Editorial: Make service graduation requirement

[media-credit name=”Nina Kaplan” align=”alignleft” width=”300″] Seniors Kate Berger, Lizzie Beers, Ilana Ruben and Emily Abromowitz are a part of the H.O.P.E. club, which focuses on serving the community.

Imagine an activity that helps other people in need, improves your grades and increases your motivation.

Community service provides all these benefits, according to several studies. However, community service, while mandatory is many other school districts, is not a mandatory graduation requirement at this school.

Serving the community should be a graduation requirement at this school because it provides benefits to both students and to the community.

In a 2000 RMC Research Corporation study, community service has been shown to increase social development, motivation, school engagement and school attendance. This school should strive for its students have all of these characteristics, so it should make community service mandatory.

The same study said, “students who engaged in service-learning were more likely to treat each other kindly, help each other and care about doing their best.”

However, some say mandatory “volunteering” is a paradox. The definition of “volunteer” according to dictionary.com, is “a person who performs a service willingly and without pay.” According to that definition, detractors of mandatory community service are correct in saying that mandatory service-work is not volunteering.

But the service-work completed still helps those in need while helping the student socially and academically.

Community service provides various benefits that the school cannot teach in a classroom, such as a broader sense of where students stand in the world. Service work fosters a sense of community, as well.

According to the above study, the grade point average of 73 percent of high school students increased after participating in community service. This was partly because of increased motivation and engagement in class.

This school should make community service a graduation requirement because it benefits students academically, emotionally and socially and helps out worthy causes.

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