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Students learn to serve the community

Gabbie Plessner, Jenna Ayres and Diane Campbell (left to right) recently participated in a service learning class at Brandon-Evansville High School. The class allowed them to learn from hands-on volunteer opportunities, as well as use the skills and knowledge they already had. (Contributed photo)

A service learning class was offered at Brandon-Evansville High School this past winter. It provided a way for young people to learn and develop through active participation in service experiences and work to meet community needs.

This year, Jenna Ayres, Gabbie Plessner and Diane Campbell took this course. Students were given the opportunity to learn from volunteer projects and use the skills and knowledge they already had.

Most often, service learning projects fall into three categories: teaching others (students teach what they have learned); product or performance (results of students' efforts are presented to someone); address community needs/issues, (classroom learning is applied to provide a service or help to solve a concern in the school or community).

The beginning of the class involved the girls talking about what was right and wrong with the school and community.

The students asked themselves questions such as "what are we able to do," "what do we like to do," and "can we find ways to improve the problems we have identified?"

They then selected a project to focus on. Campbell headed a project to sew new curtains for the lunchroom in the Brandon school. Plessner and Ayres led a project for Someplace Safe in Alexandria, an organization that works with families in crisis. They delivered 22 blankets and 42 pillows.

The students are now exploring new avenues of volunteering. They are working to help the senior high math instructor and will begin working with the Brandon 1st grade.