Parent Magazine St. Johns May 2019 - Page 9

then, Dante has contributed numerous hours of service to his community. Just this past February, Dante began the month by volunteering to paint picnic tables at Duvall Homes, a nonprofit organization in Volusia County that provides services for people with special needs. He ended the month by preparing for a mission trip with classmates to the Dominican Republic. Volunteering comes in many forms and doesn’t necessarily require any travel. “I’ve always enjoyed helping others,” said Elizabeth Henry, a junior from DeLand High School. “I remember helping my teacher with Scholastic Book Fairs when I attended Woodward Avenue Elementary. I helped with the orders by handing out the books when they arrived.” Kandi Almanza, another junior at DeLand High School, has assisted various teachers over the years. This past year, she shadowed Dr. Stephanie Bryson at Countryside Animal Clinic in DeLand and today volunteers at her high school’s Preschool Program during her lunch hour. AWARENESS = ACTION = SUCCESS Most high schools require a minimum of 100 hours of community service by the time the student graduates, Elizabeth Henry at DeLand High School Inc. “Obtaining a good GPA is not sufficient to building while some colleges like to see 200-to-300 hours or a well-rounded human being,” added Benzo. more. In addition to high school test scores, community There are many opportunities for young children service hours can be a determining factor in college acceptance. Why is this? According to Forbes Magazine, students who have been active in their community are more likely to be active in school social life and contribute to a school’s mission. There are a host of community service activities kids of all ages can get involved in, and seeing elders get involved inspires children to do the same. In addition to meeting new friends and gaining new experiences, donating time to helping others creates a platform for to help their community. Have them collect a pile of books they’ve already read to donate to a school library. Encourage them to fill a bag of outgrown clothes and shoes to bring to a local drop box. Shop for nonperishable foods for a food bank. Making cookies for a homeless shelter or cards to send to Veterans or deployed U.S. Troops can be educational, fun and impactful – impactful on the recipient(s) of their service and on the child. As the nation grows, our future depends on developing more young community developing personally in a way self-serving tasks ambassadors. do not. Learn more about volunteer opportunities at Duvall Homes “Volunteering in one’s community builds character and by contacting (Resources: the social-emotional part of children that can’t fully develop in the classroom alone,” said Felicia Benzo, Reasons to Get Involved,; Service Projects for Kids, Founder/President of CATALYST Global Youth Initiatives, S T. J O H N S parent M A G A Z I N E | 9