Those of us who stay in bigger towns will feel the loss of a sense of community most keenly. We have become isolated and wary of our neighbors. The more this becomes part of our culture, the more we suffer from depression and other anxieties. Being part of a family, and a community is good for our mental health, our physical health and is crucial to having happy, well-adjusted students. One of the ways in which your students can experience a sense of belonging is through community service.
Community service not only helps your students to meet and mix with the people in their community, it also helps to foster a culture of giving, care for their fellow humans, social skills and organizational skills. There are many ways in which students can help only some of which are listed below.
Your student can organize or join cleanups in your area. Keeping garbage out of sensitive natural areas will help to preserve local eco-systems. Students can rally their friends to help in a cleanup, but ensure that gloves and masks are worn for additional safety.
Students can also help the environment by saving energy. This is augmented by energy monitoring systems that are installed by many local municipalities to help residents to monitor consumption. You can also just work off your utilities bills. Consumption can further be reduced by growing vegetables in the backyard, conducting clothing swaps rather than buying new clothing and upcycling old items to keep them from the landfill.
Loneliness is a huge issue many seniors living in homes face. Most senior’s residences welcome student volunteers who can spend time with seniors and keep them company or help them with everyday tasks. If you have seniors in your neighborhood, your students could help them with more strenuous tasks like cleaning gutters or mowing the lawn.
If your student is an animal lover, then local shelters are a great place for them to volunteer. They can also help by raising money for shelters or organizing donations of food and other pet supplies. Students can offer to help friends and neighbors who are at work all day by taking their dogs for a walk.
These are a great way to introduce good nutrition and teach your students about growing plants. Community gardens are a healthy and fun way to grow your own food. They provide communities with a source of fresh fruit and vegetables that can be organic and are definitely locally grown.
Random acts of kindness
These should be done every day. Community means the people around us and your student is sure to find a student at school that needs a little help. Tutoring younger students is a great way for your kids to give back. They can bring lunch for someone who regularly has no lunch at school, they can stand up to bullying, they can help students who are struggling academically and show appreciation to a teacher for all the hard work they do.