Shrewsbury students rise to 10,000 hour volunteering challenge
By Sue Wambolt, Contributing Writer
Shrewsbury – Students at Shrewsbury High School (SHS) take volunteering seriously. In an effort to encourage more involvement within the community, the Class of 2012 challenged their classmates to complete 4,000 hours of service learning prior to graduation – spawning the 10,000 hour service learning challenge.
The project, which immerses students in volunteer opportunities that promote both learning and community, challenges classes to complete 10,000 hours of service learning by the time they graduate. To this end, classes would complete 1,000 hours as freshman, 2,000 as sophomores, 3,000 hours as juniors and 4,000 as seniors. With classes averaging 400 students, each student would be asked to complete 2.5 hours in ninth grade, 5 hours in 10th grade, 7.5 hours in 11th grade and 10 hours in 12th grade.
“The purpose of this initiative is to get more kids involved with service learning and, at the same time, create a friendly completion between the classes,” Dawn Vigliatura, the community service learning coordinator, said.
While many volunteer opportunities are posted at the school, Vigliatura said, students often find their own ideas at places throughout the community such as soup kitchens, homeless shelters and child care establishments. The students, she said, all come away from the experience inspired.
“They will tell me things like, ‘I didn’t expect so many families to be living at the homeless shelter,’ or ‘It would be so much fun to work with little kids all the time.’ Some students have changed their minds about college plans after being exposed to something new,” Vigliatura said.
Students have volunteered for many community events as well: the Spirit of Shrewsbury, Turkey Trot for the Memory, St. Anne’s food pantry, St Mary’s Carnival and Lenten Dinner.
“As a way to allow more students to complete service learning hours,” Vigliatura said, “we have formed a whole school team to participate in the Shrewsbury Relay for Life which will take place on May 10 and 11 at Oak Middle School. The team meets every Tuesday after school and all students who participate will earn service learning hours. Currently there are about 35 students actively involved. We hope that the school-wide initiative will increase each year.”
Earning service learning hours has not been a problem for the Class of c015, which has already accumulated 2,560 hours this year – meeting their challenge goal.
Select students recently received awards for their service learning hours for the current school year:
Seniors: Reagan Bennet (113.5), Rana Dabbagh (99), Sachita Ganesa (81.5), Rajeshwari Jakkam (94), Sara Khedr (78), Amir Pourali (92), Sarah Quinn (96), Natalie Burchat (69), Jamie Collins (51), Katherine DeZutter (61), Maggie Lowe (63), Amanda Okaka (52), Arianna Scricco (61), Caitlin Seed (51), Filia Van Dessel (62), Christina Wu (59.5)
Juniors: Zubaer Aleem (132), Priyansh Bhatnagar (138), Kathy Bl (122), Nathaniel Kashdan (115), Dhanya Kumar (113), Rachel Sarnie (175), Dana Lobad (132), Mariah Boisvert (93), Shree Das (80), Sooyoung Jeong (85), Jenn McCoy (89), Anusha Saeed (84), Devon Michael (50.5), Nicholas Mroz (58.5), Lotem Native (63)
Sophomores: Suxin Chen (121), Madeline Cherniak (238), Chirag Ganesa (112), Carlos Garcia (314), Hayley Greenough (235.5), Nicola Barrett (90), Sahil Suresh (96), Emily Taylor (86), Joelle Jura (53), Jae Young Lee (52), Sonali Razdan (58), Nina Gonzalez (66)
Freshmen: Jessica Collins (86), Samson Engle (84), Ilakya Senthikumar (61.5), Amanda Welch (55), Wil Wright (70).
Members of the Service Learning Advisory Board include: Dawn Vigliatura – coordinator ; Jill Carter – faculty member; Judy O’Connor – faculty member; State Rep. Matt Beaton, R-Shrewsbury; Dr. Kimberlee Kusiak – community representative; Tracy Heller – parent representative; Seth Colcord – senior class representative; Peter Ambrose – senior class representative; Sarah Swanson – junior class representative; Rob Franger- junior class representative; Victoria Zaitsev – sophomore class representative; Sarath Mohan – sophomore class representative; Lauren Maranto – freshman class representative; Tatiana Karadimitriou – freshman class representative and Monica Bhakhri – Student Council representative.
Short URL: http://www.communityadvocate.com/?p=35548