Posted in Education

Getting Involved

So I just have to do at least one post about getting teens more involved in their education since that is what made me want to start this blog in the first place. Getting teens involved in things outside the classroom is actually a good way to keep them interested inside the classroom. In an article from Gear Up Iowa they mention that a teen who has extra curricular activities outside of school develop better stress and time management skills. Multiple studies have shown that students who are involved in extra curricular activities are more successful academically.

So your student has two left feet, can’t hold a ball, and hates yearbook. There are other options besides sports and clubs (although those are great!). How about volunteering? Dun dun duuuun. I know it sounds like work, well it is work. But volunteering in high school can help your student form a better idea of who they are, what they want to accomplish out of life and out of a career, and give them a sense of accomplishment from helping others.

Do Something! DoSomething.org is one of my favorite sites for teens to explore things to, well do. They have events, activities, and social campaigns for teens to join and a lot of them give the participants chances to win scholarships. Their projects range from providing free child care to a parent trying to earn their GED, to creating wearable art to promote eating organically, to creating post cards to help people quit smoking. Really a great site that updates regularly and always has a range of ideas to suite whatever talents or interests your teen has.

Then there’s always the traditional route of volunteering in your community. Don’t make it something that turns into a chore. Let you teen go to some of the places that allow volunteers; library, museums, nursing homes, civic centers, humane society, hospital, public television or radio companies, and other local nonprofits or government businesses. Let them see what the place is really like before they decide they want to spend the time and effort volunteering. Most places have a local database of businesses near you searching for volunteers.

If maybe your teen doesn’t want an ongoing commitment or is unsure of where or how to help, they can do fundraisers to help their favorite nonprofits. If they love animals, let them run a car wash to raise money for the humane society. If they love the library do a book drive for donations. There really is a PLETHORA of needs in our communities that teens can get involved in. It looks good on a future resume as well.

Just some ideas 🙂

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Author:

I am writer, librarian, teacher, mother, cartoon addict, doodler, and coffee/tea enthusiast.

6 thoughts on “Getting Involved

  1. I thought a certain amount of hours of volunteer work was required for graduating? That may only be in certain states, but if not it is definitely something that should be required. A sense of giving of time and talent just to better yourself or your community is something that teens need to acquire. Another aspect of life that should be required in high school, (although this is off the subject) is being able to balance a checkbook, and just basic economy in the real world type of things…

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  2. I definitely agree with getting teens more involved. I’d also add that aside from doing sports and volunteering, getting teens involved in the arts is highly beneficial as well. At-risk teens who are more prone to dropout tend to show increased motivation and have a sense of connectedness to their community when involved in something such as an art class or club, drama program, dance group, etc. It also provides a healthy outlet that encourages self-expression and can increase confidence. I should say that I am a drama (and English) teacher so of course I’m a bit biased, but I’m betting you’ll agree. I’ve also done some great volunteer projects with 6th-12th grade students, some of which were inspired by the book 29 Gifts and the 29-Day Giving Challenge.

    Thanks for this post! If you would ever like to do a guest post on my blog with different volunteer ideas or something like that, let me know. I run a teen advice blog so it would fit my audience and your passion. http://www.karabwilson.wordpress.com

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    1. As a writer and artist I definitely am biased about art education as well. I actually have some posts planned that are based on that! That’s why I think STEAM initiatives are starting to replace STEM. I read a lot about art therapy as well for behavioral problems and things like that and all the benefits it has on helping students concentrate, learn discipline, and gain a sense of accomplishment. I would love to guest write on your blog. I’ll check it out when I’m at a computer.

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      1. Yes, art education and art therapy are so beneficial too! Thanks for checking out my blog and I’m so glad you’re interested in doing a guest post. I look forward to hearing from you.

        Like

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