Date of Completion
Open Access Capstone
Master of Arts (MA)
In this paper I have explored the importance of community service experiences and ultimately created a guide for implementing a high quality and meaningful community service program at the high school level. This paper begins with an initial discussion of my personal experiences in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, when I discovered firsthand the importance of personal reflection and sharing. I have defined community as a group of people with common place and common interest. Community service is an action within the community that betters the community in some way. The reader will find examples of communities coming together to make a change and examples of individuals reflecting on personal experiences. These examples highlight the importance of community service and reflection as well as showing the reader how to be involved and how to reflect. I have written this paper for educational administrators, teachers, and community members to be used as a stepping stone for the creation and implementation of a high school community service program. Typical programs today require a certain number of hours completed by each student before graduation but do not specify the type of community service or even afford the students the opportunity to present to others what they have done. The program that I have laid out encourages the sharing of experiences as a way to both appreciate the student efforts as well as give each student a chance to inspire others. Within the body of the paper the reader will find a Teacher Handbook as well as a Student Guidebook. These two books are intended as a guideline for proper implementation of a thoughtful community service program. The Teacher Handbook supplies the reader with tips and instructions for helping students in a yearlong community service program. This handbook includes a schedule of monthly meetings with a basic outline for the implementation of each of the meetings. The Student Handbook is written to enhance the learning of each participating student. The handbook includes phone numbers for local community service organizations as well as space for each student to take notes when connecting with community service opportunities. Each of the books has been written generically for the purpose of this paper but can easily be modified to more closely fit a particular school or community. Community service is an important part of my life. Each experience introduces me to new people and ideas and each experience has challenged me to do better in my life. In each community service project that I have been a part of I have certainly taken away more than I have given. It is my intent that the paper I have written will encourage and inspire the reader to partake in community service opportunities and to reflect and share about those experiences.
Naylor, Elizabeth H., "Original Curriculum for Encouraging Meaningful Community Service in High School Students" (2008). Critical and Creative Thinking Capstones Collection. 219.