Schools are defined by the faculty they keep and the activities they make the students indulge in.
Recently, there has been a raise in the community related activities because the benefit achieved is mutual. It is good grooming for students who are growing up. It teaches them to care a little more about the context they live in and to step up and take responsibility for it.
On the other hand, it saves the government a lot of money, which would otherwise have been spent on little things. If people take responsibility of their surroundings instead of relying on others for it, they would never complain about the environment they thrive in and this is something students need to pick up on from an early age.
Maybe it is for the betterment for all that instead of having dodge ball, soccer or other sports inside the school premises, they leave students to cater to those physical activities on their own.
There is a school which is replacing the traditional activities for yard work. A living example is that of the Alternative Learning Center (ALC) in Dubuque, Iowa. They are only capable of getting their graduation certificate once they provide services to the elderly people of the society or those with disabilities with their landscaping needs. The best part about this is, those whose lawns are being mowed are not the only ones to benefit from it. The school provides another choice to the younger students and for the senior high school students who fail to provide these services.
Such students have been excluded from programs because of their inability when it comes to a certain skill set which puts them at a risk of dropping out. At ALC, they can put their mind to project-based and independent learning opportunities, which are specifically made for them to continue their way on to graduation.
The landscaping program has proved to be absolutely beneficial for all the stakeholders involved.
The students and the community both have gained something. According to Tim Hitzler, a teacher at the school, “The students aren’t typically too excited at the beginning but, once they get involved and start doing the yard work, they become more motivated. What they really like is helping people. They really like giving back to people and meeting the person.”
This changing of standard is something every country should consider when they are looking to groom the students and the surroundings both. Even though some students in other universities and colleges have earned PE credits by extracurricular activities, such as athletics and marching band, the Alternative Learning Center is using yard work as a teacher of valuable ethical skill sets for its students. This involves cleaning off leaves, taking out weeds, trimming grass and any other work which may need some extra hand.
This is something for other universities to follow up on and learn from so they can reap similar benefits in their areas.