Impact of Learning & Service

What we hope to achieve is an understanding of the agency and impact of our students on their local and global communities. And, just as importantly, how their actions in positive change efforts impact them. 

As Farmington Area Public Schools has recognized with its strategic plan, we certainly focus our efforts on academic improvements, especially through an approach personalized for each learner and incorporating the use of powerful learning devices to break down the traditional constraints to learning, including time and space. But increasingly made important is the notion of service-based learning, where learners apply their learning in impactful ways in local and global contexts. This is not necessarily new to Farmington—service expectations have been in place for learners for a number of years. And the new strategic plan affirms this and our competency based learning framework will create greater opportunities to connect learning to service.  

Understood in its entirety, the strategic plan requires that learners use their passions, interests, strengths and unique inner genius to lead beneficial change locally and globally.  A core tenant of this is for learners recognize where things can be better, take action, and respond empathetically.

This section does not lend itself to a simple indexing of dollars and donations or participation in service projects. Nor can a perception survey adequately capture the life-changing impact that meaningful service-based learning experiences can bring to students. What we hope to achieve is an understanding of the agency and impact of our learners on their local and global communities. And, just as importantly, how their actions in positive change efforts impact them.

We want students to step into active engagement through direct service opportunities that are connected to their academic learning. Future growth in this area will encourage students to develop their own service-based learning projects that can be implemented in local and global communities under the guidance and support of teachers, mentors, and community leaders. 

Because of the efforts of our learners:

  • a whole community in Kipsongol, Kenya now has a school building in which their children can learn and grow and develop their own passions; 
  • children and families here in Farmington and around the globe now have nourishing food that they might have the strength to help and empower others; 
  • cancer is beat back through awareness activities and donations to research organizations; 
  • kids holidays are made a bit brighter and warmer through gifts of toys, coats, hats, and mittens; 
  • individuals struggling through medical treatments, ailments, isolation in elder age are brought joy through student creations, performances, and the gift of time and attention—even unwanted animals are cared for by our students; 
  • children are supported in their reading development through mentoring activities and book donations; 
  • our parks and recreation areas are cleaner and more welcoming to visitors. 

Because of the efforts of our learners:

  • the spirit of giving and generosity has increased in our schools; 
  • students are learning leadership skills of brainstorming, consensus building, organizing and planning;
  • children and youth work in partnership, building relationships with each other, neighbors here in Farmington, and individuals across the globe; 
  • students have learned issues surrounding homelessness and hunger, including common misconceptions, and have shared that learning with others;
  • more and bigger impact is anticipated by students for future service; 
  • students acknowledge the change in themselves and vow to continue to lead others in service as they graduate from our school community. 

Beginning in the 2018-19 school year a student-led youth service advisory council was formed with the mission to promote a culture of service that impacts our community by connecting learners to meaningful volunteer experiences that utilize their interests, skills, and strengths.  

When the COVID 19 pandemic hit, our learners were challenged more than ever to adapt to the challenges that met our community. Youth volunteers did not skip a beat in finding new and innovative ways to help out our stressed hospitals, essential workers, isolated seniors, and hurting families. Here are some highlights of the service that was accomplished this year by our learners.

  • A network of youth homework helpers and tutors were matched with struggling distance learners 
  • Hundreds of hand sewn masks and 3D printed mask straps were delivered to essential workers and hospitals
  • Bunk beds were constructed for youth sleeping on the floor in Dakota County
  • Food and supplies were collected and organized to provide for families under financial stress and homeless youth

The chart below identifies the Global Goal Areas our leaners to choose to serve.  See attached document at the bottom of the page for detail descriptions of each area.

Top Student Impact Areas:

Supporting Documentation:

Global Goals Description