Community Service

(Category: General JCSP)
This initiative is available to schools interested in engaging their JCSP students with a project that involves working in their local community. Schools would be asked to identify local groups that the could link with.Students, through brainstorming and discussion, would identify what kind of community service that they would see to be most valuable. Ideally, the activity would support, in some way, a group that is in their local community and the aim is to heighten awareness of the need to support others in our community, to practice the skills needed to offersupport to such groups and to facilitate the students to give back to their local area.
This new initiative sets out to challenge our students.They are more than willing to give a hand,to get involved, many eager for the chance to be involved. They enjoy being with their friends and so together they are asked to reflect on what are the needs of their loczal community, identify some aspect of the local area that could do with a hand. The teachers are asked to facilitate this reflection and support the plan of action.
The programme runs for a number of weeks before they evaluate the results of their work and it culminates with a JCSP celebration ceremony where all participants receive a certificate of participation. Those involved with groups such as Localise will receive an Active Citizenship Certificate. Such a programme is initially run over ten weeks and could act as a catalyst for further community work as groups may decide to continue working after the initial stage.
Some schools may choose to link with The Localise Community Service Learning Programme http://www.localise.ie which is a method of connecting classroom lessons with meaningful service to the community. The programme gives teachers and students a firsthand experience of learning through community service.It fits easily in a classroom setting and it enhances the teaching of JCSP,CSPE,SPHE,RE and Transition year.For example a group of first year secondary school students studying CSPE may visit and tidy their local elderly day care centre as part of their action project or they may decide to fundraise and make gift cards for local hospitals and charities. The programme benefits the school, the community and the students.