Why is there a Community Service Program?

Our country and our communities are committed to providing our young people with the opportunity to receive an education which will enable them to be productive and responsible citizens. One meaningful way students can learn about being responsible citizens is by serving their community.

National data strongly suggests that young people want challenging responsibilities through which they can shape their character, their values, and their commitment to society. They seek a sense of purpose, of inspiration, and of fruitful connections. Beginning a practice of regular community involvement at an early age helps develop lifetime habits of service. A sense of community is so central to who we are as people that many leaders regularly call upon our youth to make values such as citizenship and a sense of obligation to others a priority in their lives.

There are many benefits to volunteering for community service:

  • It can give you a sense of accomplishment.
  • It can help you explore career interests.
  • It can help you develop new skills.
  • It can introduce you to new people.
  • It can be fun.

The Community Service Program at CCHS began in the late 80 ’s as a way to provide a system for linking students with community needs. Just like academic courses of study, the structure put in place was intended to help introduce students to the wider world outside of school, and participation in the Community Service Program became a requirement for graduation, just like at many schools nationwide. The School Board and the CCHS Faculty and Administration continue to strongly support participation, and continue to assist students in the fulfillment of this requirement.

In addition to school support for the program, a group of CCHS parents, called 2Volunteer, was formed to facilitate the connection between the needs of the community and individual students. 2Volunteer solicits and maintains an active list of service needs on the web site.

What is the Community Service program at CCHS?

A student must complete a minimum of 40 hours of documented community service before graduation. Many students, however, choose to perform much more than the minimum requirement.  (You can view CCHS President's Service Award winners in the President's Volunteer Service Awards section.) The amount of community service a student chooses to perform is a matter of choice and circumstances. Factors such as time available, interests, commitment, academic work load, and other outside responsibilities should be weighed before deciding how much time can be devoted to community service. Summer can be a great time to work on volunteer projects, even the summer after 8th grade, before entering CCHS.

Community service can be performed during the school day, after school, evenings, weekends, and during the summer when more time is available. It can be done on a regular, ongoing basis for a specific period of time or as a project in which a number of hours is completed over a shorter, less fixed schedule.

One of the criteria for open campus privilege is completion of 30 hours of community service prior to senior year or completion of 10 hours of community service prior to junior year, or 20 hours before the second semester of junior year.

What is the definition of community service for the purpose of the school requirement and for the Presidential Volunteer Service Award?

There are many worthwhile community activities for young people, and the needs are great. Students are encouraged to become involved in whatever activity interests them, whether it is eligible for CCHS community service credit or not. The personal satisfaction and learning experiences that come with volunteer work are the same whether it is eligible or not. For the purposes of the CCHS Community Service graduation requirement and for applications for the Presidential Volunteer Service Award, the following guidelines must be met.

Eligible community service activity is:

  • Performed for no pay and
  • Completed under the direction of a non-profit agency, most often organized as a 501(c)(3) by the IRS, or with prior approval of the school administration, and
  • Beneficial to at least one other person and/or the larger community.

Eligible community service activity is not:

  • Associated with the teaching or promotion of any religion
  • Associated with social justice or other movements not organized as IRS 501(c)(3) organizations
  • Associated with fund raising for sports or politics
  • Something you are already doing for school credit, court or disciplinary action
  • Volunteer work for family, neighbors or friends, such as babysitting and yard work, unless under the direction of a non-profit organization

Examples of eligible Community Service:

  • In-school volunteering such as hours at the library, helping teachers or the administration with teaching or community related projects and Back to School night
  • Hours spent with a CCHS club, such as Interact or Youth in Philanthropy, actively performing a service to the community or organizing an event. The club advisor will determine eligible hours.
  • Tutoring and mentoring which is under the direction of a school representative
  • Volunteering at non-profit agencies outside of school such as a hospital, a library, a town public works department, Open Table, Drumlin Farm, Gaining Ground and museums
  • Volunteer activities with the elderly if done through a non-profit organization such as a Council on Aging or a non-profit nursing home
  • Unpaid coaching for most sports teams if they are non-profit, with tryouts open to all
  • Unpaid camp counseling is eligible (up to 12 hours per day) but that should include only hours spent actually working with children
  • Volunteer projects done in conjunction with out of school non-profit organizations such as Scouts, Rotary or Lions Club, Community Chest
  • Church-sponsored volunteering if you participate in projects to benefit a community (local, national, international) or in unpaid childcare. Worship service participation, training, or leadership is not eligible. For mission trips, students should report actual number of hours worked
  • Hours for work spent organizing a social justice walk organized by an IRS 501(c)(3) non-profit
  • Hours for direct participation in charity fundraisers and walks organized by IRS 501(c)(3) non-profits
  • Direct care of animals if done at a non-profit animal shelter

Examples of non-eligible Community Service:

  • Paid work at an organization even if it is a non-profit
  • Unpaid work at a for-profit dance studio, soccer camp, summer camp, etc.
  • Attending or marching in a social justice protest, whether or not it was organized by an IRS 501(c)(3) non-profit organization
  • Non-active participation, such as personal learning through a movie or class
  • Participation in any aspect of music, dance or drama productions, unless such volunteer work is pre-approved
  • Pep Band at football games is not eligible

If you have any questions regarding a particular volunteer activity, please contact Ms. Hammer or an Assistant Principal.

How is the service recorded for the purpose of this requirement?

Community Service hours are entered by students through their Aspen account. It is very important that students accurately report the supervisor's name and e-mail address or telephone number for verification purposes. The student will receive a confirmation email once hours are submitted, approved or denied.

How can I find out how many community service hours I have accumulated?

Students can see their community service hours in Aspen on their student detail page under the CCHS Community Service Hours tab. Parents can view the same information under their Aspen parent portal account.

What are the consequences of reporting false or misleading information?

You will be subject to the school rules and discipline procedures.

Can my teacher/supervisor enter my community service hours for me?

Only students are allowed to enter their hours into Aspen. All teachers and supervisors who have previously submitted lists to the school office should tell the student to enter their hours into Aspen.

How can I find out about specific community service opportunities?

CCHS and 2Volunteer together maintain an active and current database of agencies and their volunteer opportunities on the CCHS website.

Ongoing Opportunities: Allows you to search by category of interest, type of community service and location. These postings contain contact information, descriptions of volunteer work and access to the agency's web site (if available).

Upcoming Opportunities: Highlights those agencies that are currently requesting help for special events or because of a special need. This list changes as we receive new postings from the agencies.

In addition, students are strongly encouraged to employ their own talents, interests, and imaginations to create their own community service projects. Participating in or organizing a community service project alone, with friends, with a church group, or with a club, team, class, or other school organization is welcomed.

What is 2Volunteer and how can they help me?

CCHS is committed to a requirement of Community Service to help teach the value and importance of service to a larger community. We are a non-profit community based organization comprised of volunteers who work to support community service at CCHS. We at 2Volunteer hope to facilitate the best possible match between student and organization, affording the most meaningful experience for all involved. We also want to help encourage and reward those students who dedicate their time and energy to helping others.

2Volunteer can be contacted at 2Volunteer@concordps.org

What types of activities are eligible for community service hours?

Boy Scout and Girl Scout work? YES
Charity League work? YES
Court-ordered or Restorative Justice community service? NO
Taking care of a pet for out of town neighbors? NO
Taking care of a pet at non-profit organization location? YES
Workreation through Concord Recreation? YES
Pep Band participation at football games? NO
Pep Band participation at charity events? YES
An unpaid internship at a non-profit? YES
A paid internship at a non-profit? NO
An unpaid internship or volunteer work at a for-profit company? NO
Helping with the church service? NO
Taking care of kids during church service? YES
Working on my Senator’s election? YES
Car wash for the CCHS lacrosse team? NO
My Senior Service Project? NO
Helping a teacher in class for credit? NO
My mission trip? (hours working for non-profit only) YES
My Community Service Camp? (hours working for non-profit only) YES
My CIT experience at camp? (only a non-profit camp & you are not paid and only time actually spent working with kids) YES
Sport team management for the Town recreation league? YES
Sport team management or coaching for a for-profit camp? NO
Participating in a protest? NO
Participating in a walk-a-thon organized as a fundraiser by a 501(c)(3)? YES

If I just transferred into CCHS. How many hours of Community Service do I need?

10 hours for every year you are at CCHS
Sport team management or coaching for a for-profit camp? NO
Participating in a protest? NO
Participating in a walk-a-thon organized as a fundraiser by a 501(c)(3)? YES