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Service Learning Offers Fulfillment

Samantha Meek, Staff

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Did you know that there is another way to help you graduate? Want to improve your grade averages?  All you have to do is help out in your community.  

Student Service Learning can even help you improve your achievements in school, including improving your possibility of graduation, increasing your grade point averages, and decreasing the likelihood of dropping out. It`s also a requirement in the state of Maryland to earn 75 service credit hours to graduate from high school. But along with meeting the requirement, you can gain personal fulfillment and help your community.   

Volunteer work helps students to get involved with helping the community. Service learning supports both student learning and community service goals. Students can provide an opportunity to create more interactions with others. Volunteer work can be inside or outside of school.  

According to BCPS and Glenoaks, service learning is also a teaching method that is often confused with volunteering and community service. All require PREPARATION, ACTION, and REFLECTION. The service activities can be described/shared verbally or written. 

  1. Preparation is when students work with teachers and community members to: 
  • Identify issues affecting the community in areas related to health, education, environment, or public safety 
  • Select project site(s) and how to address a selected issue 
  • Plan service-learning reflection 
  • Explore the concept of active citizenship 

2.Action is when students carry out their service through one of the following: 

  • Direct service-Students take part in face-to-face contact with service recipients. Examples include tutoring, serving meals to the homeless, and working with the elderly in a senior citizen community 
  • Indirect Service-Students perform a service w/out direct contact. Usually resources are channeled to help alleviate a problem. Examples include food/clothing drives, environmental projects, raising money for a cause through activities such as a walk-a-thon, for example 
  • Advocacy-Students educate others about a selected issue with the goal of eliminating the causes of any situation. Examples include writing letters to legislators or newspapers editors, creating web pages, creating and displaying posters within the community, creating educational materials for other target groups, etc. 

3.Reflection-Students look back upon the completed project and review of what they have learned. Reflection can be done individually or as a group. CHS students have found their service learning to be fulfilling. 

“I volunteered for a Refuge Soccer Cap over the summer. I experienced different cultures and how privileged I am, and it also makes me feel like I want to do more in the future,” sophomore Hazel Montgomery-Walsh shared.  

There are many types of service-learning activities, including: 

  • Tutoring other students and adults 
  • Helping out in homeless shelters and help and give to the homeless/poor people 
  • Helping abused/neglected animals and children 
  • Raising money for hospitals to provide support and care for patients, or help patients families by assisting in places, such as the Ronald McDonald House 
  • Building/rebuilding low income houses and broken-down houses that have been damaged by storms (earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes) and floods 
  • Restoring ecosystems to preserve areas by replanting plants/trees that might also been damaged by floods/drought and carelessness of others 
  • Working with elected officials on projects to improve communities  

There are some activities that are not required or appropriate to earn credit hours, but that will depend on guidance secretary Kaye Leonard, the staff member who oversees all projects. 

Students must come to her to report the service learning activities they`ve done. They can get the form from her desk, but other groups, such as the Boys Scouts or the Girl scouts, have their own form.  

“As long as it provides the information I`ll need similar to the form on my desk, it`s also acceptable. I don`t turn down much service credit hours, but if someone does babysitting for example, it won`t be accepted,” Ms. Leonard shared. 

For pre-approved type Service Learning activities, see this website:  http://cos.bcps.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_9046799/File/10.%20Resource%20Directory.pdf 

For reporting Student Service Learning hours, use this link to print up the form required to submit to the school’s Student Services office.  

Samantha Meek, Staff

Hi. My name is Samantha Meek. I`m  a sophomore in Catonsville High. I love reading, coloring, and reading manga. I'm so excited to write for the Catonsville...

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