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For Immediate Release
September 27, 2006

State Board of Education and Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn award Learn and Serve America grants
More than 45,000 Illinois students will benefit and participate in service-learning

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois State Board of Education, in partnership with Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn’s office, recently awarded Learn and Serve America grants totaling more than $550,000 to 44 school districts and regional programs in an effort to promote students’ involvement in both the classroom and their community.

Learn and Serve America extends classroom learning out into communities where students see first-hand the positive difference they can make,” said Randy Dunn, State Superintendent Education. “The hands-on projects that make up the program help the students and the whole community.”

Service learning is a teaching method in which students apply what they are learning in their classrooms as they work to meet important needs in their communities. High-quality service-learning is an effective means of fostering civic responsibility in students while promoting academic learning and social/emotional development. The overall purpose of the Illinois K-12 Learn and Serve America program is to encourage and support the use of service learning as a teaching methodology in the elementary and secondary schools of Illinois.

The National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993 established the Learn and Serve America Program, which is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service. Since the program’s first year in 1994-1995, ISBE has been awarded an annual LSA grant.

In the grant’s first year, 70 sub-grants were issued to individual schools, local school districts or groups of cooperating school districts in Illinois. An estimated 7,000 to 8,000 Illinois elementary and secondary students participated in these service-learning activities.

More than 45,000 students in these 44 local school districts and regional programs will participate in the Illinois School-Based Learn and Serve America Program during the 2006-2007 school year.

“Service learning is a tool which allows students to become actively engaged in their studies as well as leaders in their communities,” Lt. Governor Pat Quinn said. “By linking public service to the academic curriculum, students grow into real world problem solvers, and I look forward to working with each of these school districts to expand service learning in Illinois.”

Recently, the Lt. Governor's Office was appointed as the new coordinator of the Illinois Learn and Serve America Program through an intergovernmental agreement with ISBE. The Lt. Governor has administered the innovative Cesar Chavez Serve and Learn Program for the past three years and has been a long time advocate for community service.

There were 57 proposals submitted for the multi-year grant. Continuation in years two and three will be contingent upon sufficient funding for the initiative and satisfactory performance of grantees.


Grants for Program Implementation, Operation or Expansion

  • City of Chicago School District 299
  • New Trier High School District 203
  • Waukegan Township School District 60
  • School District U-46 (Elgin)
  • Berwyn South School District 100
  • Iroquois-Kankakee Regional Office of Education 32
  • Lewistown School District 97
  • Sterling Community Unit School District 5
  • North Shore School District 112 (Highland Park)
  • Northern Suburban Special Education District
  • Iroquois West Community Unit School District 10
  • Community Unit School District 300 (Carpentersville)
  • North Cook Intermediate Service Center
  • Sangamon County Regional Office of Education 51
  • Park Forest/Chicago Heights School District 163
  • Thornton Township High School District 205
  • Cornell Community Consolidated School District 426
  • Cambridge Community Unit School District 227
  • Township High School District 113 (Highland Park)
  • Special Education District of Lake County
  • Matteson Elementary School District 162
  • Peoria County Regional Office of Education 48
  • West Northfield School District 31
  • Bushnell-Prairie City Community Unit School District 170
  • West 40 Intermediate Service Center 2
  • Plainfield School District 202
  • Wauconda Community Unit School District 118
  • Rural Champaign County Special Education District
  • Calhoun Community Unit School District 40
  • South Cook Intermediate Service Center 4
  • DeKalb County Regional Office of Education 16
  • Wabash Community Unit School District 348
  • Newark Community High School District 18
  • Alden-Hebron School District 19
  • Mannheim School District 83
  • Monroe/Randolph Regional Office of Education 45
  • Carmi-White County Community Unit School District 5
  • Charleston Community Unit School District 1

Grants for Program Planning

  • Pontiac Community Consolidated School District 429
  • Evanston Township High School District 202
  • Mount Vernon City School District 80
  • Lake Forest Community High School District 115
  • Bond, Effingham, Fayette Regional Office of Education 3
  • Mount Vernon Township High School District 201

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