Make a Difference and Get Involved in Community Service!
“No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.” ~ Aesop
In this month’s Internet Challenge™, we are going to focus on ways to give back to our communities through various ways. Maybe you have heard of the term “community service.” What exactly is it? One definition of community service from Ask.com is “voluntary work that is done for free in order to help people or to give back to the community.”
Community service is giving back to your community in various forms, such as cleaning out a park, collecting items for charity, weeding an elderly person’s flower bed, tutoring, volunteering at a retirement home, and much more. It can also refer to projects that members of certain youth organizations and some high school students perform as a pre-requisite to graduation from certain educational institutions.
You may come across another definition of community service where it is performed as a legal punishment assigned by judges in lieu of or in addition to prison time or fines for non-violent minor crimes. The idea behind this is that the courts can find a way to punish offenders while still benefiting the community. In this particular activity, we will not focus on that description.
So, let’s take some time to learn more about community service. We will find out that many organizations throughout the world support community service activities. With all the opportunities available to volunteer, a person can find ways to get involved, give back and make a difference in one’s community.
Are you ready to begin our online activity? (Note to readers: Some of the Web sites have advertisements; please do not click on them.)
Our first Web site is “Corporation for National and Community Service” that can be found at http://www.nationalservice.gov/
This Web site has a roll of photos that highlight different focus areas for service. Click the forward and back arrows to see them all.
Find the photo that says “education” and click on that image. With teacher permission, watch the five-minute video about ways that volunteers help out in education. Then, read the information on the Web page and then answer these questions.
1. According to this Web site, what are some strategies that help students become better learners?
2. Your friend’s grandmother would like to volunteer with either AmeriCorps or RSVP. Which organization would you recommend for her? Why? Explain your reasoning.
Zoom over to “Community Service for Kids” that can be found at http://www.kidsforcommunity.org/
Read the information on this Web page and then answer these questions.
4. Because community service involves the whole community, it teaches tolerance to youth and adults, as well as accepting and respecting others with different ages, backgrounds, education and financial status.
Let’s zoom over to “Buzzle – Community Service Ideas for Kids”
Read the material and then complete the following question.
5. Community service is reserved entirely for adults, charity workers or penalized celebrities.
Read the information and answer the following questions.
6. Explain how community service can help children and youth transition into the adult world with real-life concerns and global issues.
7. Look at the many examples of ways to volunteer that are listed on this Web site. If you could choose any two ideas that interest you, which ones would they be? Explain why you select them.
Take a ride on the “Do Good Bus” at http://dogoodbus.com/index.php/about-us/
Each trip is different and each location is secret! With teacher permission, watch the short video, entitled “Do Good Bus Tour Recap.” Then, read the text on that Web page.
8. List the three goals of the Do Good Bus.
Extension Activities – Complete one or more of the activities listed below.
*Design a poster, brochure or flyer to advertise community service in your area with the intention of getting more people engaged and involved!
Go to any of the Web sites previously listed in this activity and/or use the following ones to complete this extension activity.
“United We Serve: Let’s Read. Let’s Move.”
“Families with Purpose”
“Inspiring Change, One Week at a Time”
“Help Guide.org – Volunteering and Its Surprising Benefits”
“Do Good Bus” Video – with teacher permission, watch these videos and take a virtual bus tour.
Use paper and pencil (and art tools) or appropriate computer software to design your piece. After you are done, be sure to share it with your teacher and classmates. Talk about it!
*Have a round table discussion!
Topic: Whether you're young or old, the benefits of volunteering are obvious. Working with a nonprofit or community organization can expand your social circle and create professional and academic opportunities. Volunteer experience looks great on a college application. Students with a strong community service background may also be eligible for certain scholarships.
Kids who get involved in volunteerism and other civic-minded initiatives learn the value of giving back early on. Unlike adults, who have to deal with the stresses of career and family, kids can easily make volunteering a part of their life. Community service for kids establishes positive habits that can stay with them for life.
Taken from the United Way Community Service Blog: http://www.unitedway.org/blog/entry/community-service-for-kids
What are some ways that you can encourage your classmates and friends to volunteer in community service? Are there any schools in your area that offer scholarships for such work? If so, how can you let others know about it? How can you spread the word?
Choose a group of students and ask your teacher to be the moderator. Brainstorm with your classmates and then get ready to share your opinions with one another. Talk about it!
* Read, Write and give your View!
Press Release dated December 16, 2013 from the Corporation for National and Community Service at
A new national study released by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC) shows that millions of Americans make volunteering a priority in their lives. The annual Volunteering and Civic Life in America research shows that volunteering in the United States remains stable and strong across generations. This year’s report found that 64.5 million (or one in four) Americans volunteered nearly 7.9 billion hours last year. The estimated value of this volunteer service is nearly $175 billion.
This press release highlights the fact that one out of four Americans volunteer. How can we increase that number to two out of four, or even three out of four? How can we spread the word about volunteering/community service to people in your community?
Give your point of view in a one-page report or summary. Be prepared to share your comments with your teacher and classmates. Talk about it!
Congratulations! You have done a terrific job completing this Internet Challenge™.
1. Strategies that help students learn include extended-day and school-year programs, tutoring, mentoring, family involvement, and teacher support. They also involve service-learning opportunities that give students the chance to experience meaningful lessons that teach them about their world inside and outside the school’s classrooms.
2. Students’ own answers: I would suggest that she volunteer with RSVP because of her age and experience. RSVP is one of the largest volunteer networks in the nation for people 55 and over. They use their volunteers’ skills and talents that they learned over the years or new ones that they develop while serving in community volunteer activities.
AmeriCorps places young adults into intensive service positions in nonprofits, schools, public agencies, etc. where they learn valuable work skills and develop an appreciation for citizenship.
3. According to this Web site, when a community is doing well, its individuals do well. They feel that volunteering as a family activity can bring everyone closer together while they have fun. The main reason for volunteering is always the satisfaction one gets after helping someone else, that special feeling of fulfillment that comes after dedicating time and effort to accomplish something good.
4. (a) Yes
5. (b) False. Community service is not something that is reserved exclusively for adults, charity workers or penalized celebrities.
6. Working together, kids learn to solve problems and make decisions and successfully contribute to their community. They connect local concerns with global issues and gain an awareness of others. All this will serve them now and years later as they transition out of school and into the adult world.
7. Students’ own answers.
8. On a Do Good Bus Ride, their first goal is awareness. There are hundreds of causes that help the city, neighbors and friends as well as to show people how to support these causes. Next, the team believes in the importance of creating a community and what better way to make new friends then to ride together with like-minded folks and have fun while giving back. Their third goal, their hope for the future, is to encourage continued support of the causes that speak to them and ultimately to do good in their everyday lives.
Extension Activities – Students’ own work.