The following organizations work with New York City public schools to engage students in community service and service-learning. 

    • American Red Cross in Greater New York

        The American Red Cross in Greater New York partners with NYC high schools through the Red Cross Clubs program. Red Cross Clubs are organized groups of youth volunteers dedicated to supporting the mission of the American Red Cross in their school and community. The program provides club members with meaningful opportunities to serve their community and develop leadership skills. Student leaders plan and implement school-and community-based service projects, such as organizing blood drives and providing disaster preparedness education.  
    • buildOn
        buildOn partners with urban high schools to mobilize students through community service and service-learning programs so that they make changes in communities and break the cycles of poverty, illiteracy, and low expectations. With their high schools, buildOn also organizes community service events for elementary school students to join. 

    • Cathryn Berger Kaye and CBK Associates
        A national expert in K-12 service-learning, Cathryn Berger Kaye provides a robust portfolio of service-learning books, authors, and free curriculum resources for educators. Cathryn also leads multi-day professional development workshops and conferences for teachers, school districts, and nonprofit organizations to develop and expand their service-learning programming. 
    • City Harvest

        City Harvest is NYC’s food rescue organization, rescuing 33 million pounds of food annually and delivering it to 600 emergency food programs throughout the five boroughs.  NYC students can volunteer by organizing food drives for City Harvest and rescuing fresh fruits and vegetables at the Union Square Greenmarket.

    • Common Cents
        Common Cents leads the Penny Harvest, a community service program that helps students raise funds and then empowers them to make decisions as they choose charities to receive these funds. The Penny Harvest program allows students to witness how they can make a difference in their own community and communities across the globe.
    • Generation Citizen

        Generation Citizen partners with NYC middle and high schools to lead students through an in-class "action civics" curriculum that allows young people to learn about the democratic process by taking action on issues that matter to them. Classroom teachers and trained college "Democracy Coach" volunteers work together as students brainstorm and analyze community issues, develop and execute strategic action plans, and become change-makers in their own communities.

    • generationOn
        generationOn, the youth service enterprise of Points of Light , offers service-learning training and curriculum resources to teachers and school leaders.  It strives to help students develop into healthy, empowered, creative problem-solvers and global leaders by experiencing their power and potential through service and service-learning.  
    • GreenThumb

        GreenThumb provides technical and material support to NYC urban gardeners.  A member of “Grow to Learn NYC: the Citywide School Garden Initiative,” GreenThumb extends support to schools that want to make gardening part of their educational and service-learning experiences.

    • Jane Goodall's Roots and Shoots
        Roots & Shoots is the Jane Goodall Institute's global environmental and humanitarian youth program. It offers service-learning professional development and free curriculum for educators in NYC. With members in more than 120 countries, Roots & Shoots provides a network where schools can take action to help people, animals, and the environment.
    • Jefferson Awards Foundation

        Leadership. Engagement. Impact. Through its Students In Action program, the Jefferson Awards Foundation (JAF) trains high school and middle school students to effectively build a culture of student-led service in their school communities. Students participate in free leadership conferences where they network with students from other schools and learn skills that help them identify and work on their service passions. Students use these leadership skills to engage their peers in volunteerism, and to visualize, plan and implement projects that have a positive impact on their communities and world. JAF also offers the Lead360 Challenge and GlobeChangers programs for youth.

        For more information:

        NYC events and programs:

    • Lead2Feed
        Lead2Feed is a student leadership program for middle and high school students that teaches them to become passionate, service-minded leaders for life. Lead2Feed provides teachers with free project-based lessons aligned to Common Core State Standards and 21st Century Skills.  Lessons are leadership driven activities centered on the challenge of solving a hunger issue locally or globally. Student teams enter the Lead2Feed World Hunger Leadership Challenge with an opportunity to earn up to $500,000 in awards they may donate to non-profit hunger organizations.
    • Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Pennies for Patients Program
        The Pennies for Patients Program is a service and philanthropy program that provides schools with materials, videos, collection boxes, and lesson plans to support students in collecting spare change over a three-week period in spring.  The program enables students to not only experience the impact they can make on others, but also develop teamwork and leadership skills. Students’ fundraising efforts support research for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease, and myeloma to improve the quality of life for patients and their families.
    • MillionTreesNYC
        The goal of MillionTreesNYC is to plant and care for one million new trees throughout New York City over the next decade. Through their Educator Toolkit, MillionTreesNYC provides educators with extensive resources to support student learning about caring for the environment and trees. Classrooms can participate in free tree education programs, plantings on school grounds and service-learning opportunities from the NYC Parks Department, New York Restoration Project and other nonprofit organizations.
    • Museum of Tolerance New York

        Part of a network of museums across the country, this New York based museum has various programs to engage middle and high school students in the important dialogue to reduce and prevent bullying, racism, and prejudice.  It offers interactive educational exhibits that address the history of international human rights and promote social action and community service.  Classrooms and may engage in tours and day-long programs, and teachers may participate in professional development workshops to expand social awareness and activism in schools.

    • New York Cares

        In effort to develop the next generation of volunteers, New York Cares engages high school students through service-learning and volunteer activities. They offer one-time service-learning and volunteer opportunities to New York City high schools and community organizations.

    • NYC Department of Youth and Community Development's Teen ACTION
        Led by the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development, Teen ACTION (Achieving Change Together In Our Neighborhoods) is an after-school service-learning program that provides structured learning, community service projects, and reflection for participating students in grades 7-10.  Students develop responsible life skills while making meaningful contributions to their school and community. Click here to learn more.

    • NYC Service

        NYC Service was founded in April 2009 in response to President Obama's national call for volunteerism and a goal of engaging 100 million Americans in service by 2020. NYC Service targets volunteers to address New York City’s greatest needs by mobilizing the power of volunteers to impact six areas: Strengthening Communities, Education Excellence, Economic and Workforce Development, Health and Well Being, Environment and Emergency Preparedness and Response.  In addition to these six areas, NYC Service seeks to elevate Youth Volunteer Service as a leadership and development strategy for the city. NYC Service offers a range of citywide volunteer opportunities for all ages to participate in.

    • Reading Partners
        Reading Partners is a national education nonprofit dedicated to improving students’ reading skills. Reading Partners connects passionate high school student volunteers with struggling readers to help students build strong literacy skills, gain confidence, and discover a passion for reading. Volunteers are trained to work one-on-one with students for 45 minutes twice a week following a structured, research-based curriculum.
    • Students for Service

        Students for Service leads the Teens for Food Justice program, a community service and service-learning initiative empowering high school students with the opportunity to increase access to healthy food and fight for justice in their communities. High school students who volunteer will receive training, skills, and confidence to lead outreach and educate their peers on food access, food literacy, nutrition, fitness, and affordable healthy living. These outreach activities are designed to encourage and empower teens to think critically and advocate for important issues facing their communities.

    • Youth Service America (YSA)

        YSA educates teachers with strategies to empower youth to be problem-solvers and engages youth to volunteer, succeed academically, and be leaders in their communities.  YSA coordinates Global Youth Service Day for students and Semester of Service for schools and provides a wide variety of resources and trainings.  It also distributes over $1 million in grants annually to support service-learning.

    • WE
        WE Day is a celebration of youth making a difference in their local and global communities. WE Schools is the year-long program that nurtures compassion in young people and gives them the tools to create transformative social change. To learn more or to register for the program, visit
    • The Philanthropy Project
        The Philanthropy Project is an online platform that gives youth the tools to bring their service projects to life. Individuals, classrooms, and schools can create personalized campaign pages (complete with integrated fundraising, event management, merchandise sales, and volunteer recruitment/organization capabilities) for any service project they wish to undertake. A free Curriculum Guide supports educators in providing their students with meaningful and engaging service experiences incorporating The Philanthropy Project platform.
    • The Service Learning Project (SLP)
        The SLP is a New York City-based civic engagement program for public school students in grades K-12. SLP staff are available to co-facilitate service learning projects with classroom teachers or train and provide technical assistance to school staff.  .
    • Youth Service Opportunities Project (YSOP)

        Committed to helping young people become part of the solution to societal problems, this NYC-based  organization organizes day-long, overnight and week-long community service programs that serve the  homeless and hungry.  YSOP works with groups of student volunteers in grades 7-12.