Service learning is a challenge in today’s classroom. It can be too easy to raise funds or awareness for any of the hundreds of human and global issues impacting the world at any given time. In a Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) course students should develop plans of work to help address local and urgent community issues impacting the students.
During the first semester of 2015, JAG Nevada students at Pioneer High developed a plan to raise awareness of the upcoming winter. They would collect clothing to help Carson City’s local shelters and thrift stores to assist the area’s most vulnerable population — the homeless and less fortunate — in the winter.
Students called local shelters and secondhand donation centers to see where the need was to focus their efforts.
Jeremiah Beauford, a freshman in the JAG program, said, “It was good to call these places in the community that I had heard about and see exactly what clothing articles they needed for the upcoming winter season.”
He and the other students created a proposal document I, the JAG specialist, shared at a staff meeting to gather further support. The students even found research about the winter forecast and how it was going to be one for the books.
After the clothing drive proposal was presented and approved, students quickly went into their own closets to find clothing to donate.
“When Mrs. Rowbottom and the JAG students proposed such a project, I was touched,” said Jason Zona, principal. “Seeing our students think of others and volunteer their own time to the community was a selfless gesture. This is what Pioneer is all about, students work on their own goals of graduating on time, career and college ready, and they help others along the way.”
Thanks to the students and staff at Pioneer High, the JAG students were able to donate 230-plus items to Carson City Salvation Army.
The JAG students have many more projects they would like to see added or improved upon in our community, such as a student mentorship program and an expanded recycling program. We thank the support and encouragement Pioneer staff and students have given to our JAG service learning endeavors.
Mrs. Jourdan Rowbottom is a JAG specialist and teacher at Pioneer High School.