More than 32,000 pupils from 1000 primary schools are to take part in a new initiative from the Student Volunteer Army.
The army was first mobilised in 2010, to help with the clean-up after the Canterbury earthquakes.
Its founder, Sam Johnson, said they set up the school programme following requests from teachers who wanted to encourage volunteering and community work.
He said pupils would be able to think about projects they might like to work on in their local area, and then spend some time out of the classroom.
"They get out of the classroom, they get their hands dirty, they do something, and the teacher helps them learn from that experience too, so the reflecting on it. The kits are all mapped into the curriculum, so it all sort of works with what the teachers are teaching anyway," he said.
Some of the children's ideas so far include setting rat traps in parks, building a playground and painting over graffiti.