||Some Ways That Students
Can Help The Community
Level: Middle school and high school
Subject: Service learning
Preparation: Have students select an activity from the list below after viewing one of the segments that speak directly to students. Examples are "Anti-Graffiti Network," "WARN," "RIP Murals," "YES!" and "Teen Court." Depending on time and commitment, have students go to city hall and develop a list of jobs they can do for the community.
What kind of service learning projects can your students do?
The options are limitless, but here are a few ideas to get your thinking started.
- Become a phone pal with an elderly person in your community. Contact a senior citizens' home near you or call the American Association of Retired Persons Eldercare Locator.
- Donate your old clothes and books to a homeless shelter.
- Volunteer. If you're an athlete, call the parks and recreation department and see if you can help out in a sports program. If you love books, volunteer at the local library. If you're a musician, volunteer to perform for shut-ins or kindergartners. If you're an outdoors person, see if you can help the Audubon Society, Sierra Club, or The Nature Conservancy.
- Learn CPR.
- Help build a house. Call Habitat for Humanity and see if they are sponsoring a local program.
- Vote. Remind your family members to vote. Help get out the vote.
- Call a political party and pitch in on Election Day.
- Shovel a neighbor's walk or take out his garbage.
- Go to a school board meeting. Find out what the adults are concerned about and how they spend the money that is allotted for education.
- Next time a newspaper article about a local problem gets under your skin, think of something you can do -- and do it!
- Make an appointment to interview the reporter who covers schools and educational issues in your community. Find out what the newspaper thinks is important and why. Share your opinion.
- Organize a book drive. Collect books for homeless shelters.
- Next time you have a big party, donate the leftover food to a local charity.
- Volunteer to help in a beach or park cleanup. Or organize a cleanup of your own.
- Join a service club together. Or start your own club!
As a class
- Next election, produce a local voter's guide.
- Start a community service club.
- Create a school garden.
- Adopt a bus shelter. Paint it.
- Write a letter. Write to a company about its environmental programs. Include appropriate praise and suggestions for improvement. E-mail the president of the United States or your senator or congressional representative.
- Write a play about a cause that students care about. Rehearse, sell tickets, perform, and donate the proceeds to the cause.
- Find out more about the history of your community. Invite a local historian to visit your school. Go on a field trip to a local history museum.
- Adopt a class at the local elementary school. Tutor younger students in reading, math, writing, or other subjects.
- Envision what your school could be in 10 years. Discuss how you might make this vision come true.
- Organize a school recycling program. You might even earn some money!
- Start an oral history project. Record interviews with seniors about their memories of your community. Donate the reports to the local history museum or library.
- Organize an open house for the school's neighbors. Invite residents, local police officers, and fire fighters.
- Adopt a park. Spend an afternoon every month cleaning up the park.
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