As I began reading "In the Service of What", I was a little lost and unsure of what was going on and how I was going to write my blog. As I kept reading, the term community service stayed in my mind. The more I read, the more I had the idea of community service stuck in my mind and I just kept remembering all the community service I had done over the past years. Both authors, Westheimer and Kahne describe different ways to complete community service and ways to get involved in the community to the readers.
Over the past few years, I have completed community service at a few different places. One thing that I did for community service was for my senior project. As the end of my senior year, I volunteered at a daycare. I thought this would be a good idea since I was planning to major in Elementary Education. It was really great to help these children out because you could tell that they did not get much help at home so it felt really good that I could go to their classroom three times a week to help them. This is also how I feel about my service learning placement this semester. I know most of these kids come from low-income families so most of the time their parents are working so they don't have time to go over things with them. It makes me feel a lot better knowing that I helped improve their reading skills.
Something else that I have done is give clothes, toys, and books away to families that can not afford it. Even though I was not going out to buy them brand new clothes and toys, I feel great knowing that maybe I helped make their winter nights a little bit warmer. Many kids, especially in Providence, do not have money to just go buy new clothes whenever they want. Some families can barely put three meals on the table a day. Knowing that I can help these families makes me feel really good. Why should I throw away my old clothes when they are in good condition and can go to people who really need them?
As I read on, I saw that Westheimer and Kahne said that some states require students to do community service in order to graduate. My school did require this and every year the amount of hours increased. When I graduated I only had to complete ten hours. Now, I believe my high school requires twenty hours to graduate. This was put into effect my junior year but I do think it is a good idea to get kids involved with the community so they can see what the real world is like.
My point to share in class is this: How many other people had to complete community service hours in order to graduate? If you did, what did you do and do you think it was useful? If you did not, do you think it is a good idea and how do you feel about not completing the hours? Do you feel as though it has a negative or positive effect on you today?