District Ends Donation For Hours

School district makes big changes in earning community service hours.

Items such as these, donated to the Food for Families organization, will no longer count toward community service hours.

Courtesy of Ms. Kouf

Items such as these, donated to the Food for Families organization, will no longer count toward community service hours.

Shuruq Daas, Staff Writer

Earning community service hours is not just about volunteering, it’s also a graduation requirement. Though a student is required to have a minimum of 20 hours, excelling further than that brings better chances for scholarships and looks fantastic on college résumés. Recently, a new policy came from the Palm Beach County school district that resulted in a shift in earning those hours; the ways that students used to easily earn hours aren’t acceptable anymore.

A common way of getting community service hours was to buy canned foods and donate them to different charity drives. This method has garnered controversy -while one student can buy over 50 cans, there is another student that can’t afford to buy cans and get hours. Because of this, the school district has banned schools from dishing out hours for donations.

This rule has been bestowed upon schools by the district officials of Palm Beach County. Distributed to the school administrators was a paper listing the do’s and don’ts for giving community service hours. Students can no longer get hours for bringing in canned foods, setting up club meetings and practicing for sports and bands.

”Part of community service is to serve the community,” says Assistant Principal Mr. Montoya. ”It is important for a student to go out there and truly impact their community by working in it.”

Most students expect to receive a reward when donating certain items, but now with the new shift, charities may suffer. One that is suffering is the Teens for Jeans drive. This drive greatly impacted the less fortunate by supplying them with jeans, but now, with the new community service policy, the drive is canceled because a majority of students will no longer donate jeans if hours are not given back.

Key Club, a club that hosts various activities and promotes students to become more involved with their community, has witnessed the drop in donations.

”As Key Club president, a decrease in the amount of donations has been noticed,” said senior Nicole McGarity. ”Students lost the motivation to donate because now they know they won’t get hours.”

Other tactics have been designed to find a solution for students to receive hours. Key Club has set a new task open to every student here in Santaluces. ‘Rent a Key Club Member’ is when a student is assigned to a teacher’s room and helps him/her with anything that needs to be done.

National Honor Society advisor, Mrs.Weber, has also found different activities to earn hours. Students in NHS during Academy Night came to school and guided the parents around the campus. With the time spent and helpful interactions made, whoever came earned their hours for the night.

”It’s important for a student to help and improve their community by lending a hand in it,” says Mrs.Weber, also ”One should work towards their hours and earn them with dedication and passion.”

In student services there is a paper that lists all the places that give hours in return for volunteering. For further information on ‘Rent a Key Club Member,’ see Mrs. Finn in room 8161.