor of Nu Sigma Chapter, (708) 709-3762 or meddins@prairiestate for more details on events.
  • Health Promotion Programming is always looking for Peer Educators who want to be proactive in helping the College become a healthier campus! Studies show that Peer Educators make a large impact on the health behaviors of their peers. All Peer Educators will go through a nationally-certified training program (that can be used on other college campuses), as well as enhance their skills in leadership, team-building and program planning. Students can also get involved by contacting the Health Promotion Programming office in room 1261 Monday-Thursday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. or call (708) 709-3897.
  • Psi Beta National Honor Society
    Please contact Cynthia Cornejo, Advisor of Psi Beta at (708) 709-7775 or ccornejo2@prairiestate.edu

If you are interested in seeking a volunteer opportunity at one of the locations that require background check it is your responsibility to have the process completed before starting any service hours. Fingerprinting and background check can be administered at:

Trace Identity Service Inc.
222 Vollmer Road, Suite AC
Chicago Heights IL 60411
(708) 754-2900

Hours of Operation: Monday - Friday, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. (no appointment necessary)
Fee $35 - only cash or money order, no credit cards or personal checks. You must provide a driver's license or a state ID.