Service and schools -- partnership on purpose: Jim Kielsmeier at TEDxFargo





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Published on Oct 14, 2013

Building a pathway to leadership and service for all young people has been Jim Kielsmeier's life mission. A former soldier, teacher and Outward Bound instructor Jim founded the National Youth Leadership Council (NYLC) in 1983 with the mission of building a more just, sustainable and peaceful world through service-learning. Before his retirement in 2010 Jim and NYLC led state and Federal legislative efforts, built national standards and convened the Annual National Service-Learning Conference. Service-learning is a new standard in K-12 education in part the result of his work.

Jim's TEDx talk traces the legacy of service-learning from the writing of Willam James and the Civilian Conservation Corps to the current time of widespread infusion into K-12 and higher education. The logic of engaging young people as needed resources tied to active learning is illustrated with real life examples from the core city and rural schools. For Jim, Martin Luther King Jr. provides the moral rationale for why we need to build service into all our schools. Dr King's admonition: "Everybody can be great because everybody can serve".

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)


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