Community Service-Learning


Project Overview

Community Service-Learning (CSL) mixes classroom theory with real world practice, giving students hands-on experience working with local organizations.

CSL is integrated into a course through collaboration between instructors and community partners. Participating students have the opportunity to make real-life connections between their education and everyday issues in the Edmonton community.

Together, community organizations, students and instructors combat pressing issues in our society such as poverty, energy and health.

Learning that inspires

It was Carley-Jane Stanton's, '16 BSc(Ag), fascination with food that led her to enrol in a course called The Plate, the Planet and Society, which included a CSL placement with Sustainable Food Edmonton. Carley-Jane went door-to-door in a low-income community to talk with immigrant women about their gardens, specifically about the chilies they grew. The spicy fruit was a staple ingredient in their home countries, but in Edmonton it was difficult to find at affordable prices and even more difficult to grow. Without chilies, their kids weren't eating - a frustration to which any parent can relate. But for immigrants working to adjust to a new life in a different country, familiar food and family dinners were an easy way to make their new homes feel less foreign.

Desperate to solve this problem, the women came together. A local gardener taught them how to grow chilies in Edmonton and helped them acquire donated seeds. The women helped one another with their gardens to ensure success. In the end, their kids were eating again and, more importantly, these immigrant women had bonded to build a community they could call home.

Moved by this story, Carley-Jane decided to do more. She switched her major to Agriculture and Resource Economics, founded the Alder Food Security Society, and became a member of the Edmonton Food Council. Today she is working with a farmer to help bring culturally appropriate food to farmers' markets. "That conversation I had about growing your own chili peppers and coming together as a community has been the narrative that inspired me over the last four years," Carley-Jane said.

The Impact of Your Donation

Your gift to CSL will directly benefit the community organizations, students and instructors who work together to combat pressing community issues. Their feedback illustrates that CSL is making a difference in the lives of participants:

  • 76% of students felt CSL was an effective teaching and learning strategy.
  • 82% of community partners would recommend participation in CSL to their colleagues.
  • 100% of instructors would recommend CSL to other university instructors.

Your support will grow CSL opportunities, connecting the program with more community partners and allowing for more student participation.

How to Help

Your donation can help more students make meaningful contributions to local organizations, gain valuable experience, and increase their awareness of the social and political life of their community.

Your gift to CSL makes our communities better.

  • Help students overcome financial barriers to CSL participation
  • Make CSL more widely available
  • Bring learning to community members facing economic, institutional or social barriers
  • Expand university-community partnerships

See a complete list of current CSL partners.

Giving Theme

Culture & Society

Ways to Give

Charitable Gift Annuities, Memorial/Tribute Gifts