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Service-Learning at Trinity: Kids (and Teachers) on a Mission

We often describe students involved in authentic learning experiences as “kids on a mission." They’re young people doing things that feel purposeful, energizing, important, and real. They demonstrate high levels of engagement in many forms—emotional, social, civic, and academic.

At Trinity Catholic Elementary School in Grandview, Ohio, spiritual engagement is also involved. As part of the school’s accreditation process, staff members have embraced service-learning as a valuable instructional strategy for addressing goals related to both Catholic Identity and Academic Performance. Teachers are already noticing a positive impact on students’ empathy, ownership, and deep learning.

“We are charged with raising caring, responsible, and insightful scholars and citizens. Service-learning is a perfect fit for us, and I’m sure it’s an asset in many other places, including public schools.” - TCE Principal Angie Eisenacher

Throughout its accreditation process, Trinity has utilized assistance from Partnerships for Authentic Learning and Leadership. To support the staff’s efforts, Partnerships has provided help with visioning, goal setting, professional development, and instructional coaching—services the organization is also providing in nearly 20 other locations, both public and parochial.

Partnerships consultants Ellen Erlanger and Kathy Meyer are excited to be part of the process. “We’re so proud of Trinity’s commitment,” Ellen reflects.

“The teachers are developing innovative, high-quality plans for cross-age activities and community outreach. They’re also using literacy centers to integrate the science of reading with their service-learning activities. The benefits for students will be significant.”

Administrative support has been instrumental in Trinity’s progress. “Angie has provided the time and encouragement her teachers need to learn and plan together,” says Kathy. “She’s a terrific example of ‘authentic leadership’ in action.”


Not surprisingly, Angie credits her staff for Trinity’s accomplishments. “Real change requires courage, and I’m blessed with brave and creative teachers,” she says proudly. “They’re tapping into every student’s talents and moving away from the traditional style of teaching and learning.  As a school family, we’re using service-learning and our ‘Catholic lens’ to address real problems in the world. I can’t think of a more important mission.”

We’d love to help your school fulfill its vision for change. To learn more, contact us here! We look forward to connecting with you!


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