The Puyallup School District is going to begin a program where students grades seven through 12 may earn a Varsity Letter in Volunteer Service.
Previously programs such as United Way have offered an opportunity to earn a varsity letter in community service. However, the community service project has to meet certain guidelines that are specific to United Way. The Puyallup School District is opening this opportunity to serve the community in any way students may choose. Whether this is volunteering at a local food bank, in youth sports, faith based organizations such as a local churches, or charitable organizations- the goal is to create a culture of service in Puyallup.
To earn the Puyallup School District Varsity Letter in Volunteer Service, students between grades seven through 12 would complete at least 150 hours of voluntary community service. Students would document their community service through pictures and video and upload their work as well as their hours onto the Learning Management System (LMS) Schoology. To complete the portfolio, students would write a 250 to 500 word reflection of their community service. The portfolio is then submitted and reviewed.
Two times a year, a special recognition for those students earning the Puyallup School District Varsity Letter in Volunteer Service a varsity letter in community service will be held. If a student completes 150 hours of service and Schoology portfolio within the first semester. That student would be eligible to earn another varsity letter in volunteer service the next semester. In fact students are able to earn two varsity letters in volunteer service every year from grades seven through 12. If a student was to do this they could potentially earn a dozen varsity letters in volunteer service throughout their secondary education.
Superintendent Dr. Yeomans expressed at the October 3 board meeting at Kalles Junior High, “Our whole goal as we look 18 years into the future is that children being born today, when they graduate from high school, will enter a community where a culture of service, as modeled by Communities In Schools, is the norm in our school district.”
This program is a win-win for both our students and our community as a whole. Employers and colleges often look for volunteer service when reading through applications. Participating in volunteer service can greatly benefit the student as well as the community.