Many educators believe that when a student has a personal connection to the subject that they are studying, student retention is higher and true learning takes place. Connecting emotion to academics gives students and teachers a way to learn together, while still embracing the new core standards. Service and project-based learning is a perfect way to infuse the curriculum with an emotional component.

Service learning projects also provide opportunities for students to reflect – an integral piece of internalizing and understanding experiences. Students understand how their actions have impacted others, and can lead to them understanding their value and place in the world.

This month at we’ve been focused on giving educators and parents service-learning ideas through our bi-monthly webinars, our E-ssential Character newsletter, and our featured lesson plans. For example, our last webinar focused on the academic and character development benefits of high-levels of academic service learning.

As Earth Day happens every year in April, and many students and teachers will be searching for ways to celebrate outside of school, we thought this blog post from Edutopia would be helpful. We also have more than 100 Promising Practices–specific, replicable examples from schools that you can do in your school, no matter the grade level.

Suzie Boss of Edutopia wrote a blog article with some project-based learning ideas. She says a billion people worldwide are expected to celebrate Earth Day this year. Will you be one?