Giving back to society matters too

Giving back to society matters too

lessons for life

Giving back to society matters too

A  single act of kindness can make a great difference. And what if acts of kindness are being taught to students at an early age? Not only has the pattern of education changed over time, but schools have also gone beyond the rote learning system and have introduced various ways of imparting knowledge to students to ensure their holistic growth. One such way of encouraging kindness, compassion, gratitude and sharing among students is through community service.

Volunteering bestows students the opportunity to practice and develop social skills. It also encourages students to build worthy associations from a young age by allowing them to connect with their community and make it a better place to live in.

Service projects that are available for students locally, nationally and even internationally, strengthen their ties with the community. Such projects also broaden their support network and connect them to people with common interests.

Of late, many schools are encouraging students to participate dynamically in a variety of community service activities. These activities may be carried out within the school, outside the campus or in the neighbouring areas. For example, clubs are introduced in the schools to promote proper waste management practices by following the concepts of reduce, reuse and recycle.

On a broader aspect, community service in schools entail many benefits for a student. Some benefits include:

Exposure to diversity and multiculturalism: An emphasis on community service towards multiculturalism and diversity can aid students develop positive socialisation behaviours.
As a result, one gets to learn more about their own culture and that of others as well in a positive manner. Additionally, due to a better understanding and appreciation, students are able to live amicably in a multicultural society like ours.

Overall growth: Community service helps release stress, anger and anxiety amongst students. By serving the underprivileged section of the society, it enhances understanding, compassion, care and instills a sense of purpose among students.
Due to this, it can bring a positive change in a student’s life and career.

Building relationships with peers, adults and activists: It gives a student an opportunity to create new relationships with people and strengthen the ties of existing relationships. The bond develops on a common mission, which is to ‘give back to the society’. It is also a platform to meet new people, broaden the support network and connect with like-minded people.

Helps identify career path: If students are considering to do a non-traditional career, then community service can help them by getting them experience in their area of interest. It also gives them an opportunity to meet people working in the field that they are interested in. Additionally, it instills self-confidence, responsibility,  sense of accomplishment and a positive view about life in students, and helps them identify their future goals.

A group of researchers recently analysed data from the National Education Longitudinal Study and evaluated that students who are more civically engaged tend to perform better in academics. They also found that community service enhances students’ leadership qualities, communication skills, ability to work in a team, problem-solving skills and enables them to plan more effectively. Community service also instills a sense of responsibility.  With a growing sense of ownership and enthusiasm to contribute to the social welfare, students will learn how to utilise their education to build a better society.

(The author is with Canadian International School,Bengaluru)

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