The Case for Community Service
By Chase Carson
Every year a new batch of 5th graders leaves elementary school, beginning the life of a middle schooler. Not only will they be starting a whole new adventure, they are also taking on an important task: completing the middle school community service requirement.
One of Bay Farm School’s greatest missions is to serve its community. Bay Farm not only strives to make our community a better and safer place to live, but strives to encourage students to make an impact on the world by being kind, safe, responsible, and by being an ally. Bay Farm chooses to participate by requiring community service hours to give students a chance to help make an impact on our community of Alameda.
You may be asking yourself, “Why should we serve others?” Well, there are several reasons. Students who do community service work will learn that they can make a difference with what they do. This will lead them to build self-confidence, making them want to increase their efforts and academic pursuits. Another reason Bay Farm chooses to serve others in our community is that it inspires students to do better in school. Tests have shown that community service encourages students to focus more on their academic success.
Starting in 6th grade, students are required to complete 20 hours of community service by April of 8th grade in order to graduate on the stage with their fellow classmates.
Many middle schoolers may be struggling to find ways to fulfill their community service hours. Sam, a Bay Farm 6th grader, has been earning his community hours by volunteering at Amelia Earhart School. There, he interacts with younger children by doing crafts and playing games. Over the summer, Bay Farm student Levi fulfilled his community service hours by helping Cub Scouts with activities during summer camp. In total, he has already earned 40 hours of service.
There are numerous approaches you can take to earning community service hours. One of the ways you can earn community service is by signing up for Feeding America. It is a nonprofit organization focusing on making sure no American goes hungry. The closest food bank is called SF-Marin Food Banks. It doesn’t stop there though, the organization stretches from Mexico to Hawaii! You can find more information here. Another way you can earn community service hours is by going to Bay Farm Island Library to sort books. To contact them, call (510) 747-7787.
For some students, completing the community service requirement is a piece of cake. For others, it may take them until the deadline to complete it. For some, it may just be a way to help our community and knowing that they did something to make an impact. So whatever position you’re in, I hope that all students know that they made an impact, even if it’s as simple as helping a teacher or planting a tree.