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It’s Debatable: Community Service Requirement

Alysia Kane, Editor in Chief

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Students go to school every day to study what has happened in the past through their history classes, how to read between the lines in their English classes, how to logically work through a situation in their math classes, and that every action has a consequence in their science classes. Even though all of this knowledge is bestowed upon the student, they are still lacking the knowledge that is required to develop key character traits such as compassion, grit, selflessness, and empathy. A community service graduation requirement should be required within high schools to help instill these traits in the new generation that very well could change the world.

 

Community service can be simply defined as a service performed by an individual to give back to their community. By taking part in one or even multiple community service projects helps students to gain a sense of responsibility and a sense of reality. In some schools, such as New Milford High School, the community within the school is very tight knit and there is not a lot of misfortune within these walls. So, by having a community service requirement in schools, individuals can be exposed to the day to day life of someone who is not as well off as most.

 

This sense of reality is a great asset for a newly graduated individual to achieve because it gives the individual a better perspective of the world around them which allows them to fully embrace life, and make sure that they are not shocked by the nature of the “real” world.

 

One of the major arguments for a community service requirement to be put into effect in schools around the world is that the community around the school, through their taxes, helps to finance the school. The people of the community feel that the least the students can do is give a few hours of their own personal time to give back to their community. Through community service, the student would also get to obtain work experience and help to develop teamwork and a sense of morality. Also, community service looks great on both college and job resumes. Junior Lillian Hui states “I think it should definitely be a requirement because our generation is so immersed in technology  and we forget that other people need our help. Being in the community service club for three years, i do the same events every year but it’s still a nice experience to help people, and to be able to see the smiles on their faces once we are done”.

 

NMHS Guidance Supervisor, Mrs. Mary Biali, stated, “The positive outcome from a community service requirement is that it forces students to get involved in their community and give back which, at NMHS, it’s pretty much happening. Honestly, I’ve taught in a number of districts before landing at NMHS and ​I truly feel NMHS students are the kindest, most polite people I’ve worked for (because the students are really who I work for) and if anyone in the community is in need, NMHS students and families always step up to help.”

 

A rebuttal that most would state to go against a community service requirement would be that students are involved in their own extracurricular activities, such as clubs and sports, on top of homework they receive from their teachers. However, community service is not meant to all be done in one day, “just to get it over with”. Community service can be done over multiple days, weeks, and months. With a forty hour community service requirement, and being in school for forty one weeks, on average, a student could do one hour of community service per week and meet the requirement easily.

 

In the end, a community service requirement is something that will benefit the students in the long run. They will get work experience as well as being enlightened to the struggles others face during their day to day life. Community service aids students in developing a new perspective of the world around them, and that is extremely valuable in the “real” world these students are about to enter.

 

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The student news site of New Milford High School, New Milford, New Jersey
It’s Debatable: Community Service Requirement