Sunday, August 3, 2008

Giving Back

One of the things I really like about schools here in Sacramento is that they require students to participate in the community in which they live. One way students do this is by performing "community service". By donating approximately a week's worth of work to organizations in the neighborhood over the course of a school year, students make community contacts, learn about the work the organization does, and get a little OTJ experience - all in addition to the real services they perform for the organization.

Central library staff fields calls from many students in all parts of the county who want to perform their volunteer community service at their local libraries. For those libraries near middle and high schools, there is sometimes not enough work available to keep every hopeful volunteer occupied.

Now that a new school year is starting, students are again on the lookout for places where they can perform those volunteer services. Students who want to get a head start on their community service will find that the library is a great place to research local volunteer opportunities!

We have some books about "voluntarism" in general that feature teen volunteers who have made a difference in their communities, and that provide ideas and tips for finding a volunteer opportunity that fits your personality. And there are web sites that list local organizations who need help: Hands On Sacramento is one, and Volunteer Match and the City of Sacramento's Volunteer Program are others.

There is plenty of work to go around, for both students and adults. Which community will you serve?

No comments: