Which is better? Volunteering or service learning?
In my opinion, volunteering is a good way for students to get involved in their community. However, service learning is the better option to get student’s involved as it provides them with a way to get started. For example, for those who choose to volunteer on their own, they often need to find a place to volunteer on their own, where through service learning students have the aid of their teacher and fellow student to help them with that task. Furthermore, through service learning, the volunteering that the students do aids them in their field of study and helps them decide on whether they will enjoy the career path that they have chosen to undertake in most cases. I write “in some cases” because it is argued in an article called Mandated Community involvement: A Question of Equity, that low-income student have fewer resources and help from staff members than higher income students that have more resources. This may be true, however tit should not. Some students may need more help than others in finding a place to volunteer and the goal of the teacher is to help each student accordingly.
Why is there a lack of student participation to volunteer?
In my opinion, it’s not that students do not want to volunteer, it that they feel that they do not have the time to volunteer because they need to study for their classes or they work during the time that they are not studying. For others it just that they either do not hae a way to get where they want to volunteer on their own or they do not have the little push to get them started in volunteering. Such is the cases with me. I have thought about volunteering since the end of high school when college applications had to be sent in. The only reason I chose not to volunteer is that I figured that I would not be able to find a place to volunteer that I would enjoy and if I did, it needed to be a place that I could walk to if needed as I may not always have someone who could drive me to where I volunteer. Since the service learning project in our class though, I have volunteered at the veterinary clinic in my town and have found it to be a very good experience and I learned a lot about the career path that I wish to follow. In short, students just need that little push to get them started or they need to make some time for volunteer work between their studies and other work.
What is the best way to encourage people to get involved?
A good way to get people involved with volunteer work is for the organisations to advertise what help they need in places where people often go such as simply putting up a poster in a grocery store or super market that will grab people’s attention and get them to read what the organisation needs. At the moment, many organisations have web site advertising what they do and what they need people for. However, people will not bother to look for these sites unless they want to research places to volunteer or if they already know about the site. A good way to get students involved is for organisers to put up posters up on a bulletin boards in the busiest areas of schools and to have the organisers themselves hold a “meet and greet” during break times so that students can learn more about the organisations that need their help.
In closing, students need a little push to get started with volunteer work and they need the help of someone to point them in the right direction whether this help comes from a teacher through a service learning project or from a students parents when a student chooses to volunteer on their own. It`s not only students that need to volunteer to help organisation who need help. Everyone can help in some way, no matter how small the help they give is. In the end, all the help that people give equals one great accomplishment. As the late Dr.Seuss wrote in The Lorax in 1971 “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
Sources for the quote: http://www.quotegarden.com/helping.html and http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Dr._Seuss#The_Lorax_.281971.29
Question for the readers: