Inside Service Learning

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Jamie Kim, staff writer
Veronica Pahomova, staff writer
Sydney Tran, staff writer

Students see them in the hallways carrying boxes of cans and recyclables, wearing their maroon sweatshirts and harboring the joy that will soon be spread to the community. But who are these people that roam Beverly’s corridors? They are Service Learning.

Service Learning, a district-wide organization is, as stated on its website, “an instructional strategy where students learn academic content standards as they participate in organized service to the community that fosters civic responsibility.” Service Learning at the high school, offered as an elective, plans various volunteer activities throughout the year, yet many students are unaware of their impact– let alone the amount of hard work that takes place behind the scenes.

Much like any other leadership club, there are multiple positions in Service Learning. Alongside advisor Jamie Marrs, seniors Brooke Smith and Nicole Edalat take initiative to supervise and run the program.

“I’m the co-chair along with Nicole Edalat; we’re both the leaders of the class. Mrs. Marrs is obviously here to watch over us, to make sure we’re all doing the right thing, but we run the class,” Smith said.

Other Service Learning members also undertake different roles to make sure that the class runs smoothly.

“There are secretaries who are the scribes of the class. They type up everything. We have a plus/delta after every single event, which is the pros and cons of what was good and what was bad. They’re the ones who write all that out. Publicists promote Service Learning, try to get our events out there to the students.”

Service Learning continues to undergo an elaborate protocol for each event it completes in order to benefit others in the community.

“The first step that we do, even though we’ve been doing this for so many years, is to fill out a few forms and give them to Trish [Garcia] or ASB,” Smith said. “So, we have a check request, or any request form that we fill out that is money-wise, like for Albion Street right now, we need to get reimbursed for all the toys that we’re buying. We have to make an outline of who we want to contact and the deadlines we have to submit things by.”

Despite the structure of the program, the organized events and campaigns may go unnoticed. According to a poll distributed by Highlights, 36.4 percent of students are unaware of these efforts and the things that Service Learning contributes to the school.

Even without recognition by the student body, members of Service Learning still find the work they do to be rewarding and pride themselves on the outcomes that they influence. In helping the community, they indirectly boost their own well-being.

“I feel that finally, like the work that we’ve put in, is finally being shown. People who’ve worked so hard for their events, you see it all put together, so it’s really nice,” co-chair Nicole Edalat said.

Marrs also sees the growth of her students through the work they do.

“It makes me happy to see them find something they’re so passionate about,” Marrs said. “I really have them think about things they might want to do because service isn’t an obligation. If you’re doing something you really enjoy doing, it’s really rewarding…My role is that I want to make sure that I prepare them for the path ahead, instead of preparing the path for them. ”

 

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