Nashville, Tenn. - Service-learning participants have a new tool to help them spread the word about service-learning: a communications toolkit packed with resources to aid teachers, students, and community leaders in promoting service-learning to educators, administrators and other decision-makers.

Developed by the Corporation for National and Community Service with the support of the State Farm Companies Foundation, Service-Learning: Turning Ideas into Action Communications Kit, was debuted today before hundreds of service-learning practitioners at the National Service Learning Conference in Nashville, TN.

Service-learning is a teaching and learning approach that integrates community service with academic study to enrich teaching, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities. Students involved in service-learning show improved academic performance, develop leadership and problem-solving skills, and exhibit an enhanced sense of responsibility to their communities.

“State Farm is dedicated to strengthening the effectiveness, sustainability, and scale of the youth service and service-learning fields,” said Kathy Payne, senior director of Education Leadership at State Farm Insurance. “We are delighted to partner with the Corporation on this communications kit. The kit ensures that those who can best tell the service-learning story—the teachers, students, and other leaders who are on the frontlines of the service-learning movement—have the tools they need to help make service-learning available to all schools.”

The communications kit will include a users guide with tips and strategies on how to make service-learning presentations to educators, administrators, students, and community organizations; DVDs with program and public service announcements on the benefits of service-learning and PowerPoint presentations that will allow presenters to customize slides; a media loop with photos of students engaged in service-learning; and give-aways such as stickers, magnets, posters. The free kit will be distributed later this spring to Learn and Serve America grantees and will be available on the Corporation’s website.

“The Corporation is thrilled to have State Farm as a partner on this toolkit and on expanding service-learning in America,” said Nicola Goren, Acting CEO of the Corporation. “Helping students to become engaged citizens is a major task of our nation’s schools, and service-learning is a proven method of achieving that goal.”

The Corporation’s Learn and Serve America program is a catalyst for service-learning programs nationwide that connect community service with academic curriculum. Through these programs, in class and in extracurricular activities, more than 1.1 million students serve others in their communities while strengthening their academic and civic skills. In addition, service-learning fosters partnerships between schools and their communities that strengthens communities and meets immediate community needs.