Keep Volunteering Voluntary

By Kimberly Scanlan, Staff Writer

To graduate from Pompano Beach High School, students are required to have at least 40 hours of community service. This is done in an effort to promote lifelong service from the students. But recently studies have shown that schools that do not require volunteer work, but rather provide opportunities for students help their community, get a better response. The AASA states that the mandate promotes real life learning, but many students partake in activities that aren’t anything new, such as grading papers or cleaning. Wouldn’t it be better to implement more technical skills in the classroom, instead of expecting students to find volunteer jobs that would teach them skills needed in the workplace? Another point that is made by many is that once the volunteer work is mandated, its no longer volunteer work. The only thing that’s actually voluntary is what you do. The work becomes mandatory and students associate it with things they don’t enjoy doing. Once the work becomes a chore students are less likely to do it later in life. This may be why the schools that do not require it get a better response. The AASA has also acknowledged that the mandated community service could pose as an obstacle for students to complete traditional school work. That is a major issue seen at schools like PBHS where the workload is far above average. When students have to volunteer and complete massive amounts of school work, one is going to be pushed to the side. Either student will use the mandated work as a way to experience work they’re interested in and their grades will drop, or, they will end up doing volunteer jobs that require little effort and don’t expose them to real life situations. The truth of the matter is that volunteer work should be what it’s called, voluntary.

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