About Service-Learning

Service-Learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.

For youth, teachers, administrators, community members, and parents, Service-Learning offers a dynamic path toward more engaging classroom and service experiences.

OneOC’s Service-Learning program is working with schools throughout Orange County to build community gardens and promote awareness of World Oceans Day.  Click the links below to learn how you can incorporate these projects into your Service-Learning program:

Service-Learning Gardens
OneOC’s Service-Learning School Garden Projects

The OneOC Service-Learning School Garden Project provides an on-going opportunity for Orange County elementary schools to meet CA Standards-based Life Science instructional goals while giving K-6 students a chance to provide meaningful service to their community.

For the past year, students in many Orange County elementary schools have participated in a seed-to-harvest program designed by OneOC. Elementary schools that have participated in this project represent more than 10 Orange County School Districts.

Students at these schools have grown zucchini, cabbage and broccoli to benefit the Second Harvest Food Bank, whose mission is to alleviate hunger in Orange County. All garden proceeds have been donated to Second Harvest to feed hungry Orange County residents.

The goals of the OneOC Service-Learning School Garden Project are as follows:

  • To accelerate nonprofit success in Orange County by providing Orange County elementary students the resources to address hunger in their community while connecting OC schools to nonprofit partners
  • To keep students engaged in school and learning
  • To develop involved citizens
  • To hone critical thinking and problem-solving skills

As the OneOC Service-Learning School Garden Project continues to address local hunger in our community, students are planting seeds and seedlings, caring for the plants as they grow, and harvesting them as they complete their growing cycle.

Start your own Service-Learning Garden Project!

Teachers and students who are interested in beginning a service-learning garden program at their school can use the following Project Sheets to plan and organize their project, as well as check out the links to Garden Information and Lesson Plans below.

Additional Service-Learning Garden Resources
Garden Information:
K-6 Life Science Garden Lesson Plans:
Additional Resources for K-6 Teachers and Students:
World Oceans Day

World Oceans Day has been celebrated internationally every year on June 8th since 1992, when it was first proposed by environmental enthusiasts attending the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  Officially, World Oceans Day was recognized by the United Nations in 2008 and has gained greater success and global participation in the ensuing years.  Through World Oceans Day, attention is brought to the crucial role the ocean plays in our lives and its need for environmental protection.

In honor of World Oceans Day, and as part of the “Ocean Gyre Project“, Orange County students are encouraged to reach out to other young people in the O.C. community and become the “Next Wave for Change.”

Through personal and community action and involvement like beach cleanups,educational programsart contests, and film festivals, ocean conservation can be accomplished.  The future of ocean is in your hands!

The Ocean Gyre Project

Ocean gyres are any large system of rotating ocean currents, particularly those involved with large wind movements.  These gyres collect and move ocean debris and trash throughout the world’s oceans.  Often, the debris and trash will localize at one location.  Scientists have a name for this – ocean garbage patches.

What are ocean garbage patches?

  • The garbage patch is made up of about 7 million tons of mostly floating plastic waste, most of which is no larger than 10mm across, similar in size to plankton that the fish eat.
  • The plastic particles are more concentrated in the center of the ocean’s gyres.
  • The garbage patches area not stationary. They move and change as a result of ocean currents and winds.
  • Larger pieces of plastic in the ocean eventually breakdown from the sunlight they are exposed to into smaller and smaller pieces, but it does not ever go away completely.

How do the garbage patches impact Orange County?

  • The North Pacific Garbage Patch is located about 1,000 miles northeast of Hawaii and about 1,000 miles off the coast of California.
  • Much of the plastic comes from storm run off from towns off the coast where we live.
  • If fish are absorbing toxic chemicals from the plastic they ingest, then it is possible that these chemicals bio-accumulate up the food chain as larger animals, or humans eat the fish.


More Service-Learning Resources


  • Service-Learning and Links to California State Content Standards
    A key component of designing high-quality service-learning activities is making sure that the service experience is closely linked to specific academic content standards.
Contact Us

We are always glad to hear from you!
Abby Edmunds
Volunteer Services Manager