School officials assemble directory to guide student community service

September 08, 1993|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,Staff Writer

At least one of this year's freshmen is not at all worried about fulfilling her 75 hours of required student service.

Francis Scott Key High ninth-grader Laura Kovacs of Taneytown completed 75 hours as a student helper while she was still in middle school.

But not all students are in such a position, and for them, Carroll school officials are putting together a directory of agencies, clubs and other volunteer organizations that need help and can give the students opportunities to complete their state-mandated service requirements.

Each school will get several copies of the loose-leaf directory, and add pages of its own, depending on what clubs or opportunities exist in that particular building, said Estelle Sanzenbacher, student service coordinator for Carroll County Schools.

Ms. Sanzenbacher said she got several calls during the summer from parents asking what activities would count toward the requirement. Students wanted to take the opportunity to get started while they didn't have to worry about homework and school hours, she said.

Based on the calls, she said, parents seem to have a good sense of what counts as service, but wanted to make sure.

"Most of the time we said, yes, it will count. I can't really think of one time when I've said no," Ms. Sanzenbacher said.

She said she and Peter B. McDowell, director of secondary education, are still working out a for mula for counting hours of planning time. For example, they aren't sure whether all the hours of rehearsal for a benefit play can be counted, she said.

The schools have validation forms available for students to fill out and get signed.

Dozens of forms already have been returned, and parent volunteers at each school will be reading them and recording the numbers, Ms. Sanzenbacher said.

The form contains a question that Ms. Sanzenbacher said should help a student realize whether what she or he is doing is really service. The question asks what role the student plays in this activity and how it benefits the school or community.

"If you can answer that question, then most of the time the service will count," she said.

Students can begin earning hours as early as Grade 6, Ms. Sanzenbacher said. They automatically get 15 hours for eighth-grade home economics, which includes such activities as making lunches for local soup kitchens.

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