Illustration: Ellie Nowakowski
The day of service that St. Paul Academy and Summit School sponsors is a fantastic way for the school to do things for others around them. However, one day of service is not enough to make a difference in the community or the students’ lives. Sometimes, it can be hard or daunting to volunteer or undertake service. Some people don’t have enough time outside of school or a ride, but would like to find ways to do things for charities. Saint Paul Academy and Summit School should give students more opportunities to volunteer in the neighborhood during the day.
With local service opportunities provided by the school, students could walk to different places around the community during free periods to provide service. This would provide a way for students to give back to the community where we learn every day and connect with the neighborhood. This system of school-day service would be accessible and easy to take part in, making volunteering much less complicated.
Sophomores at St. Paul Academy have twelve hours of required service work due at the beginning of February. Students who do extracurricular activities may find it difficult to find the time and organize themselves to do service, even if they really want to do charity work. Plus, many sophomores cannot drive yet, making it difficult to get to a service location. To some, it may seem unreasonable that the school requires them to be at school for many hours everyday, then demands more of their time outside of school. Doing service during the school day would make finishing their hours much easier, organized and enjoyable. Other grade levels would also benefit from having these opportunities. Service and volunteering would become not just something that they should do, but something that they can and want to do.Giving students an opportunity to volunteer around the community would reflect well on the school. People in the area generally associate students at SPA with students who are privileged, with many opportunities available to help themselves. Volunteering in the community would be a way for students and the school to show the community that they also appreciate opportunities to help other people.
The SPA administration should be providing students with ways to volunteer and give back to their community. A service coordinator should be appointed, either a faculty member or student, to arrange for students to do service in the school vicinity. Students in all grades could sign up for a time to do service, then do the service during free time in school hours. In this way, the administration would be creating a platform for service to be a permanent part of student’s lives. Students can build relationships and perspective, making them value their lives more and value doing service more regularly.