Community Service Spreads Online
Concord-Carlisle touts efficient way for students to log hours.
Students at Concord-Carlisle High School have a graduation requirement of 40 hours of community service. Through an online program, they can easily find, sign up for and complete the work on their own.
Ann Trudeau, board member of 2Volunteeronline, said the site has been operating since 2005. "It grew from the community," said Trudeau. "It's not new, but we want to make students and nonprofits aware of what it is."
She said by signing in, a student can be matched with an agency that needs volunteers for a specific event, or a longer commitment. All the forms are online, so the agency does not have to sign a sheet verifying the hours, nor does the student have to leaf through a notebook of opportunities. The volunteer assignments vary tremendously, she said, and a student can always find something to meet the requirement.
There are five people on the board of advisors, two students, Principal Peter Badalament and a teacher. There is a database of oppoortunities, Trudeau said. A coordinator helps find matches for the kids.
"Concord-Carlisle was the first school in Massachusetts to require community service to graduate," said Trudeau. The school has a long history of service built into the culture. She said it has a Facebook page and is advertised throughout the school.
"Students can search by community from home," she said. Sometimes the volunteers have assisted at nonprofit fundraisers as a one-time event, or undertaken an ongoing job.
The students can track their service as part of 2Volunteer Online. They can email with the organizations to make the connection.
Trudeau said President Obama is offering an award for 100 hours of service in 12 months. 2Volunteer Online can verify the service for the award. Ever since the president announced the Presidential Service Award, trudeau said the number of students using 2Volunteer Onine "more than doubled."
Juniors can leave campus for lunch if they amass community service hours.
"I've heard very little complaining," said Trudeau.
One popular site is HGRM in Acton, an agency that takes in furniture and other household goods for distribution to low income families.
"It empowers the kids, and takes the burden off the administration," said Trudeau.
The CCHS Parents Association funded a programmer to create the site.
"It's excellent," said Trudeau.