Recently there has been discussion by the Legislative Committee on Education concerning community service and our students. I will not define the criteria for that or the number of hours that are needed to complete this program.
However, here is how I would like to see the program be operated. I would like to suggest that a clearinghouse be placed in the Department of Education for the task of tracking the number of hours that our public and private school children are required to serve the community. I would suggest that this could be a virtual clearinghouse by using the Internet for exchanging information between the student and the administration. This method will reduce the administration expenses.
This clearinghouse would have the responsibility of updating a list of nonprofit community-based groups and associations and ensuring that every student has a copy and can be downloaded from the site "Help-your-Community.org or .vi". A separate copy can be made if the student has done a gesture of good will but the recipient is not on the list. This list should also include a brief bio or mission statement of each organization so that the student can understand what their tasks might include. In addition, upcoming events can be listed with dates and contacts so that the student can schedule his/her time.
Once the individual student completes a portion of hours, a form downloaded from the site should be presented to the organization leader to sign off on. The student should write what they got out of the time spent with the organization. This information should be submitted to the clearinghouse to record the student's hours and to publish the student's comments about the group. This encourages others to help the group. A grading system can be set up to accomplish this task. New groups can be highlighted in bold to attract attention.
In conclusion, our children should be more involved with their community. This is important for a well-rounded young adult. Having this experience also helps with a future resume and college application. The question is: What are the criteria for community service and how can we connect the student with the needy organization? But we must fine-tune how we should implement the program and therefore these are my suggestions.
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