New service learning opportunities list to be made by SCA

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Emma Vu

Librarian, Mr. Kirk Treakle, shows Maya Younes, a 7th grade Trailblazer, the service hour sign up sheet in the library.

Angela Luo and Emma Vu

RCMS has many service hour opportunities in many different places. But with a new list the SCA is coming up with, the plan is for finding them to be made easier.  

Middle school students are required to have 15 hours of service learning by the end of 8th grade. Service learning is an effective way for youth to develop the drive and desire to become lifelong volunteers and engaged citizens.

“I got the idea [to make a list of all available service hours] because personally, I was struggling with finding service hours,” said Laila Kebaish, vice president of the SCA. “I thought it would be a good idea to help make it easier for others.”

Middle school students are required to have 15 hours of service learning by the end of eighth grade.

“I think it’s helpful because the person you’re helping benefits,” said Raagav Bala, a seventh-grader on the Dream Team. “You benefit as well because you gain something from the experience.”

According to the Service Learning page on the Rachel Carson website, “Service learning is an effective way for youth to develop the drive and desire to become lifelong volunteers and engaged citizens. Service learning aligns with the FCPS Portrait of a Graduate that supports the development of responsibility to the local and global community.”

Service learning helps to prepare students for the future.

“Service hours get you ready to serve your community as an adult,” says Ms. Anne Thrasher, an eighth-grade civics teacher. “They show you what the community needs for when you grow up.” 

Raagav spoke about doing service hours for his science teacher, Ms. Rhonda Jones Howard. 

“My teacher offered me an opportunity to help someone with their retake,” said Raagav. “It took only 30 minutes, but it was fun and I’m looking forward to getting another chance to help our community.”

Harman Kumar, an eighth-grader on the Dolphins team, spoke about his experiences doing service learning for Ms. Calandra Couch, an art teacher at RCMS.

“I dumped buckets of water and clay for Ms. Couch,” said Harman. ”One time I had a sponge, and I worked like Cinderella to clean the buckets.”

Rishi Jagarlapudi, an eighth grader on the X-Treme Team was told about an area where he could do service hours by his friends. 

“My friend actually told me about this park,” Rishi said. “We pulled out invasive species for two hours.”

Many teachers in all departments offer service learning opportunities.

“If you have any questions, ask your civics [or other] teacher, be proactive, and start looking for opportunities now,” says Ms. Thrasher. “Good luck!”