Community Service Requirements Help Kids Develop Important Life Skills

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Community Service Requirements Help Kids Develop Important Life Skills. A number of schools across America have instituted a community service requirement, and these efforts have really paid off in some unexpected and surprising ways.

My communitie service

My communities (Photo credit: steven w)

Jonathan Block is one of the teens who volunteers in the community, and so far the 17 year old has made an enormous difference even though he can not legally vote or even have a drink yet. Block takes part in the yearly Dash into the Frigid Ocean event for Wellspring, and the teen has raised thousands in cash because of his participation.

Mathew Bryer is another shining example of positive teen behavior and views in today’s world. This 16 year old volunteers numerous hours each week for Safe Soldier, a program that provides care packages for our military members overseas. Mathew started volunteering when he was in the 6th grade, and he became involved because his older brother was in the military and deployed to Iraq with the Army. Bryer understands how scarce toiletries are overseas for our military members and each week he collects donations and sends needed items to our troops. To date Mathew has shipped more than 150 packages and over 10,000 items and he has no plans to stop anytime soon.

Benefits Teens Receive From Serving the Local Community

When children and teens are expected to give back to their communities there are many benefits that are experienced by the participants. Students develop a sense of responsibility for their community and these programs foster a sense of citizenship and philanthropy, even in younger students who participate. They are much more likely to go on to become leaders and good community members. Improved self esteem and a sense of belonging in the community are also positive aspects when teens volunteer.

When teens and younger children give back to the community and help others then they are rewarded on an emotional level. This helps teach the students that some things should be done even though there is no monetary or physical gains that are received. A sense of accomplishment can be very rewarding, and helping others without expecting anything back teaches compassion and empathy.

Community Service as a School Requirement

South Shore Charter does not wait until high school to require community service, this district starts students out with this concept as early as kindergarten. While many schools encourage community service and volunteering some schools are actually making this a yearly requirement. Some do not verify the community service that is undertaken, and usually an honor system is used to determine the hours spent as a volunteer. Schools that have actually made community service a requirement in order to advance to the next grade or graduate from the school are becoming more common across the USA.

Some questions to think about and answer include:

  • Does your school require community service each year?
  • Have you volunteered in your community? Where, or why not?
  • What organizations in your community could use volunteers?
  • Would you prefer to volunteer to help people, animals, or both?
  • How much time have you spent in your community as a volunteer?
  • What worthy causes can you think of in your local area?

We would like your thoughts on Community Service…please leave a comment below.

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