The Benefits of Community Service

The Benefits of Community Service

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A typical school day for many University students consists of sitting in a classroom and listening to a lecture. While there is great value in this style of learning, my community service work has taught me the many benefits of learning not only from professors, but also from fellow classmates, partners in the community, and individuals at volunteer sites, regardless of their age or educational background. It has also taught me to be an active member of our community and to share the burdens and responsibilities that goes along with that role — caring about the living conditions of others.

I am very interested in literacy so I chose to volunteer at the Literacy Center and work with 11- to 16-year-old students after school. On my second visit to the center, I ate dinner with a 14-year-old boy and asked him how his day had gone. He said he didn’t like his reading class, and I asked him why. He replied, “I read at a third-grade level.” I was extremely shocked and didn’t know how to respond. After a minute of silence, he asked me if I knew about the Spanish_America War. I told him that I had just learned about it last semester in my college history class. He said he had to write a paper on it and asked if I could review what he’d written. I was amazed; a 14-year-old student was writing a paper about a piece of history I hadn’t even known existed until I was nineteen.

This discussion gave me a new perspective on the concept of literacy. I learned that when considering what literacy means, it’s important to consider not only an individual’s ability to read and write, but also his or her total cache of knowledge.

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The Benefits of Community Service Essay

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The experience I gain while performing my community service work helps me to think critically about what I am learning at college. I am more engaged because I have fresh, real-world insight into our topics of discussion. I do not wish to degrade the value of lectures, but the out-of-classroom component has helped me apply what I’m learning in the classroom to the real-world in real-time.
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