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55% of people between the age of 12 and 18 volunteer in the community (Corporation for National and Community Services). This number of students can be further increased with mandatory community service for high school graduation. Schools should require community service because it improves students academic scores, it encourages students to volunteer in the future, and it can increase the happiness of students. Community service should be required in schools because it improves students academic scores. A study titled “The Effects of Community Service on the Academic Performance of Students at a Massachusetts Middle School” by Pauline F. Camara, explains the beneficial impacts of community service on students academic performance.
The study found that students in the sixth grade who volunteered for community service had an average GPA of 3.70 whereas students who did not do community service had an average GPA of 3.18 (Camara). The evidence shows that students who volunteer for community service have an average GPA that is 0.52 points higher than those that do not participate in community service which is about half of a letter grade better.
Furthermore, the evidence shows that community service has a significant, positive effect on students grades. This is likely true because students who volunteer can apply skills from their service to their actual classes. For instance, if a student helped the community by building a fence then that student could apply what they learned about the perimeter of an area to their math class which would help them to succeed academically. The evidence is positive because it shows a significant correlation between a student’s grades and community service. A student’s grades might allow them to go to college and acquire a good job so they can continue to give back to the community.
Mandatory community service also encourages students to volunteer in the future. The study “The Impact of High School Mandatory Community Service Programs on Subsequent Volunteering and Civic Engagement” by Steven Donald Brown explains how mandatory community service in schools can encourage students to continue doing community service.
The research found that 51% students who were required to do community service continued to do it regularly for a year or more whereas only 43% of students who did voluntary community service continued for a year or more (Brown). This shows that having mandatory community service made students 8% more likely to continue volunteering than students who were not required to volunteer. The evidence shows a significant increase in the number of students who had mandatory community service that continue to volunteer regularly which demonstrates that mandatory community service encourages students to volunteer in the future. Students are likely more inclined to volunteer for a longer time if they had mandatory community service because it forces students to find community service which they may actually enjoy while still receiving credit for it whereas students who randomly volunteer may lose interest or have no reason to keep doing community service. This is important because it shows that having mandatory community service encourages students to continue volunteering in the community. Work in the community ultimately makes the world a better place.
Mandatory community service can improve the happiness of students. An article titled “Benefits of Community Service” by Western Connecticut State University discusses this increase in happiness. The article said that people that volunteered monthly were 7% more likely to report being very happy compared to those that did not volunteer and people, people that volunteered every two to four weeks had an increase in happiness of 12% and those who volunteered weekly had an increase of 16% (WCSU). This demonstrates that volunteering is beneficial to people’s happiness by a significant amount. The evidence shows that community service makes people report being happier and this study could also apply to students and increase their happiness as well. This is likely true because community service gives people the satisfaction of knowing that they helped people and made the community a better place which makes them feel better about themselves and ultimately raises their happiness. This is good because being happy increases people’s quality of life. Having a happier life could also further encourage people to do good things in the world and continue to make their community a better place. Making their community a better place could also help to make other people happier so that they also do good things in the community and ultimately make everyone have a better life.
This reinforces that schools should require mandatory community service because it improves students academic scores, it encourages students to volunteer in the future, and it can increase the happiness of students.
“Benefits of Community Service.” Community Engagement at WCSU, WCSU, www.wcsu.edu/community-engagement/benefits-of-volunteering.asp.Brown, Steven Donald.
“The Impact of High School Mandatory Community Service Programson Subsequent Volunteering and Civic Engagement.” Researchgate, Jan. 2007. www.researchgate.net/publication/253520018_The_Impact_of_High_School_Mandatory_Community_Service_Programs_on_Subsequent_Volunteering_and_Civic_Engagement.Camara, Pauline F.
“The Effects Of Community Service On The Academic Performance Of Students At A Massachusetts Middle School.” repository.library.northeastern.edu/files/neu:1166/fulltext.pdf.
“Youth Helping America: The Role of Social Institutions in Teen Volunteering.” National Service, www.nationalservice.gov/pdf/05_1130_LSA_YHA_SI_factsheet.pdf.
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