Learning to CARE Book

Learning to CARE: Education, Volunteering, and Community Service

Dr. Patricia Mihaly Nabti


Six Service Options
How to Buy

If you are a school administrator, teacher, student leader, parent, or community partner who would like to help schools become institutions where students learn to care (learn to become active, caring, socially responsible adults) then this is the book for you. Learning to CARE: Education, Volunteering, and Community Service is a comprehensive manual to help schools establish a caring school environment and develop any of six different options for incorporating volunteering and community service into a school program:

  1. School-Sponsored Service Projects
  2. Extracurricular Clubs
  3. Service Incentive Programs
  4. Mandatory Service Programs
  5. Service-Learning
  6. Volunteers For Schools

Scroll down to see these in more detail below.

The book empowers students to volunteer and to plan and implement their own service projects under the supervision of responsible adults. It provides guidance to the different stakeholders (administrators, teachers, parents, and community partners) about how they can contribute to this empowerment.

The premise of the book is that students can learn to care. They can learn to develop the genuine feelings of concern for those in need and the problems in society that need to be address; they can learn not to be indifferent and irresponsible; and they can learn how to actually make a difference through commitment and effective action.

The term care is used in the book because it contains within it an expression of both feeling and action. A person who truly cares about someone or something is compelled to act on that concern, to care for or take care of what s/he cares about. Care also stands for the four attributes of a good volunteer: Capable, Available, Reliable, and Engaged.

Through volunteering and community service students can increase their academic and interpersonal skills, knowledge, appreciation of human diversity, and sense of social responsibility while they provide genuine service to their local community, their society, and the world as a whole. And adult volunteers for schools can improve the schools while providing important role models for students. 

Examples in the book are primarily from schools in Lebanon, but there are also examples from the United States, Canada, Australia and elsewhere in the world. The book is illustrated with 50 student drawings and 140 photographs of school service activities. It includes over 300 inspirational quotations. In addition, its rich appendix has guest articles and many other valuable resources to support school service programs from sources worldwide.

The book was written by Dr. Patricia Nabti while she was Director of the Association for Volunteer Services. Publication of the book was supported by a grant from the World Bank, along with contributions from the Lebanese-Canadian Bank, Byblos Bank, and Indevco.


The Six Service Options

Option 1: School-Sponsored Projects

School-sponsored projects are a great way to introduce community service into a school before any formal program is established. Such projects are outside of the regular academic program and do not have an organized structure or a membership that continues over time. A school can sponsor a service project for the whole school, a division (elementary, intermediate, secondary), or one grade or class. A school may be invited to participate in a project organized by a non-governmental organization, or it may take the initiative to commemorate a service day like World Health Day.

Option 2: Extra-Curricular Clubs and Teams

Many schools have clubs and teams, some that are service-oriented (Environmental Club, Human Rights Club) and some that are not (Sewing Club, Chorus, Chess Club, Basketball Team). This option provides ideas about how all extra-curricular clubs and teams in a school can engage in service projects at least once a year.

Option 3: Service Incentive Programs

Service incentive programs are structured programs that encourage students to become involved in volunteer service by giving them some kind of recognition or award (honor list on a public bulletin board at the school, a certificate, or a notation on a student’s diploma).

Option 4: Mandatory Service Programs

Mandatory service programs are programs which ensure that all students in a school eventually engage in community service by making it a requirement for graduation or for promotion from one grade to the next.

Option 5: Service-Learning

Service-learning is a method of teaching which integrates service into the curriculum of a school in a way which enhances learning while providing genuine service to the community. It connects service to such diverse subjects as math, history, biology, computer science, art, and literature, and can be done at any grade level.

Option 6: Volunteering for the School

While all of the other options are for students, this option discusses how adults can volunteer for the school, thereby expanding the effectiveness of administrators and teachers, while providing students with role models of adults engaged in community service. This does not exclude the possibility of the students, themselves, volunteering for their own school, but that is covered in the other options.


A school may engage in only one of these options, some of them, or even all of them, although developing such a comprehensive service program should be done gradually. The six different options are often developed independently. It is useful, however, to have at least a loose coordination of all school service programs to ensure the quality and support needed, and to share information about community contacts and resources.

How to Buy

 There are three ways to purchase the book, depending on where you are and where you want it sent:

1) In Lebanon: You may purchase copies of the book in Arabic or English directly through the Learning to CARE Institute. Contact LTCI by phone or email to make arrangements: admin@learningtocare.com 03-757098.

2) In Saudi Arabia: You may purchase copies of the book in Arabic or English through the Educational Book House for Publishing & Distributing in Dammam through Mr. Fawzi Jammal: 00966 3891 6066 or 00966 50 3823929.

3) In the United States: You may purchase copies of the book (English only) through Reach And Teach, a peace and social justice learning company dedicated to transforming the world through teachable moments. It is located in San Mateo, California. You may see information about the book on their website at: https://www.reachandteach.com/store/index.php?l=product_detail&p=1734] . For copies of the Arabic edition in the US, please order as "In other countries" below.

3) In other countries: You may purchase copies of the book in Arabic or English throughout the world by ordering it online and paying for it through PayPal or a bank transfer. Unfortunately bank transfers from outside Lebanon add a surcharge of $10 to the price.

1-10 copies are $28 + shipping and handling
11-50 copies are $25 each + shipping and handling
50-100 copies are $20 each + shipping and handling

Shipping and handling per book: $8 in the US (shipped from California, sales tax included); $12 anywhere in the Arab World outside Lebanon; $20 anywhere else in the world.

Note: The book is also available in Arabic as تعلم الاهتمام: التربية والتطوّع وخدمة المجتمع . The prices for the Arabic edition of the book are the same as the English except that shipping and handling to the US for the Arab edition is $20, since there are no Arabic copies already there.

To order in Lebanon and "Other countries" please fill out the order form and you will be sent an invoice with payment instructions.