Student service is on the rise. Student service programs in schools are returning to “pre-pandemic” status while students need re-education on the significance of service.
In a recent survey conducted by x2VOL to all users, service leaders across the country reported that their student service programs in schools are returning to normal as we emerge from the pandemic.
At the beginning of COVID-19 school service programs were either put on hold or were modified to account for the lock down. Many students began serving in other ways from home such as, volunteering online or in a virtual way, assisting their families and siblings at home, or serving others in their community in a socially distanced way.
In 2021, 66% of service leaders reported that their programs would be returning to their “pre-pandemic” requirements in the fall of 2021. However, in 2022 87% reported that their programs will be returning to their “pre-pandemic” requirements in the fall of 2022, showing a significant increase in the return to normalcy for many schools.
There has been a major push for re-engagement in service and in the community as students are grappling with the impact of the pandemic. Reinstating service programs in schools means students have another steppingstone to heal from the impact of the pandemic.
Schools and districts across the country have reported a drastic increase in student service.
Valley Christian High School in San Jose, California is simply one example – their students served approximately 10,000 hours in the 2020 – 2021 school year. That doubled twice over as their students volunteered over 50,000 hours this past school year and expect to surpass that in the 2022-2023 school year. Educators at Valley Christian High School increased the grade percentage service is worth for students and encourage meaningful service projects where students can connect with those they are serving and experience deep growth and development. These strategies assisted in increasing student service hours and supporting a culture of service in their school.
Allen High School in Allen, Texas as re-engaged their students post pandemic through a day of service on their campus. In the past year students served thousands of hours over two days of on campus service.
“We are excited to see the increase in service programs reinstating their requirements and goals,” said Michele Pitman, Founder and CEO, intelliVOL. “Service is an incredible way to student to heal from the isolation and disturbance of the pandemic. It aids in students’ personal development and growth.”
As we emerge from the pandemic, educators reported that there is a need for motivation and “re-learning” about the importance of volunteerism. 31% of respondents reported that students are lacking engagement and follow through when it comes to their service requirement or goal.
Because many students came into high school during the pandemic, younger students might not have the knowledge or background about the importance of volunteerism. Service leaders report that students are trying to relearn simply how to be students, and reeducation about service comes with that.
“Service to others is a valuable part of education and growth for students,” said Pitman. “And at a time when the world needs volunteerism the most, we are excited to see students reengaging in their communities and making a difference.”