For many years, Milford seniors have been required to complete 20 hours of community service to graduate. Beginning next year, however, this requirement will be eliminated, and the community service program will be replaced with a new approach to service.
Research shows that students who voluntarily complete community service are more likely to make volunteerism a lifelong habit. Beginning next year, students will be able to track their community service hours through a website called UGive beginning freshman year. They may accumulate hours toward several national awards, including the President’s Award for 100+ volunteer hours completed in a 12-month period, and the Jefferson Award for 20 hours completed. Not every school or organization is certified to provide these awards; a teacher had to earn certification, and then will be required to re-certify on a regular basis.
In addition, a number of teachers are incorporating “service learning” into their curriculum. High school art teacher Janelle Schunk is a great example – she has several programs, including New Voices, where this year, students were paired with homeless veterans to learn about each other while they sought out photographic opportunities downtown; and a program where photography students worked with the multiple disability unit to find the beauty in everyone.
We hope our students embrace the opportunity to make volunteerism a regular part of their lives, and we look forward to seeing the creative programs they develop!