Research confirms that teenagers who are involved in community service learn to be more caring, social and responsible and perform better in school. Volunteering will increase your chance of graduating at the top of your class as well as making you a more compassion person.
While researching this topic, I learned that teenagers who volunteer just two hours a week have higher self-esteem and more resiliency and are 50% less likely not to smoke, drink or do drugs. That is pretty amazing to me! In my opinion, for such a little investment of time, you will reap amazing benefits!
Let me add my personal story to what I am trying to teach you. All of you know that in my classroom I 'tell stories'. Storytelling is an excellent method of teaching! Most ancient and biblical history was passed down generation after generation by simply, 'telling stories'. I also think that a great teacher is one who relates all lessons to life...and can enable their students to make a 'connection' of sorts.
All of you know that I am single. At times, it is a blessing but more than not it can be tough. I can feel lonely and sorry for myself especially around the holidays. So instead of staying home at Thanksgiving or other special days feeling sorry for myself, I volunteer. Volunteering during these times enables me to take attention off myself and my situation in life and put my thoughts and attention onto others. I become less, 'self-absorbed'. Then I feel so happy that I am making a difference which means that a day that I would have sat home sad ended up being a blessed day where I felt great about myself. So service to others can be a blessing to you and to others all at the same time.
In my lifetime, I served my community by cooking food for homeless shelters, assisted at animal shelters, animal adoption events and hurricane assistance in my hometown. In the late 90's I received an award from the Montgomery County Maryland, "Volunteer of the Year" for my work delivery food to the homeless in Maryland & D.C.
I mention all of this to you, not to brag but to allow you to see that I practice what I preach. If I expect my students to take their community service seriously then I need to lead by example. Our class work in the student garden is a perfect example of service. Look how beautiful we made the garden this year! To me, it is as much a sculpture and art garden than it is a vegetable garden.
I will end tonight with this thought: by helping others you are really helping yourself; remember that. You just wait and see! Good night, Ms. B.