Finding the Right Community Service Project for Your Teen

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Finding the Right Community Service Project for Your Teen

Most high schools require multiple community service hours in order to graduate.  Colleges also require hours in order to apply.  How can your teen marry the two so s/he can satisfy both?

Many teens have a pet project or area of interest that they developed while in elementary or middle school and have extended that interest into high school.  If your teen does not have one, s/he must focus on finding one during high school.  Activities abound, once you determine what excites your teen, and how to take that passion and turn it into a service project.  Before beginning your project, check with your high school counselor that the project qualifies for the  graduation requirement, complete the necessary paperwork, and get started.  I have put a sample list of ideas together to help your teen.  There are endless possibilities.  Remember, be creative and have fun!!

Helping the Environment:
• Plant trees or wildflowers.
• Plant produce. Donate the harvest to a local food bank.
• Plant seeds. Sell the flowers or plants and donate the proceeds to a local organization in need.
• Pick up litter at a park.
• Put on a play at your school, a fair or festival about local environmental or human needs issues.
•Improve the school grounds.
•Develop and maintain a recycling program at school.

OLD SHOES: Put out notices and containers—and start collecting!!!

Ever thrown out a pair of worn-out athletic shoes? Did you know that IT TAKES ABOUT 1,000 YEARS for those sneakers to biodegrade? Wondering what to do with the ones you’ve already got? RECYCLE THEM.

 Every year, millions of pairs of athletic shoes are thrown away, not only wasting landfill space, but wasting tons of reusable material. Since 1993 Nike has been running a program called Reuse-a-Shoe. So far they’ve used 24 million pairs of athletic shoes to create sports surfaces. It’s part of the “Let Me Play” campaign, one of Nike’s longest-running environmental and community programs, where worn-out athletic shoes of any brand are collected, processed and recycled into material USED IN SPORT SURFACES like basketball courts, tennis courts, athletic fields, running tracks and playgrounds for young people around the world.

For information visit their website. To keep recycling equipment running smoothly, there are guidelines:
• Athletic shoes only (any brand)
• No shoes containing metal
• No cleats or dress shoes
• No wet or damp shoes
• Helping People in Need

•Collect food, warm clothing, toys, or personal care items for the needy. Deliver to shelters. Remember shelters are in need of supplies all year long!
•Hold a Teddy Bear and Friends (Stuffed Animals) Drive.
Donate the collected animals to a Homeless Shelter for new arrivals. Also…check with your local police station or fire station. Many are happy to take Teddy and Friends; a teddy bear can be a comfort to children in times of distress.
•Make treats for a local senior home.

Literacy Service Based ideas:
• Have kids practice reading a book and read it to a younger child who needs help learning how to read; a senior citizen who will benefit from companionship or a child in a special needs classroom in your school who is learning to read.
• Make a book on tape to contribute a local daycare center–or pediatric patients.
• Have youth read a book that will teach them how to do something to help others and then do it! Examples: building a birdhouse, making toys for animals at the animal shelter, or planting a garden).
• Read a newspaper to an elderly person who can no longer read the small print.
Adapted from Rahima Wade, service-learning instructor at the University of Iowa.
• LAMINATED BOOKMARKS for your school or hometown library

Make some pretty bookmarks; leave them in a basket on the library counter for other students to take one when they check out books. (Making Bookmarks page here…)

• Establish a PEN PAL PROJECT with senior citizens in a nursing home; children in a local hospital, or children in another country.
• Hold a USED BOOK SALE after school, or on an evening or Saturday at the school or the local library. Publicize the event to the school and local community.  Donate collected funds to a worthy cause.  
• A book drive can also be organized to collect new– and excellent condition used books– FOR CHILDREN WHO DO NOT HAVE ACCESS to many books (poverty or disaster areas in the U.S., other countries, a local Head Start or homeless shelter).

• COMMUNITY SERVICE FOR ANIMALS AND ANIMAL SHELTERS
• Collect and donate items on animal organizations’ wish lists: Example: Paper towels, dried dog food, milk substitute, portable cages, blankets and towels, cleansers, and food bowls.
• Raise money for homeless pets or sick, injured, and orphaned wildlife– by collecting coins.
• Sponsor a walk-a-thon, bowl-a-thon, read-a-thon, etc. backed by pledges. Donate to local shelters or animal organizations.

Remember Service men and women ALL YEAR LONG—not just before the holidays!
There are three pages of suggestions for care packages at the adopt a platoon website.
They are listed by categories of: 
• Canned Items
• Condiments
• Ground Coffee / Tea / Hot Chocolate
• Microwavable Foods
• Powdered Drink Mix Singles
• Snacking Foods
• Items for Men
• Clothing 
• Items for Women

By | 2018-06-11T00:39:46-08:00 June 3rd, 2011|Tips for Parents|Comments Off on Finding the Right Community Service Project for Your Teen