Civic Education/Service Learning

The Giraffe Heroes Program is a comprehensive civic education/service learning curriculum. The Program is an especially relevant vehicle for teaching kids about citizenship, service and heroes. The Program combines service-learning and character education.

It coaches students through all phases of a service project:

  • they brainstorm,
  • do research,
  • weigh options,
  • make a plan,
  • commit to goals,
  • work in teams,
  • evaluate progress,
  • communicate to multiple audiences and
  • reflect on and celebrate what they’ve done.

At the same time, reflection questions and the stories of heroes help students develop a deeper context for their actions.

The Program:

  • promotes active citizenship by moving kids to design and implement a service project that addresses community needs they care about. It becomes their work, not an arbitrary assignment.
  • makes students stakeholders in their communities. By carrying out a service project that helps meet local needs, students learn to care about what happens there.
  • provides opportunities to learn and practice academic skills in language arts, social studies, civics, visual arts, and—depending on the nature of the service project—mathematics, health, science and technology.
  • fosters kids’ eagerness to learn. Students acquire and use academic skills as the means for doing something they really want to do.
  • provides important prevention tools, helping students build confidence, communication skills, and the capacity for taking responsibility and making independent decisions.
  • meets state/district requirements for service learning.
  • can supplement locally developed service programs.

Typical comments from students participating in service learning projects as part of the Giraffe Heroes Program:

“This unit taught me that if everybody does nothing and just ignores problems, then our world would be awful.”

“I know we made a difference in lots of people’s lives.”

“My dad had never voted in his life. After what we did, it convinced him to register.”

“It made me feel good to be able to reach out and help clean up our community. I feel I have helped show people that I care about my town— and I feel I have made a difference.”

“The feeling I get from that is so great, I would do all the work ten times over.”



iutucoverIn classrooms since 1991,
we’ve had plenty of time to
test our ways of teaching
character and service.
As technology changes,
we’re converting our
proven content into
digital forms. Now,
the first downloadable
program is ready for you—
It’s Up to Us, for teens.
And it's free! 
Take a look!.

Are Your Kids Giraffed?

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Stay Informed & Inspired

From time to time, Ann Medlock, this Project's founder, does a brief but inspiring email called Heads Up. You can check out past copies here. They're so good (and so free) we bet you'll join the Heads Up circle and send them on to friends & family.

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The Giraffe Heroes Kit

We now offer you a tool kit you can use to train tomorrow's heroes, in class or after school. (Full info)



Grades K-2 Guide

Stan Tall & Bea Tall, our twin spokesgiraffes 
for the K-2 Giraffe Heroes Program 
have some bad news and some good news. 
First—the K-2 is no longer for sale in print. 
And here’s the good news—
The entire K-2 program will soon be a free download!
Lesson plans, videos, audio tracks, dozens of stories, 
printable handouts, correlations, & links to resources—
it will all be in a free download to your computer.
We’re working as fast as we can to complete the conversion.
If you’d like to be notified when it goes online,
email us, we’ll make sure you get the word.

Grades 3-5 Guide

Out of print

Grades 6-9 Guide

The Giraffe Heroes Program
for your 6-9 students

Voices of Hope

Service-Learning Guide


Student Anthology