Friday, October 1, 2004

School district requires community service


By MEGAN THOMAS
Express Staff Writer

The Blaine County School District has adopted a new requirement to augment students? understanding of their world. The new component requires all students to participate in community service.

?We are hoping the curriculum will become alive when students apply the curriculum to the world around them, whether it?s locally or internationally,? said Mary Gervase, assistant superintendent of the Blaine County School Dis-trict.

In order to get the project under way, the district is asking for help from organizations in the area.

?We are compiling a list of local organizations who need students to perform community service for them. We will try to match projects up with the students? curriculum,? Gervase said.

The requirement falls under the district?s social studies lessons for students in kindergarten to 12th-grade.

?Our students have been involved in community service over the years, but it?s never been at this level,? she said.

According to Gervase, social studies throughout the district focus on the students? role in their community and in the world. The addition of community service will complement the standards by teaching students what it means to be an active citizen.

?We want the students to see the importance and understand the importance of giving back to the community. Per-haps they will be more likely to do other service when they leave school and become citizens themselves,? she ex-plained.

The added requirement does not specify a number of service hours. Instead, teachers decide the appropriate amount of volunteer time for their students.

The district hopes the time dedicated to community service will help students to broaden their sense of perspective, encounter new people and build an empathetic understanding of those around them.

Those organizations interested in having students help through community service projects may contact Mary Ger-vase at 578-5002 or e-mail at mgervase@blaineschools.org.




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