Monday I talked a lot about Banned Books and why kids, especially teenagers, and even adults, should be reading. It’s all about perspective and looking at the world in a different way.
At our school, we believe the same thing about getting involved in our community. Our learners are required to obtain 25 hours of community service before they graduate. That’s not a typical find on a list of graduation requirements and I have to say it’s one of the ways that we are doing education differently.
For the Sophomore first week project (one of the other ways that we do things a little differently) they were required to put on an expo for community service. They contacted all of the agencies in our community, working with a representative from NWA United Way, representatives from different individual agencies, and each other to showcase the options for the ways to become involved in their community.
They were required to create a 1-2 minute commercial that showcased their agency, and during the expo, they collected information of individuals who were interested in volunteering with their specific agency. They also created a calendar that they shared with our school to denote volunteer opportunities for larger groups or activities that the entire community is getting involved in, like Fill the Bus.
This project was one of my favorites because it gets to the heart of the issue for teenagers. They need to see the world from different perspectives, they need to learn to serve others. This project, while teaching them to communicate with adults and plan and schedule and juggle, also helps them to see the value in working closely with their community.