42 U.S. Code § 12563 - Innovative and community-based service-learning programs and research

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(a) Definitions
In this part:
(1) Eligible entity
The term “eligible entity” means a State educational agency, a State Commission, a territory, an Indian tribe, an institution of higher education, or a public or private nonprofit organization (including community-based entities), a public or private elementary school or secondary school, a local educational agency, a consortium of such entities, or a consortium of 2 or more such entities and a for-profit organization.
(2) Eligible partnership
The term “eligible partnership” means a partnership that—
(A) shall include—
(i) 1 or more community-based entities that have demonstrated records of success in carrying out service-learning programs with economically disadvantaged students, and that meet such criteria as the Chief Executive Officer may establish; and
(ii) a local educational agency for which—
(I) a high number or percentage, as determined by the Corporation, of the students served by the agency are economically disadvantaged students; and
(II) the graduation rate (as defined in section 6311 (b)(2)(C)(vi) of title 20 and as clarified in applicable regulations promulgated by the Department of Education  [1] for the secondary school students served by the agency is less than 70 percent; and
(B) may also include—
(i) a local government agency that is not described in subparagraph (A);
(ii) the office of the chief executive officer of a unit of general local government;
(iii) an institution of higher education;
(iv) a State Commission or State educational agency; or
(v) more than 1 local educational agency described in subclause (I). [2]
(3) Youth engagement zone
The term “youth engagement zone” means the area in which a youth engagement zone program is carried out.
(4) Youth engagement zone program
The term “youth engagement zone program” means a service-learning program in which members of an eligible partnership collaborate to provide coordinated school-based or community-based service-learning opportunities—
(A) in order to address a specific community challenge;
(B) for an increasing percentage of out-of-school youth and secondary school students served by a local educational agency; and
(C) in circumstances under which—
(i) not less than 90 percent of such students participate in service-learning activities as part of the program; or
(ii) service-learning is a part of the curriculum in all of the secondary schools served by the local educational agency.
(b) General authority
From the amounts appropriated to carry out this part for a fiscal year, the Corporation may make grants (which may include approved summer of service positions in the case of a grant for a program described in subsection (c)(8)) and fixed-amount grants (in accordance with section 12581 (l) of this title) to eligible entities or eligible partnerships, as appropriate, for programs and activities described in subsection (c).
(c) Authorized activities
Funds under this part may be used to—
(1) integrate service-learning programs into the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (referred to in this part as “STEM”) curricula at the elementary, secondary, postsecondary, or postbaccalaureate levels in coordination with practicing or retired STEM professionals;
(2) involve students in service-learning programs focusing on energy conservation in their community, including conducting educational outreach on energy conservation and working to improve energy efficiency in low-income housing and in public spaces;
(3) involve students in service-learning programs in emergency and disaster preparedness;
(4) involve students in service-learning programs aimed at improving access to and obtaining the benefits from computers and other emerging technologies, including improving such access for individuals with disabilities, in low-income or rural communities, in senior centers and communities, in schools, in libraries, and in other public spaces;
(5) involve high school age youth in the mentoring of middle school youth while involving all participants in service-learning to seek to meet unmet human, educational, environmental, public safety, or emergency and disaster preparedness needs in their community;
(6) conduct research and evaluations on service-learning, including service-learning in middle schools, and disseminate such research and evaluations widely;
(7) conduct innovative and creative activities as described in section 12523 (a) of this title;
(8) establish or implement summer of service programs (giving priority to programs that enroll youth who will be enrolled in any of grades 6 through 9 at the end of the summer concerned) during the summer months (including recruiting, training, and placing service-learning coordinators)—
(A) for youth who will be enrolled in any of grades 6 through 12 at the end of the summer concerned; and
(B) for community-based service-learning projects—
(i) that shall—
(I) meet unmet human, educational, environmental (including energy conservation and stewardship), and emergency and disaster preparedness and other public safety needs; and
(II) be intensive, structured, supervised, and designed to produce identifiable improvements to the community;
(ii) that may include the extension of academic year service-learning programs into the summer months; and
(iii) under which a student who completes 100 hours of service as described in section 12602 (b)(2) of this title, [3] shall be eligible for a summer of service educational award of $500 or $750 as described in sections 12602 (a)(2)(C) and 12603 (d) of this title;
(9) establish or implement youth engagement zone programs in youth engagement zones, for students in secondary schools served by local educational agencies for which a majority of such students do not participate in service-learning activities that are—
(A) carried out by eligible partnerships; and
(B) designed to—
(i) involve all students in secondary schools served by the local educational agency in service-learning to address a specific community challenge;
(ii) improve student engagement, including student attendance and student behavior, and student achievement, graduation rates, and college-going rates at secondary schools; and
(iii) involve an increasing percentage of students in secondary school and out-of-school youth in the community in school-based or community-based service-learning activities each year, with the goal of involving all students in secondary schools served by the local educational agency and involving an increasing percentage of the out-of-school youth in service-learning activities; and
(10) conduct semester of service programs that—
(A) provide opportunities for secondary school students to participate in a semester of coordinated school-based or community-based service-learning opportunities for a minimum of 70 hours (of which at least a third will be spent participating in field-based activities) over a semester, to address specific community challenges;
(B) engage as participants high percentages or numbers of economically disadvantaged students;
(C) allow participants to receive academic credit, for the time spent in the classroom and in the field for the program, that is equivalent to the academic credit for any class of equivalent length and with an equivalent time commitment; and
(D) ensure that the classroom-based instruction component of the program is integrated into the academic program of the local educational agency involved; and
(11) carry out any other innovative service-learning programs or research that the Corporation considers appropriate.
(d) Applications
To be eligible to receive a grant to carry out a program or activity under this part, an entity or partnership, as appropriate, shall prepare and submit to the Corporation an application at such time and in such manner as the Chief Executive Officer may reasonably require, and obtain approval of the application.
(e) Priority
In making grants under this part, the Corporation shall give priority to applicants proposing to—
(1) involve students and community stakeholders in the design and implementation of service-learning programs carried out using funds received under this part;
(2) implement service-learning programs in low-income or rural communities; and
(3) utilize adult volunteers, including tapping the resources of retired and retiring adults, in the planning and implementation of service-learning programs.
(f) Requirements
(1) Term
Each program or activity funded under this part shall be carried out over a period of 3 years, which may include 1 planning year. In the case of a program funded under this part, the 3-year period may be extended by 1 year, if the program meets performance levels established in accordance with section 12639 (k) of this title and any other criteria determined by the Corporation.
(2) Collaboration encouraged
Each entity carrying out a program or activity funded under this part shall, to the extent practicable, collaborate with entities carrying out programs under this division, division C, and titles I and II of the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973 (42 U.S.C. 4951 et seq., 5001 et seq.).
(3) Evaluation
Not later than 4 years after the effective date of the Serve America Act, the Corporation shall conduct an independent evaluation of the programs and activities carried out using funds made available under this part, and determine best practices relating to service-learning and recommendations for improvement of those programs and activities. The Corporation shall widely disseminate the results of the evaluations, and information on the best practices and recommendations to the service community through multiple channels, including the Corporation’s Resource Center or a clearinghouse of effective strategies.

[1]  So in original. Probably should be followed by a closing parenthesis.

[2]  So in original. Clause (v) does not contain subclauses.

[3]  So in original. Comma probably should not appear.


(Pub. L. 101–610, title I, § 119, as added Pub. L. 111–13, title I, § 1204,Apr. 21, 2009, 123 Stat. 1479.)
References in Text

The Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973, referred to in subsec. (f)(2), is Pub. L. 93–113, Oct. 1, 1973, 87 Stat. 394. Titles I and II of the Act are classified generally to subchapters I (§ 4951 et seq.) and II (§ 5000 et seq.), respectively, of chapter 66 of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 4950 of this title and Tables.
For the effective date of the Serve America Act, referred to in subsec. (f)(3), as Oct. 1, 2009, see section 6101(a) ofPub. L. 111–13, set out as an Effective Date of 2009 Amendment note under section 4950 of this title.
Prior Provisions

A prior section 119 ofPub. L. 101–610was renumbered section 118 and is classified to section 12561 of this title.
Effective Date

Part effective Oct. 1, 2009, see section 6101(a) ofPub. L. 111–13, set out as an Effective Date of 2009 Amendment note under section 4950 of this title.


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