Teen Style: Service requirements are good for students | SteamboatToday.com

Teen Style: Service requirements are good for students

Emma Schmidt

— When it comes to community service, Steamboat Springs has more options, and requirements, than many places. For instance, Steamboat schools require a certain amount of community service hours to pass the grade.

At many schools, similar to my old one, in Estes Park, you don’t need any community service at all. For example: Up until now, it has not been mandatory to participate in community service programs in most schools in Chicago. But starting next year, all 95,000 high school-aged teens throughout Chicago will need to fulfill 60 hours of community service to pass the grade.

According to a 1999 U.S. Department of Education report, 80 percent of public high schools nationwide had students involved in community service. A requirement for community service could increase the number of people who participate at each school.

To further greaten its importance, President-elect Barack Obama has suggested middle and high school students complete at least 50 hours of required community service, everywhere, according to his campaign Web site.

Considering the minimal amount of hours necessary for completing the grade, there really are plenty of options. The city provides several of them, including its counselor-in-training program, the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps, eighth-grade tutoring and the annual Green Up Clean Up day, along with many of the local businesses having community service programs available. The school itself sometimes has sessions after school to help with special events or holiday preparations.

The required hours create a valuable lesson: It is important to contribute to your community.

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