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Let me get this straight. (community service) Update in red.

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 WE spent a great afternoon (6 hours total) splitting wood for our church camp.  They have a LEEP (Lutheran Environmental Education Program) that includes a tour of a Straw house with a Masonary Heater which requires wood to be split a certain way.  We split a nice stack of wood for them and had the LEEP coordinator sign off on our community service for the day. 

When I was telling our evaluator about the service that we had done, she responded by telling me that since it was a church organization it is not truly community service. 

So what is community service, why is it required, and what does it do?

 

Update:  The homeschooling liason says that any community service meets the requirement.  She is going to speak to our evaluator because she hopes this is not going to make others of her homeschoolers to fight the rule.  She said that she fought to not add the rule, but the superintendent wants some kind of grant.  (LOL!!  Oh that just makes everything feel a little slimier.)  If he can show over a certain number of community service hours, he can get a state grant.

by on Oct. 5, 2013 at 6:15 PM
Replies (41-50):
bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Oct. 7, 2013 at 8:06 AM

 
It's one of the things that my local public school want to require above and beyond the state laws.  I hadn't planned on fighting it because I have already fought a few of their silly requirements.  I like the idea of doing community service, so I saw no big problem for us.  But in our county the teen mom shelter is run by a church, the soup kitchen has a scripture quote on the door and is called the Good Samaritan, the food banks (3) are all through churches, and there's the YMCA and YWCA.  I think my evaluator is being picky because I know a few of the public school kids that ring bells for the SA during the holidays, a few that volunteer to coach at the YMCA soccer league, and other church affiliated things and they are counted.  But these kids don't homeschool, so their grade-level chair accepts their hours.  I think the people here are overly concerned that homeschoolers are the very strict religious people and they assume some strange things that go with it. 

I personally would not volunteer for the government run organizations.  I am definately one who does not like or trust the government to do the right thing.  I know we disagree on that, but just as I wouldn't want anyone to tell you you have to volunteer at a church run organization, I do not want the school to tell me I need to volunteer at a Gov't run organization.  If that's the case, I will fight this rule.

Quoting celticdragon77:

Required for what?

I am in Pa and there is no requirement to do volunteer work, to homeschool. 

My kids help me do volunteer work with the local food banks/shelters, foster care systems (state and private ran ones), and a teen moms center. I am unable to understand the concept of doing it for any reason other than it is where I come from. 

Nowhere that I volunteer is religiously affiliated. I volunteer mainly through government ran programs related to the foster care system - or referred to places through them. 

 

bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Oct. 7, 2013 at 8:10 AM
1 mom liked this

 

Quoting doriselm:

All what my girls do with the church and serving the community is counted as community service. It is the only group I trust with my children, and they talk about the reasons for volunteering in ways my children understand. Most of the time I am right there, but not always. Sounds like what you experienced has to do with anything but God. So many groups are becoming anti God, that I find this very scary. Not saying everyone has to believe, although that would be nice, but people need to realize that whether volunteer jobs are with a church group or without, it is still volunteering and helping people in the community and should count.

 That last sentence right there is how I feel.  Why does it matter if the organization is a church group if they are alleviating hunger, cleaning up the community, helping people?  The office opens in 40 minutes, and I'll be calling as soon as it opens.

bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Oct. 7, 2013 at 8:15 AM

 Thank you!  :-)

Yeah, I do know the laws and this isn't in them, but I am getting a reputation for being a Pain in the Bottom!  LOL  So I thought, we volunteer anyway, so why not just go along with this one.  Our local PS requires everyone to do 32-50 hours of volunteer hours and the administrators extended it to elementary school and the homeschool community. 

Quoting celticdragon77:

I know she is in Pa (as am I) and I know Pa requires it for public school kids to graduate. However, they do not require it for homeschoolers. So I am assuming it is for something else... and curious wha it is. She is a smart woman so I trust she knows the laws. 

Quoting doriselm:

I think LA is one state that requires community service to graduate, but other states encourage it. For homeschooled children it is the same as far as I know. Reason being, to get into a college it always looks good when students have community service hours and in some cases they can count towards hours in a particular college class. So it's not a bad idea but thinking it should never be mandatory.

 

Quoting celticdragon77:

Required for what?

I am in Pa and there is no requirement to do volunteer work, to homeschool. 

My kids help me do volunteer work with the local food banks/shelters, foster care systems (state and private ran ones), and a teen moms center. I am unable to understand the concept of doing it for any reason other than it is where I come from. 

Nowhere that I volunteer is religiously affiliated. I volunteer mainly through government ran programs related to the foster care system - or referred to places through them. 

 

 


 

bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Oct. 7, 2013 at 8:22 AM

 

Quoting birthymom4:

*I* wouldn't count it.
A church maybe IN the community, but it is still a private organization that's for a certain group of people.


I had to do community service as a teen, I did 12 hours for a church. It wasn't counted because they are a "private community"...

Why do you have to do this?

 How is it a private organization for a certain group of people?  Each church in our area has a community meal, there are enough churches that participate that it comes out to about twice a year for each specific church.  The meal is free.  Anyone who needs to eat can come.  Not just someone religious, not just people from the congregation, anyone.  I know there are a few kids that this is really needed, their family is near starving.  So when they come through the line we slip them extra rolls, apples, whatever we can that they can carry away in their pockets.  So it makes no sense not to count it.

 

Our local school district made a policy that all of their students would do community service in order to move to the next grade level.  It worked very well when they put the policy in place for the high school, so they kept extending it.  At this point it is policy for all grade levels and the homeschoolers.  It's not in our state laws and I wasn't planning on fighting it because we do volunteer.

birthymom4
by on Oct. 7, 2013 at 8:56 AM
Quoting bluerooffarm:

 


Quoting birthymom4:*I* wouldn't count it.A church maybe IN the community, but it is still a private organization that's for a certain group of people.I had to do community service as a teen, I did 12 hours for a church. It wasn't counted because they are a "private community"... Why do you have to do this?


 How is it a private organization for a certain group of people?  Each church in our area has a community meal, there are enough churches that participate that it comes out to about twice a year for each specific church.  The meal is free.  Anyone who needs to eat can come.  Not just someone religious, not just people from the congregation, anyone.  I know there are a few kids that this is really needed, their family is near starving.  So when they come through the line we slip them extra rolls, apples, whatever we can that they can carry away in their pockets.  So it makes no sense not to count it.


 


Our local school district made a policy that all of their students would do community service in order to move to the next grade level.  It worked very well when they put the policy in place for the high school, so they kept extending it.  At this point it is policy for all grade levels and the homeschoolers.  It's not in our state laws and I wasn't planning on fighting it because we do volunteer.




I still disagree.

A church *IS* a private organization. Putting on a community meal should a couple times a year doesn't change that.
When that's not happening, what exactly does your church do for Jewish, Muslim or even atheists?
bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Oct. 7, 2013 at 9:15 AM

 

Quoting birthymom4:

Quoting bluerooffarm:

 


Quoting birthymom4:*I* wouldn't count it.A church maybe IN the community, but it is still a private organization that's for a certain group of people.I had to do community service as a teen, I did 12 hours for a church. It wasn't counted because they are a "private community"... Why do you have to do this?


 How is it a private organization for a certain group of people?  Each church in our area has a community meal, there are enough churches that participate that it comes out to about twice a year for each specific church.  The meal is free.  Anyone who needs to eat can come.  Not just someone religious, not just people from the congregation, anyone.  I know there are a few kids that this is really needed, their family is near starving.  So when they come through the line we slip them extra rolls, apples, whatever we can that they can carry away in their pockets.  So it makes no sense not to count it.


 


Our local school district made a policy that all of their students would do community service in order to move to the next grade level.  It worked very well when they put the policy in place for the high school, so they kept extending it.  At this point it is policy for all grade levels and the homeschoolers.  It's not in our state laws and I wasn't planning on fighting it because we do volunteer.




I still disagree.

A church *IS* a private organization. Putting on a community meal should a couple times a year doesn't change that.
When that's not happening, what exactly does your church do for Jewish, Muslim or even atheists?

 Our church gives blankets for the teen mom house, we supply food for the local food banks, we take a day to clean and rake the local playground, we have a "difficult to recycle" drop off every third Saturday of the month, we take groceries to local shut-ins every week all winter long, we have a community garden and bag up produce for needy families and rent plots for anyone who wants one(you can get your plot for free if you work the plots for needy families once a week), we have a pavillion that anyone can use,  we have adopted a family that we buy gifts for each month (back to school, cleaning supplies, etc) while they are laid off (we have changed families each time the new one gets a job and we have helped out regardless of faith), We buy phones and phone cards for the battered women's shelter.  

There is a college student who lives in the house we split wood for, he is putting himself through college.  He is an agnostic.  He's going to be a neurologist.  He gives tours of the house (it is strawbale, with a masonary heater which only uses 2-3 cords of wood each winter, it has a large organic garden, a composting toilet, etc) to teach contractors and other people what they can do to reduce their carbon footprint.  He lives in the house with his life partner.

I could go on, but you've said in another post you are an atheist, so I am really feeling that this might be a prejudice on your part and no matter how many things I list that we do regardless of the faith of the recipient, it may not be enough.

TJandKarasMom
by Debbie on Oct. 7, 2013 at 9:32 AM
I haven't read all the replies, but I have a problem with mandatory community service anyway (unless its for a judicial punishment of some sort). But to mandate volunteerism? It's an oxy moron. Mandating it no longer makes it true volunteer work. I do believe we should encourage people to volunteer and offer services that they can, but I don't think we should mandate it. Our local high schools mandate it as a graduation requirement, and while I do think it should be encouraged I don't think it helps to force it. I think a teacher (or parent in our case) could offer some incentive (extra credit) but I don't think it should be a requirement to graduate from public school.

To answer your question though, I don't see how offering services to a church is not community service. It's providing service to a non profit, and in turn helps the community...which equals community service.
bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Oct. 7, 2013 at 9:38 AM

 

Quoting TJandKarasMom:

I haven't read all the replies, but I have a problem with mandatory community service anyway (unless its for a judicial punishment of some sort). But to mandate volunteerism? It's an oxy moron. Mandating it no longer makes it true volunteer work. I do believe we should encourage people to volunteer and offer services that they can, but I don't think we should mandate it. Our local high schools mandate it as a graduation requirement, and while I do think it should be encouraged I don't think it helps to force it. I think a teacher (or parent in our case) could offer some incentive (extra credit) but I don't think it should be a requirement to graduate from public school.

To answer your question though, I don't see how offering services to a church is not community service. It's providing service to a non profit, and in turn helps the community...which equals community service.

 You make a really good point.  I wonder if that is why they changed the term from volunteer work to community service for just that reason.  It would no longer be voluntary.  Our local PS mandates community service hours for each grade level.  If you want to move to the next level you need so many hours.

bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Oct. 7, 2013 at 9:45 AM

 Bump for the update.

TJandKarasMom
by Debbie on Oct. 7, 2013 at 9:50 AM
It just doesn't make sense to me to force it.

When I was in elementary school, we went out on Earth Day and cleaned up the neighborhood or school yard, we split up by classes and it was like a field trip, picking up trash or pulling weeds from the flower beds, etc.

In high school we did something similar in one of our classes, it was a requirement for the class but not to graduate, we all went out in sections of the city and picked up trash.

My kids did it in ps, a day a year where they went outside and cleaned up around the school and playground. They also did things like chose a needy school each year and collected books to build their library (the last one was in PA actually). And each winter they collected warm pjs to donate to needy children. They also collected school supplies for schools in need, and of course the can drive competition between all the schools in our town in the fall. But this was all optional, as many families even in our well off town can't afford extras.

That all makes sense to me. Encouraging community service, teaching kids to be giving and to help those in need. But to mandate it, outside of school, just seems counterproductive. I think many kids will not choose to volunteer in the future, they will think they've already done their part. I think encouraging things makes so much more sense than forcing.


Quoting bluerooffarm:

 


Quoting TJandKarasMom:

I haven't read all the replies, but I have a problem with mandatory community service anyway (unless its for a judicial punishment of some sort). But to mandate volunteerism? It's an oxy moron. Mandating it no longer makes it true volunteer work. I do believe we should encourage people to volunteer and offer services that they can, but I don't think we should mandate it. Our local high schools mandate it as a graduation requirement, and while I do think it should be encouraged I don't think it helps to force it. I think a teacher (or parent in our case) could offer some incentive (extra credit) but I don't think it should be a requirement to graduate from public school.

To answer your question though, I don't see how offering services to a church is not community service. It's providing service to a non profit, and in turn helps the community...which equals community service.

 You make a really good point.  I wonder if that is why they changed the term from volunteer work to community service for just that reason.  It would no longer be voluntary.  Our local PS mandates community service hours for each grade level.  If you want to move to the next level you need so many hours.


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