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ahro0703's avatar

Do students have a responsibility to participate in community services?

Asked by ahro0703 (365points) August 13th, 2014

Community service includes donating money and canned goods. It also includes working for a charitable organization. It does not include work done by getting money. It should be able for students age 10 to 19 able to participate.

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21 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Everyone should give back to the community that takes care of them. Takers only reduce the community. But the big thing is that the community gives back. It’s a two way street when it’s at it’s best.
Excuse me. Welcome to fluther. Hope you enjoy it here, I know you’ve been here for a bit.

cookieman's avatar

No. It’s a choice. It’s an admirable choice and, ideally, we should all try to “give back” in some way — but it’s still a choice, not a responsibility.

livelaughlove21's avatar

Meh, maybe. I suppose it might teach them something about hard work for the good of someone or something other than themselves.

I once had to pick up trash on the side of the road for community service credit (I was part of the National Honor Society) in high school. It sucked and I didn’t even feel good about myself afterward. I guess I’m a “taker,” because screw that noise. I’m too broke to give away food or money, so there goes that…

Okay, that last part was a lie. I just choose not to.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@ahro0703 – what’s your idea – that we have to force people to do societally beneficial things? That sounds a lot like forced labor, even slavery. That is not the way we work in this country.

I have no problem with exposure to community service, but I have a huge problem with making it mandatory.

syz's avatar

Why students? Why not everyone?

syz's avatar

Now, if what you’re asking is if a student curriculum should include community service as part of a credit program, than I absolutely agree. Service organizations could have all kinds of tie-ins to current event classes, ethics classes, sociology classes, etc.

seekingwolf's avatar

I like charity but I don’t think anyone should be “forced” into doing it. If you force someone into doing it, they don’t usually gain anything meaningful from it. Sort of takes away from charity if you’re forcing someone to do it.

I’ve had to complete x amount of hours of community service when I was much younger as part of this youth program I was in (no, not juvenile/family court or anything like that, lol!) and I didn’t like it, mostly because it was required. I did what I had to do to get through it but I can’t say I learned anything or felt much of anything during that time.

I have since volunteered my time by my own choice and that felt good. But it was my choice.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I like the idea of it being part of a social studies course. It could be worth 5 – 10% 0f your grade.
The project could be something the student suggests or it could be something the community needs:, disaster readiness, first aide, clean up, etc.
Grade would be based upon participation, effort, enthusiasm, etc. I’m sure teachers already have a list.

By making it part of the grade students can choose not to participate but ones who do are rewarded.
It is also a great equalizer. Everyone does it, so everyone understands what others are going through.

Think how different the US would be if (like many other countries) 1 year of military service was mandatory.

By the way., I would not include selling crap for fundraising as community service. Kids learn very little from it. I’m guessing that the majority of product is either purchased by the parents or is sold at their place of business. Also, how much actually goes to the school.

dappled_leaves's avatar

It depends on whether they have anything to donate in the first place. As a graduate student, I am barely keeping my rent paid and food in my own fridge. I also have all of my time accounted for, and then some. What am I supposed to give?

This is not even taking into account that some of my income is in the form of student loans and government scholarships. Is it responsible for me to give that money to a third party of my own choosing? How would taxpayers feel about that?

jca's avatar

It’s lovely, is it an obligation? No more or less than anybody else, which means no. I would think a student first and foremost has to study, attend classes, and maybe work to support themselves.

Vincentt's avatar

My answer completely depends on the reason you’re singling out students here.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I guess I’m dating myself by calllng it Social Studies. That term went out of fashion 40–50 years ago.
I’d make it part of a Junior high Civics class. Maybe they can take a trip to the local DPW and learn about the equipment and facilities that keep their town running smoothly. They can see the snow plows and salt trucks, learn about dispatching, road maintenance, road clean up and repair, grass cutting, signage, etc. AND they can spend one hour walking along the road picking up trash. They would learn that someone has to pick up the trash that others toss out.

JLeslie's avatar


Some students are in need of charity themselves. I guess I can wrap my head around making it part of a class, but outside of school I would not support that sort of obligation.

Cupcake's avatar

It’s a high school graduation requirement in my school district.

cazzie's avatar

I’m going to blow your minds right now. I work at daycare and every year, in the Spring, we take the little ones for a walk around the outside of the daycare perimeter and we pick up garbage and even sort it if we can for recycling. We dedicate a whole week or so to teaching the little ones what is plastic (like a empty yoghurt tub) and what is paper and what is food waste (like a banana peel). They are out there, picking up garbage as young as 2 years old, with little gloves on. It is so cute and heart warming. It isn’t that productive, and we grown ups end up doing most of it, but the kids are there and some are more into it than others. The four year olds know what they’re doing and are quite helpful. These kids also go to old-folks homes and sing at Christmas and they know they are doing it to bring cheer to the people there. It is a beautiful thing to see.

JLeslie's avatar

@cazzie I love that. I love the idea of making it part of a recycling lesson.

When I was young my ballet class used to go to perform at an assisted living facility similar to the Christmas songs your children do.

What you wrote makes me realize that I was thinking in terms of older children, but somehow the younger ones I think is a lovely idea with no downside.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@cazzie – yes, that’s nice of you and for youngsters, I have no problem.

My issue is with the idea that you are required to do community service to get a grade in school.

cazzie's avatar

You can’t force kids to ‘volunteer’ to help out. That’s not volunteering, is it?

comebackkid's avatar

I am conflicted on this. On one hand, I think that it’s a good idea to require it, because it teaches some of the kids about doing things for the good of others; giving back to the community, helping those less fortunate, and whatnot. On the other hand, if you force them into it, some will not embrace it as others might, and instead they end up resenting the fact that they have to do this. I’m sort of on the fence, I guess?

JLeslie's avatar

I think the hope is that the kids learn the good feeling you can get from helping others. The selfish motive within altruism. I know altruism is basically defined as a selfless act, but there are philosophical arguments about the motives.

Misspegasister28's avatar

I think everyone should do something for the community at least once in their lives.

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