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Service Learning Credit

Ryan Armstrong, Staff Writer

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As a Senior, I think I can testify to the importance of Service Learning Credits. Passing my classes and getting good grades is very important but it isn’t the only factor contributing to graduation. Service Learning credits, also known as community service hours, must be completed in order for Senior to graduate.

Many students at PVHS aren’t completely sure what Service Learning Credit is or how to even receive it. Misinformed students can  lead to chaos within the senior class. This is why I took the liberty of providing us with answers and information.

Ms. Woods, a social science teacher here at Pinole Valley High School, is in charge of the Service Learning paperwork for Seniors specifically. When asked about the topic, she referred to the credit as “a wonderful opportunity to widen life experience and give back to the community.” Service Learning credit is volunteer work that can be accomplished in many ways through either in-school activities or by branching out to outside organizations.

As senior year is flying by, It is important to start working on your community service now rather than later, and if you’re an underclassman, it is never too early to start and get ahead!

In order to satisfy your service learning credit, you will have to volunteer at least 10 hours. The people you volunteer with may want you to volunteer more and that is totally up to you at that point. Ten hours can seem like a lot, with many of our packed schedules. This means that you can not wait last minute to do this.

After completely satisfying your volunteer hours you will have to write at least a one-page essay reflecting on the entire experience. In the essay it is important to write about what you did, what you learned from it, and how it has changed you. It is important that you deeply reflect on this experience and the impact it has had on you. Include how it has affected you emotionally or your how it has changed your outlook on life. This paper needs to be typed and turned into Ms. Woods before the end of the year.

There are many teachers at Pinole Valley High School that offer volunteer hours. Some teachers allow you to tutor other students either at lunch or after school in order to fulfill your volunteer hours. For example, Mr. Botello, a Spanish teacher here at Pinole Valley asks his Spanish 4 students to tutor at lunch and after school for a total of 20 hours (spread out through the days of course). He doesn’t mind how you choose to split your time meaning that you can stay for as long as you would like per day. There are also lots of volunteer hours involved in clubs such as NHS, WE Science, and Interact.

In respect to branching out into the community, there are a wide variety of locations and organizations that students can choose from. For example, students are able to volunteer at the library, (which is right across the street)  animal and homeless shelters. In fact, they can even assist a coach in a nearby sports league.

There an abundance of ways to fulfill this requirement for graduation. Each location or organization assists the community in order to make it a better place, so whatever you end up doing for your service learning credit, it would be impactful to those around you!

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