High School Community Involvement
In Ontario, all high school students attending public, private, independent and catholic schools are expected to complete 40 hours or more of community involvement work. The decision for this was made so that teens could display responsibility and contribute in various roles within their community.
There are a number of choices for community involvement. Not-for-profit or charity services are considered appropriate choices. In addition, many local businesses are available for students to become involved with in public or private settings.
Each school board has a list of acceptable involvement activities. Students under the age of 18 must have their parent’s permission to participate in a community activity. If a student is interested in an activity which is not on the board’s list, he or she must check with the principal to see if it is considered acceptable. The student must have a written note from the principal indicating their approval of this choice.
The hours may be completed in one setting or the student may choose to gain a number of experiences in a variety of settings. Some school boards encourage students to complete their 40 hours in grades nine and ten. Other boards recommend completing ten hours each year.
– the community hours are voluntary unpaid hours of work
– students do not earn a credit when the 40 hours are complete
– these hours are not part of the regular time spent in class
– each school board has a specific form which should be filled out by the student and signed by the supervisor of the community hours
– the form is returned to the high school to be signed by the principal and kept on file
– the hours must be finished before the student graduates
Examples of approved settings
– World Vision’s 30 Hour Famine (for this fundraiser 15 hours are approved for community involvement)
– helping in an office
– various capacities at a church (kids’ programs, DVBS, worship team, cleaning, gardening, raking, snow shoveling)
– assisting at various fundraisers for medical research for cancer, diabetes, heart and stroke etc.
– supporting a community race/run with set up, take down, water table, giving directions etc.
– helping the elderly or disabled by doing yard work, tidying, cleaning, computer skills, etc.
– offering an after school sports/activities program at an elementary school
– assist in sports team at your school
– tutor for a younger student or a peer
– animal shelter or humane society
Most communities will benefit from the hours which are volunteered. As a result of working on community hours, a student may discover new interests or perhaps a career path to follow after high school. A student may choose to continue volunteering after their hours are completed because of the role and responsibilities he or she has been given. Check with your own school board’s web site for suggestions on how to get involved!