Student service helps the community

NEIGHBORS

April 04, 1994|By CINDY PARR

It wasn't too long ago that the State Board of Education mandated that students would perform a certain number of hours geared toward community service as part of their graduation requirements.

At first, the concept met with a great deal of controversy, but eventually it was accepted.

Now students, beginning with the current class of high school freshmen, must fulfill their "student service graduation requirement" to receive a high school diploma.

"Students are required to perform 75 hours of community service before graduation, and they can start as early as sixth grade," said Clyde Sterner, a guidance counselor at East Middle School in Westminster.

Mr. Sterner said that, while some students have gotten a head start on this particular graduation requirement, the learning brought about by student service should be a continuing aspect of high school education.

"We encourage students to perform 20 to 25 hours of service while they are in middle school. Since the idea of the service is to fTC give to the community on a regular basis, we expect that they will continue their service through high school," Mr. Sterner said.

Estelle Sanzenbacher, who coordinates the student service program for Carroll County public schools, said the achievement of this requirement will help teach students the importance of getting involved.

"This program is distinguished from volunteerism in that there is a learning component," Ms. Sanzenbacher said. "Students learn about citizenship, playing a part in their community and the importance of working together. Hopefully, they will apply what they have learned in school and in the community at large."

Mr. Sterner said that, while most students will earn 15 hours of service through their home economics curriculum in middle school, there are other sources from which hours can be tallied.

"Some of our kids are earning their hours in conjunction with an outside organization," Mr. Sterner said. "For example, doing an activity with a church group, the Scouts or 4-H.

"Some have even helped in the concession stands at Little League games. There are many things for the kids to do."

If you are a middle school student or a high school freshman and are in need of ideas for student service, check in your school's media center for the recently published "Resource Directory."

The directory, prepared by the county school system, lists agencies and organizations seeking assistance from students. It is also available at all Carroll County Public Library branches.

Once the service is performed, students must complete the student service form. It should be signed by the parent and the agency or organization leader for whom the service was performed. All forms must be returned to the student service coordinator at the school.

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It's not too early to start making plans for the third annual Westminster Flower and Jazz Festival, scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 7 in downtown Westminster.

Planning is under way for the festival, which will feature lots of greenery, food and jazz.

Five nurseries from Carroll County will supply bedding plants, shrubs, hanging baskets and gift baskets for shoppers to purchase.

In addition to nonstop jazz, roving musicians, jugglers and clowns will entertain festival goers throughout the day.

Indoor space measures 8 feet by 8 feet and is being sold on a first-come, first-served basis.

Outside space along East Main Street measures 10 feet by 10 feet. Both inside and outside space costs $20.

Crafts people interested in reserving a space should call: 848-6962 or 876-1313.

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If thoughts of your financial future create nagging questions with no comfortable answers, take time to check out "Managing Your Finances for a Lifetime."

This three-evening workshop starts from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. April 11 at the Extension Office in Westminster.

The workshop is sponsored by the Carroll County Extension Service and is designed to help employed people plan for their future.

To register, drop a card with your name, address and a daytime phone number and a check for $5 to the Carroll County Extension Service, 700 Agriculture Center, Westminster 21157.

Make checks payable to Carroll County EAC.

Information: 848-4611 or 875-2801.

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