How To Establish a Culture of Service in Your District

Posted by x2VOL on Mar 18, 2024 2:00:09 PM

How To Establish a Culture of Service In Your District (710 x 373 px)

Community service has proven to be a developmental necessity for students. Personal growth, emotional development, leadership, and more, are all positive results from students participating in community service. Improved student outcomes are a priority for educators, and community service plays a role in student success after high school.

However, educators often find students struggle with participating in community service, especially post-pandemic. Maybe they’re too preoccupied with their studies or perhaps extracurriculars are taking precedents. Prioritizing service can be a difficult task for students when there are a multitude of competing priorities in their day or week especially when they see it as something to check off their list instead of something extremely valuable of their time.

However, civic engagement shouldn’t be an afterthought.

Educators are in a tough position – they are required to develop the whole student to give each high schooler the best education to prepare them for life after they graduate. Student engagement can be difficult, but here are ways educators, schools, and districts can effectively engage their students in volunteering, demonstrating the positive impact, communicating that it’s much more than just something to check off the list - by making service to others part of their high school culture.

Let’s dive into some tips on how districts can not only motivate students but make civic engagement and volunteering part of their framework:

  1. Encourage students to find service opportunities that align with their interests: students have varied skill sets, hobbies, and interests. Show students how they can utilize those gifts to help others. This increases their confidence and sense of belonging in their community. Serving others then becomes a natural extension of students developing their skills and talents.
  2. Make service part of your school motto/bylaws/expectations – This means all members of the school from students to staff are contributing to the school’s mission of civic engagement and making the world around them a better place. When the whole school is a part of something, it encourages students to participate and sets expectations.
  3. Incorporate service on a regular basis through different clubs, classes, and school organizations – many districts incorporate service learning through civic or history classes. Private schools often have service as a part of their theology or Bible classes. Involved students also have the opportunity to volunteer with a team or group as a part of their club. Demonstrate to students that their peers can work together to positively impact their community.
  4. Create a day of service - Lower the barrier to entry for students and create a day of service on campus for your students. Allen Independent School District has created a culture of service in their district by hosting a day of service every year. They see thousands of students gather on this day to serve in a variety of ways.
    See How Allen ISD Created a Culture of Service
  5. Invite local organizations to share how volunteers impact their organizations – Understanding your impact is an important piece of volunteering. When students can understand the direct positive impact they can have in their community, it motivates them to serve. Give them direct access to see their impact by inviting local nonprofits to share how important volunteers are to their organization. This can be through a day of service or a nonprofit fair on campus.

Student engagement can be an uphill battle, but x2VOL is here to be a resource to support you as you manage student community service. With x2VOL you can see student’s progress toward their goals, generate reports on engagement, and recognize students who are going above and beyond. Our team would love to support you and your students this school year. Learn more about x2VOL in our quick 1-minute demo below.

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Topics: engage students in service

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