There’s no doubt that the past two years have taken a toll on students.
There has been a significant loss of learning, development, and personal growth. Students have experienced isolation from a myriad of social situations. Many students even began high school during the pandemic and didn't return to campus well into their high school careers.
Educators are presented with the challenge of helping students recuperate after the pandemic both academically and developmentally. In this period back to “normalcy”, community service is a vital steppingstone in restoring students' emotional health and continue to help them grow in many ways.
This gap in social interaction and in-person learning impacted student development and growth. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel as we emerge from the pandemic!
Emotional Healing Through Service:
Educators across the country are refocusing on student engagement. Social emotional learning increases connectedness and provides students with a chance to heal. As they reconnect with their peers, reengage their communities, and spend their free time giving to others, they are exposed to things outside of their daily bubble. These experiences expose students to needs outside of their own. In addition, it provides an opportunity to do something philanthropic with their friends and classmates.
Tips for Student Engagement:
- Encourage or require service – This can be in person, socially distanced, or online service hours or experiences.
- Require service reflection – After a student participates in service, require them to write a meaningful reflection about their experience: how did they grow, what did they learn. This encourages introspection, allowing students to make those deeper connections.
- Service learning – Connect what students are doing as service in their communities or on campus to learning in the classroom for deep enrichment and lasting impact/understanding.
- Provide Diverse Opportunities – Provide students with a myriad of ideas and opportunities so they can be exposed to more needs outside of their daily bubbles.
How to Provide Diverse Service Opportunities:
- Nonprofit fair - Host a nonprofit fair at your school or connect student to nonprofits to introduce students to local needs and causes.
- On campus opportunities - On campus activities are an easy way for students to give of their free time and make a different right on their own campus whether it's supporting another club, administration, or school-based organization.
- A Day of Service - Hosting a day of service at your school is an excellent way for students to help local nonprofits through an organized school event.
How to create a day of service:
Allen High School realized they need a solution for re-engaging students in service. They created a day of service at their school and provided students with 9 different volunteer activities! They were able to sign up and serve with their friends and classmates, and see first hand the impact they had on their community. Want to learn how they did it? Or recreate it at your school? Click below!
Building back programs and recuperating after two years of uncertainty and isolation can be a daunting task. With over 13 years of experience supporting schools in service, x2VOL is here to become an extension of your service efforts by providing a centralized way for you to manage service and for students to record and reflect on their experiences. To see how x2VOL works or get in touch with our team, view our demo below.