Community Service & Service Learning!
Both community service and service-learning are requirements of being an Early College High School student. So what is the difference?!?
Community service is performing an unpaid job to benefit the community. Common community service outings by advisory/clubs are picking up litter, delivering cards to nursing homes, or volunteering with specific events in the community. Students can volunteer with any community event regardless of whether a teacher is going to be attending as long as it is outside of school hours. There are public events focused on recycling, the elderly, the foster care system, various shelters, and much more. Community service feels great to complete because you know that you are helping others and just think of all the skills you are acquiring while learning to do new tasks!
Service-learning builds on community service hours by adding preparation, research, presentation, and reflection. Ideally, service-learning comes from seeing a problem and wanting to take part to help or solve the problem. You can perform service learning in a group or individually. Service-learning involves many more steps so we encourage students to choose an issue that they are passionate about.
Service-learning may follow a path similar to this:
1- You hear that teen years are the time when individuals feel most self-conscious about body image and that this critical mindset can lead to eating disorders; at the same time, you observe that many of your friends seem so critical of their bodies
2- You mention this in your advisory and they begin to realize it is a problem as well. As a group, you brainstorm ways to address the problem and decide to promote a week of body positivity (preparation).
3- In preparing for the week, you find facts and read articles about the best way to address body image issues (research) and prepare posters to put around the school (presentation). You try to choose purposefully-themed days for the week so students are engaged and want to learn more.
4- You proudly lead the way during the week of body positivity and work during common free time (like lunch and after school) to talk to students about the topic and encourage them to learn more. You also go to classes with a presentation or film a presentation so you can educate a wide audience (preparation and volunteering your time).
5- At the end of the week, you celebrate as an advisory for working together and reflect on how your fellow students reacted. You also reflect on how to improve upon it the next year (reflection).