Service learning fairs an 'eye opener' for students
High schools recently held their annual service learning fairs, where students have the opportunity to connect in person with local non-profit organizations.
It can be an important first step for students who need to fulfill the 20 volunteer hours required as part of the Government and Politics course. But it’s about more than meeting a graduation requirement, said Lincoln Northeast High School social studies teacher Cheyenne Harthshorn, who organized her school’s service learning fair on Jan. 22.
“I think in today's day and age, it's so easy to disconnect from the world in which you live, other than your social group and your family,” she said. “Volunteering provides connection where they understand that their role is bigger than just inside their bubble.”
About a dozen community organizations participated in each school’s service learning fair, including CEDARS, Meals on Wheels and Salvation Army. For the first time, students could register to vote at the event. They also could sign up to be involved with the upcoming U.S. Census.
Harthshorn said service learning fairs can leave a lasting impression on students.
“You know, when you say they have to do 20 hours of volunteering, you get the eye rolls, but then they come and they get excited because they understand,” she said, “and it becomes personal for them. They see that it’s not just an organization but it’s people who are working to help other people and Lincoln.”
McKenna Minter agrees. The Northeast senior called the service learning fair an “eye opener.”
“This is definitely a blessing because, you know, a lot of other people don't get this opportunity to see all the different types of programs,” she said. “But I feel like it’s great that we get the chance to do that.”
Said Cobey Dils, another Northeast senior: “Just volunteer, do what’s right to help the community.”
Published: February 4, 2020, Updated: February 6, 2020