Thank you to correspondent Bryant Perez for this article.
Community service is a huge part of any community; it helps make a community more stable by helping people and the environment with activities such as gardening, food drives, garbage clean-ups, etc. Ms. Spaziani, WHSAD’s Career Enhancement Coordinator and Freshman Instructional Support teacher, organizes community service events and believes that community service is important because it teaches students firsthand how doing nice things for someone else, even the smallest of things, can touch life all around. Students learn important values such as cooperation, generosity, and honesty, helping them be better people for a better future. Studies also consistently show that engaging in community service activities is healthy for mental and emotional states.
Another great factor of community services is the joy students get from participating. According to Ms. Spaziani, “Students have been returning expressing how content they are with doing community service.” She also has noticed friendships that started in community service and have flourished over time. This is the type of experience makes community service so sociable and fun. The enrollment for community services has also increased from 10 students to 35!
Alexa, a WHSAD student, said “I have met new people who have slowly become my friends throughout the course of time thanks to community services.” This shows that community services can really be a sociable and enjoyable activity, but what are some other benefits of community service? According to Alexa, the benefits are “building strong connections with my friends and teachers. It also has helped me express my creativity.” Meanwhile Ms. Spaziani said, “[Students] learn things that they don’t get a chance to otherwise, like different careers and hands-on activities such as building and physical work, so it gives them ideas of what they want for their futures. Making the benefits different experiences and creating more connections with people.”
Mr. Auffrey, WHSAD’s Community School Director, is in charge of keeping track of community service hours and helping students achieve their 100 hours of “career enhancement activities.” In order to gain hours, students must participate in an activity that is aligned with after school clubs or provides support to a teacher, such as tutoring. The purpose is to help students gain skills and connect with different students/staff in the school to help them improve as students and a future professionals. Students aren’t limited by certain activities. so it is possible to participate in various community service events, allowing students to enjoy diverse experiences and to grow in different ways from those various experiences.
If the 100 hours requirement aren’t met by a certain time, Mr. Auffrey and the guidance department will reach out to the student in order to coordinate and find opportunities for them for career enhancement activities.
These activities let students feel proud of their work in the community and allow them to socialize and meet new friends. Community service is a win-win situation where both the student and the community benefits.