Before joining the National Honors Society in high school, the idea of volunteering and serving others rarely crossed my mind. As a young student-athlete, I believed I never had enough time in my schedule to engage in volunteer work. However, upon becoming a member of NHS, I was required to complete a certain number of volunteer hours. This compelled me to start volunteering within my school, and it didn't take long for me to contemplate participating in larger-scale projects.
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.
Topics: volunteering, service tracking, community service, service reflections, service hour tracking, service requirement, service, volunteer, engage students in service, service learning, community service ideas, social emotional learning, service ideas, how to track service, online service tracking
Topics: service reflections, service hour tracking, college prep, how to engage students in service, career readiness, service learning, community service ideas, social emotional learning, community service tracking form, student service, student outcomes
Prior to the pandemic schools and districts had a focus on the emotional development of students ensuring they have personal growth beyond what they learn in textbooks.
However, after the onset of COVID-19 and as students try to heal from the past year and a half, social-emotional learning has become a necessity for schools. Today's students have experienced so many shifts in learning, social interactions, the way they engage in their communities, and more. Social-emotional learning is a mode of healing from the traumas of the past year and a way to grow positively from the massive changes in our world.
"Without community service, we would not have a strong quality of life. It's important to the person who serves as well as the recipient. It's the way in which we ourselves grow and develop." - Dorothy Height
Learn More: What is Social-Emotional Learning?
Why is social-emotional learning important for a student's future?
Not only is social-emotional growth an important healing element for students, but it's also vital for future success. Colleges look for students that will be a positive addition to their campus - students that have a widened world view and developed self-awareness fit the bill. Aside from college acceptance, this type of personal growth allows a student to be more well-rounded. They will be more successful in all aspects of life including personal relationships, university, workplace, and more.
The core competencies that encompass social-emotional learning are responsible decision making, social awareness, relationship skills, self-awareness, and self-management. There are many volunteering opportunities students can engage in to impact their social-emotional growth:
Student development outside of academic achievement has become a priority for schools across the country. Educators focus on student outcomes that revolve around social-emotional growth and skills development in addition to academics.
School is back in action! Students might be more or less excited about getting back into the school grind, but there are some things students and parents can do to set students up for success this school year:
Participating in community service is more than just a chore or something to check off the list. It can be an extremely transformative experience for students, opening their eyes to a whole new world outside of their day-to-day bubble.
Topics: volunteering, service tracking, community service, service reflections, service hour tracking, student, service, volunteer, how to engage students in service, engage students in service, service learning, volunteer ideas, community service ideas
Are you serving in your community during high school? Or are you a school leader has students completing service hours?
Don't miss out on the chance to be recognized with The President's Volunteer Service Award! We have outlined everything you need to know about the award, what it means to receive the award, and how to go about applying. Share it with your fellow classmates or share it with your students! This is an awesome opportunity for all of the students that are active in serving their community.
Topics: community service, service reflections, service hour tracking, service requirement, how to engage students in service, engage students in service, service learning, community service ideas, President's Volunteer Service Award, Presidential Volunteer Service Award
Are you looking for a community service opportunity that is a little bit more out of the box? Check out this list of community service ideas you can participate in to benefit others this fall and winter during the holidays.
There are so many needs in the community and so many different ways that you can benefit other people as we go into the holiday season.
When students participate in community service it expands their world-view and opens them up to ideas and opportunities they might not have experienced otherwise. They learn about the importance of helping others and have a chance to discover an area of focus for a potential future career.