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It's important to evaluate your service efforts. It helps you know what works and what you should improve for next time. You can use surveys, interviews, focus groups, or any other method that fits your group.

Evaluation is easier if you plan it ahead of time. You plan what you want to accomplish and what you hope you will learn. As part of that, plan how you can judge if you really did what you said you would. Adults are great to help with this.

Think about what part of the project you want to evaluate--the impact on the people served, the skills of the volunteers, number of people involved, etc. Then decide whom you should ask to find out those things. What should you ask them? How will you ask (interview, survey, etc.)?

Then, after the service, all you have to do is carry out what you've already planned for your evaluation.

Important New Evaluation Information!

This year, 4-H S.O.S. is beginning a new effort to evaluate service learning projects all across the state. We want to see how effective the projects are. What impact are you making on the community through your service? How do the beneficiaries feel about the project? We have developed some simple new tools for you to copy and use with the people you're service. Click here for details. You can also request the forms from your 4-H agent or from the state 4-H office, or you can download them from the 4-H forms page Remember to evaluate every project you do and to send the forms to the state 4-H office when you report the project. We'll add your surveys to those from other 4-H groups to see how Tennessee 4-H'ers are affecting their communities.


If you'd like to practice planning evaluation for a service learning project, try this.

The arts and crafts project group in S.O.S. County has decided to make Easter cards to deliver to a local nursing home. They will also make decorations for each resident's door. One Saturday before Easter, they will go to the nursing home and divide up into teams of two. Each team will decorate a different hallway of the nursing home and visit with each of the residents on that hall.

Map out the evaluation plans for the "SomeBunny Cares" project.

1. What do you want to learn about this project?



2. Whom should you ask to learn these things?



3. What do you need to ask them?



4. What methods can you use to get this information?




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