The following organizations work with NYC public schools and/or families to engage students in community service and service-learning.
Animal Care Centers of NYC
Animal Care Centers welcomes teachers and students to join in learning about how they help the pets and people of our city. They look forward to working with young people who want to create projects to help animals and join in their mission to end animal homelessness in NYC. Explore their educational opportunities and ways to take action.
The Humane Society of New York
The Humane Society of New York has been a presence in NYC for over 100 years, caring for animals in need when illness, injury, or homelessness strikes. Learn more about how to support their work.
Civic Engagement and Volunteering
Doing Good Together
Doing Good Together is a Minnesota-based national nonprofit that works to make volunteering and service, along with daily kindness, easy for every family. Find family volunteer opportunities, youth project ideas, and subscribe to a free monthly listing of family friendly volunteer opportunities in NYC.
NYC Service builds partnerships to deepen and expand civic engagement through volunteer and service programs, creating sustainable change for NYC's greatest needs. High school students can join a Youth Leadership Council to collectively impact important local issues and create a culture of youth voice in our city. Students and families, find volunteer opportunities to support and improve your community.
INCLUDEnyc is the leading provider of training and information for young people with any disability from 0-26, their families, and the professionals who support them in NYC. With a youth-centered approach, their Youth and Transition Services increases access to educational and employment opportunities and equips youth to navigate community resources. Check out their programs and multilingual resources.
Luv Michael is a nonprofit organization founded with the goal of providing meaningful employment and on-the-job training to autistic adults. Luv Michael volunteers educate their peers, friends, and families about the issues facing autistic individuals.Learn more about their volunteer opportunities.
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. Learn more about their NYC volunteer opportunities.
Art 4 New York
Art 4 New York uplifts aging adults, caregivers, creatives, and our community through theatre, music, dance, and visual arts. The arts have tremendous power to bring people together and relieve social isolation, fostering a multi-generational and cross-cultural community that reminds people that they matter. Check out Art 4 New York’s volunteer opportunities, including virtual opportunities to create artwork, write cards, and perform for seniors.
CityMeals on Wheels
Citymeals on Wheels provides a continuous lifeline of nourishing meals and vital companionship to our homebound elderly neighbors. Learn more about volunteer opportunities available for students to support NYC’s elderly population.
DOROT (Hebrew for "generations") is a nonprofit organization addressing the challenges of an aging population, providing seniors with the opportunity to remain engaged and connected through a diverse range of programs and services. Explore their youth and family volunteer opportunities.
GlamourGals addresses elder isolation while building empathetic teen leaders. Their signature program organizes teen volunteer chapters to provide companionship, complimentary manicures, and beauty makeovers to seniors living in residential care. Check out their volunteer opportunities and resources, including virtual opportunities to write cards for seniors.
Cafeteria Culture is an environmental education organization working creatively with youth to achieve equitable zero waste, climate-smart school communities, and a plastic-free biosphere. Their programs foster youth-led solutions by merging citizen science, civic action, media, storytelling and the arts. Check out their award-winning movie featuring Brooklyn students, Microplastic Madness, and other resources to inspire youth action for a plastic-free future.
FABSCRAP is a convenient and transparent textile recycling and reuse service, an affordable and accessible materials resource, and is educating and empowering a diverse community of changemakers. Register to volunteer to sort materials and receive 5 pounds of fabric for free.
Gowanus Canal Conservancy
Gowanus Canal Conservancy advocates and cares for ecologically sustainable parks and public spaces in the Gowanus lowlands while empowering a community of stewards. Explore their educational programs and resources.
Materials for The Arts
Materials for the Arts’ education center offers workshops and classes focused on creative reuse: making art with readily available materials from their ever-changing warehouse inventory. Explore their professional development opportunities, field trips, and more.
NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)
NYC DEP offers students and educators a wide range of free programs and resources about NYC’s environment. DEP’s in-person and virtual field trips and resource materials, such as maps, workbooks, curriculum guides, and virtual tours, highlight NYC’s drinking water, wastewater treatment, harbor water quality, green infrastructure, climate change, and sound and noise. Explore DEP’s education programs and resources.
NYC Parks’ mission is to plan resilient and sustainable parks, public spaces, and recreational amenities, build a park system for present and future generations, and care for parks and public spaces. Check out their volunteer opportunities, Learning Hub, and Urban Park Ranger programs to discover how students can care for and learn about parks.
NYC Parks GreenThumb
NYC Parks GreenThumb is the nation's largest urban gardening program, assisting over 550 gardens and over 20,000 volunteer gardeners throughout NYC. By providing free access to land, garden materials, technical assistance, educational workshops, and seasonal programs, GreenThumb supports neighborhood volunteers who steward community gardens to strengthen communities. Discover opportunities to cultivate the next generation of community gardeners through GrowNYC School Gardens and GreenThumb’s Youth Leadership Council.
Ali Forney Center
AliForney Center’s mission is to protect LGBTQ+ youth (ages 16-24) from the harms of homelessness and empower them with the tools needed to live independently. They provide housing and other wraparound services such as mental health care and life skills. Learn more about ways to support their work.
Part of the Solution (POTS)
POTS believes that every person should have access to the essentials of life and the support necessary to achieve stability and ultimately self-sufficiency. Explore their volunteer opportunities.
City Harvest is New York’s first and largest food rescue organization, helping to feed millions of New Yorkers who struggle to put meals on their tables. For more than 35 years, City Harvest has always been there to feed our city—one day, one meal, one New Yorker at a time. Learn more about their work and volunteer opportunities.
Community Food Advocates
Community Food Advocates grows school food experts through the Youth Food Advocates (YFA) leadership program. YFA is for young people who are interested in leading systemic change in New York City food systems, with a focus on school food. Learn more about their opportunities for public schools and students.
Hunger Free America
Hunger Free America is a nonpartisan, national nonprofit group working to enact the policies and programs needed to end domestic hunger and ensure that all Americans have sufficient access to nutritious food. Check out the volunteer opportunities available to students and families.
New York Common Pantry
New York Common Pantry works toward the reduction of hunger and food insecurity through an array of programs that function to establish long-term independence for those they serve. Learn more about their food rescue program and volunteer opportunities.
Rethink Food is a nonprofit organization with the mission to create a more sustainable and equitable food system. They address food insecurity across communities through multi-pronged solutions, including tapping into a rich network of restaurants, bakeries, and catering companies to help make sure everyone can get access to nutritious meals. Learn more about how to support their work.
CBK Associates works at the intersections of service-learning, social and emotional dynamics, youth-adult partnerships, leadership, and JEDI (justice equity, diversity, inclusion). Their work takes many forms, including custom designed in-person and virtual workshops, consulting services, and curriculum development. Explore their educator resources and available support for schools.
Earth Echo International
EarthEcho International was founded on the belief that youth have the power to change our planet. Established by Philippe and Alexandra Cousteau in honor of their father Philippe Cousteau Sr. and grandfather legendary explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau, EarthEcho’s mission is to build a global youth movement to restore our ocean planet. From the EarthEcho Water Challenge to the OurEcho Challenge, EarthEcho provides the tools to lead environmental service in any community.
Learning to Give
Learning to Give has the teaching tools educators and families need to equip and empower giving and caring kids, with a vision that everyone has something to give toward a better world. Teach the why and how of service through educator-written lesson plans and activity guides and service-learning guidance and tools. Families and educators, sign up for the Learning to Give newsletter for timely ideas on equipping and empowering youth.
National Youth Leadership Council (NYLC)
NYLC's Center for Service-Learning Practice is a resource for schools and organizations that believe in the power of young people to change the world through service-learning. Educators, subscribe to their monthly newsletter, download a free service-learning guide, and explore their website to find resources, events, and a professional learning community.
Art Resistance Through Education (ARTE)
ARTE engages young people to amplify their voices and organize for human rights change through the visual arts. Learn more about their Youth Voices Lead program and youth workshops available for schools.
The mission of buildOn is to break the cycle of poverty, illiteracy, and low expectations through service and education. They mobilize students to transform their communities through service and change the world by building schools in developing countries. Explore their service-learning offerings and service opportunities for students.
Lead4Change is a leadership curriculum with a framework for community service. Learn how you can register your school for their free program and submit a project to win up to $10,000 in the Lead4Change Challenge.
Multiplying Good offers Students In Action, a youth service, leadership, and recognition program that unleashes potential in young people and multiplies the good they achieve. Through leadership trainings, an online network, and end-of-year competition, students across NYC and the country are changing themselves and their communities with Students in Action. Learn how to get involved in NYC.
The Service Learning Project (SLP)
SLP is a NYC-based civic engagement program for youth in grades K-12 where students work together to help solve a social problem of their choice. SLP staff are available to co-facilitate service learning projects with classroom teachers, lead after-school clubs, or train and provide technical assistance to partner school staff. View examples of student projects and learn more about how to start an SLP program at your school.
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. Find grant opportunities and resources for service-learning.