KHS Community Service overhauled
For years at Kings High School, students have been required to serve 75 hours of community service work in order to graduate. These standards have now been reduced to 50 hours as the school emphasizes “quality” over “quantity.”
“We want students to understand true service work,” said Terry Kahn, KHS Guidance Office Coordinator. “Because this is a school, we want them to know what true service is … so it can make a good impact on them, and the community.”
The school wants students to focus more on volunteering for non-profit organizations and activities, such as assisting in area nursing homes, animal hospitals, churches, and camps.
In short, less required hours, but more meaningful hours.
The school will continue to hold its year-end Community Service Night, where seniors share with their teachers, administrators, parents and community members how they served their hours. Many students share photos of their service time, while other compose songs, poems and even free-style raps reflecting on their experiences.
Kahn said higher-quality service will lead to higher-quality presentations.
“We want better presentations for senior reflections that are based on better quality work done by the students.”
The new 50-hour requirement applies to students in the class of 2016, the current sophomores, and all subsequent classes. Only half of these hours can be earned through school functions such as working concessions for sporting events.
Sophomore Katie Busemeyer said that she “has to like the change, because it’s less hours and you can learn to expand out to the community for work.”
One question is whether the change is fair to the current juniors and seniors. But while these students will have to earn the full 75 hours, they have much more flexibility in how they earn them.
Senior Jon Haas said he feels that the change “was a good change for Kings, and also a fair compromise relating to school-gained hours.”
“I don’t think it’s unfair to us seniors and upperclassmen because the district had to start with one class- someone had to be the guinea pig,” said Haas.
Kahn said that most area schools require only 40 hours of service.
“We’re trying to make a good compromise between the 75 hours and the lower 40,” she said. “Students will be more willing to reach out into the community for their hours, senior reflection projects will be improved in quality, and the overall impact of good service work on students will help make Kings an even better place to be a part of.”