The Platform of Volunteer Centres and Organisations runs a national award called Engaged Schools for schools implementing service-learning activities.

The award is aimed at highlighting and rewarding the work of kindergartens, primary and secondary schools that implement volunteer projects aimed at serving the community in conjunction with educational objectives and promoting active citizenship of youth through the service-learning method.

Service-learning is a teaching and learning strategy that combines meaningful volunteer service in the community with education and reflection. Theoretical training in schools is linked to the acquisition of practical experience. The added value of service-learning is that it allows one to help others in their natural environment in addition to your own development.

This is the first award of its kind to raise the profile and highlight the importance of the work of educational institutions using the service-learning method to promote the involvement of pupils in civil society activities. 

The award is intended to highlight the role of the school as an institution that not only imparts academic content, but prepares young people to participate in the democratic life of society by encouraging participation in improving the quality of life of the community and society.

The winners of the national rounds are nominated for awards at the level of Central and Eastern Europe for the so-called Regional Award for Successful Service-Learning Practice in Central and Eastern Europe. 

The purpose of the award is:

  • to collect examples of good practice in the application of service-learning in education enabling young people to expand their knowledge horizons and actively participate in the transformation of their communities;
  • to highlight the contribution of schools that link educational content with finding and implementing solutions to community needs;
  • to raise the profile of educators who enhance the quality of education of their pupils towards social transformation of the community; and to raise the profile of pupils who are active citizens;
  • to promote a culture of active citizenship and solidarity

We know that quality education is not only about the transmission of academic content, but also requires that pupils are better educated: democratically and with a focus on the quality of life in the community.

The National Awards are organised by the Platform of Voluntary Centres and Organisations under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport.

The international award is also co-organised by the international organisation Interactive Open Schools (hereafter MIOS) and the partners of the Service-Learning Network for Central and Eastern Europe (CEE SL Network) with the support of the Latin American Service-Learning Centre (CLAYSS).

The winners of the international award will also receive a cash prize to be used for another service-learning project in their community. The 1st place award is $1,000, 2nd place is $ 750, and 3rd place is $ 500.