People that volunteer to help others are truly everyday heroes. They do not seek recognition or rewards. They get involved in community service simply because they care about other people and want to make a difference in their small part of the globe. This is true of middle school students as well. Middle school students are exploring the world around them and are beginning to become more aware of the needs of others. Volunteering builds their self confidence as they discover that they are needed and that they can impact their world. Volunteering also is a great way for students to begin to see connections between the “real” world and what they learn in the classroom.
Volunteering is such an important part of young adolescent development that community service is actually a required component of our 8th grade civics course. Civics students learn about citizenship by actively practicing good citizenship. Recognizing that there are many more students in all grade levels who truly volunteer their time, we at Hidden Valley Middle School are starting a new program to celebrate the spirit of giving of these unsung or “hidden” heroes.
Students will be recognized as a Hidden Hero upon their completion of 30 hours or more of volunteer service within the school year. Students should keep a log of community service hours and have the log signed by a representative of the community organization on whose behalf the student worked. Students who turn in completed community service logs with the minimum number of hours will be recognized as a Hidden Hero and will receive an exclusive Hidden Hero t-shirt. Verification forms are due no later than May 1 of each year.