This past year students have had to get creative when volunteering and serving in their communities due to COVID-19. Service leaders have modified service programs.
Many schools are using a project-based model where students complete one larger service project or experience over the course of a semester. Many schools or service programs also partner with a nonprofit to work with one community for a whole semester.
Check out our most recent E-Guide to see how other school's are modifying their service programs.
We asked service leaders in schools across the country what service projects their students have been engaged in this semester. Take a look and some of the ideas. You can implement these at your school and with your students!
- SENIOR CENTER. Partner with a local senior center to send encouraging letters; have weekly or bi weekly calls or Zoom sessions where students connect with the senior citizen; organize a virtual talent show and broadcast it for the senior center. Students gain the wisdom and perspective senior citizens can offer and the elderly can benefit from the conversation and community.
- CARE PACKAGES. Make care packages, appreciation baskets, and handmade cards for school custodians, cafeteria workers, and other everyday heroes that often go unseen.
- OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES. Establish relationships with local locations of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) or park systems for outdoor-based service activities. Students can work with the local ASPCA to play with dogs or work with the park system to help plant trees and clean up areas.
- TUTORING. Create a tutoring program. Students can connect with other school's in your district to tutor younger students or participate in peer-to-peer tutoring within your own school.
- MENTORSHIP. High schools can also partner with middle and elementary schools within your district to establish mentorship programs.
- LETTER WRITING. Organize letter writing projects. Students can choose a group of individuals they are passionate about and write encouraging letters. Populations to consider are: senior citizens, individuals in long-term care facilities, children in the hospital, civil servants, medical staff, soldiers, or veterans.
- VIRTUAL CONFERENCES. Students can host virtual conferences as a form of advocacy and education. Students can choose a topic or cause they are passionate about, organize guest speakers who are experts on their chosen topic, and invite other students to attend.
- ASSISTANCE. Encourage students to identify individuals or families in their communities that are elderly, disabled, or could use help with daily tasks such as running errands, grocery shopping, raking leaves, and lawn care.
- FOOD BANKS. Engage with local food banks. Students can host a food drive in their communities or place of worship and help organize donations at the food bank.
- NONPROFIT PARTNERSHIPS. Contact local nonprofits in your community. No one knows the needs of local organizations better than the nonprofits themselves! As a group or class or individually, students can connect with a cause they are passionate about and establish a semester-long project with a local organization.
Reaping the benefits of service
Our world is experiencing a time where service, volunteerism, kindness, and positivity are gravely needed. Students can make a difference in so many ways. Writing reflections on their experiences is a key step in the service process. Students can recognize the impact they've had on their community as well as identify areas of growth within themselves.
Tracking service and growth
In x2VOL, students are able to record their service hours or experiences and write reflections for each experience. Service leaders and administrators are able to view a student's progress toward service goals, generate reports, and see students' reflections on their service experiences.
Whether your school tracks experiences, hours, points, or service projects, x2VOL can be customized for your school's particular requirements.
Want to learn more about online service tracking with x2VOL? See how the platform works below!