Community Service During a Pandemic
By Nadia Jackson
Given the current circumstances regarding coronavirus, it can be difficult for students to meet the community involvement hours required to graduate.
According to the 2019 - 2020 Centennial High School Course Description Guide, “a minimum of five clock hours of community involvement is required per school year each year a student is enrolled in Pueblo City Schools” for the classes of 2022 - 2024. The class of 2021 is required 20 clock hours per each respective year of enrollment.
The first semester of community involvement for the 2020 - 2021 school year is currently waived in Infinite Campus due to Covid-19 restrictions on gatherings, but there has been no formal announcement as to whether or not the next semester will be waived as well.
Even if these hours are waived, it can be immensely beneficial, both to students individually, and the community as a whole, to make a habit of volunteering.
If students are having trouble finding ways to get involved, it could be beneficial to consider joining one of Centennial’s clubs, such as Girl’s Cabinet, or larger community based organizations like the Boys and Girls Club, which focus heavily on serving the community.
Otherwise, students can consider writing letters to healthcare workers or elderly currently in nursing homes. These groups are especially isolated during these times, so letters expressing gratitude and positivity can make an immense impact.
Students should be in contact with any facility they are considering dropping off cards prior to writing, in order to ensure they meet that facility’s policies.
Also within the community, PAWS Animal Shelter in Pueblo is always accepting volunteers. Volunteers have the opportunity to assist with socializing animals, walking dogs, and preparing treats.
Students under 17 must be accompanied by a guardian. Volunteers must call the shelter ahead of time to schedule their visit and must wear a mask and social distance at all times.
Should students be uncomfortable with volunteering in-person, there are virtual tutoring positions available on sites such as TeensGive.org, in which high school students can be matched with students in need of homework help. Guardian discretion is advised before considering such positions.
Students’ community involvement can even be as simple as helping an elderly neighbor get groceries or providing them assistance with yard work.
So long as students are not earning money and can vouch for their hours with the signature of a nonfamilial activity organizer, they can participate in the in person or remote volunteering opportunities they feel most comfortable with.