Community Service Requirements
All Laurel High School students are required to successfully complete 36 hours of community service during each school year. However, only 18 hours may be recorded for any one service project. This means each student will do two or more projects each year.
Community service activities are those performed to benefit at least one unrelated community member for which no payment is received.
Typically the service work will be under the auspices of a non-profit organization (see list below). Work to help a friend, family member, or neighbor will not qualify as community service without prior approval due to extenuating circumstances.
Service to benefit for-profit businesses may qualify on a very limited basis with prior approval and there must be extenuating circumstances as well as clear evidence the assistance provided is tied to the organization’s charitable activities. Approval may be requested via an interview with the Laurel Advisory Council.
Service to athletic teams, school-sponsored extra-curricular activities, or to a classroom teacher with daily clerical chores will not qualify for community service credit.
Community service involving cooperation with faith-based or political organizations may be approved; however, Laurel High School will not award credit for time spent directly involved in promoting religious/political doctrine, proselytizing, or worship. Students may request “Special Consideration Approval” of non-proselyte community service with faith-based or political groups subject to approval by the Laurel Advisory Council.
Community service for which a student receives academic credit as part of a separate course, or which is court-assigned, will not qualify for the Laurel High School graduation requirement.
There are many reasons why community service is a required part of the Laurel High School program. The key reason is to assist students in becoming confident, competent, passionate, involved, active citizens. Contributing to community service helps cultivates one’s skills, abilities, and vision to make our community a better place for all.
In order for community service hours to be registered and credit awarded, students must supply completed and signed hour logs and write a reflection essay of 1-2 pages in length; both to be kept in student portfolio.
Past Community Service
In the past, Laurel High School students have completed community service projects involving…
- American Red Cross blood drives
- Animal protection and animal welfare groups
- Art and cultural organizations
- Babysitting services during school events
- Child literacy programs including “Reading Buddies”
- Children and youth services groups
- Clothing drives
- Community beautification groups and garden clubs
- County park cleanups
- Food drive/distribution programs
- Habitat for Humanity
- Hawk Watch weekend
- Lions/Lioness Clubs
- Meals on Wheels programs
- Multi-cultural/diversity awareness events
- Nursing homes
- Peer tutoring
- Poverty Awareness Event
- Public library projects
- Roadside cleanup (Adopt-A-Highway)
- Rotary Club projects
- Teen Court
- Vernon Memorial Hospital volunteer
- Veterans organizations
- Viroqua Recreation Department volunteer
The above list is not all-inclusive. Students may create, with approval, a unique community service project of their own or one that involves another group not listed above. The criteria for approval of a unique project are the same as for any other.
Laurel has been recognized by Couleecap, Inc. and the La Crosse Tribune for their efforts in raising awareness and money for homelessness in the Coulee Region. Over the years, Laurel students have raised over $7,000 for Couleecap.
Laurel High School students receive one of Couleecap’s People Helping People Awards for their work on their Poverty Awareness project during the 2011-2012 school year. “Couleecap honors Laurel High School students with a 2012 People Helping People award. The students organized a poverty awareness project. The students slept outside in boxes to raise awareness and money for homelessness in our area. Also pictured, John Young, Couleecap Board Chair, Shelly Teadt, Couleecap staff, and Grace Jones, Couleecap Executive Director.” – Couleecap, Inc.
During the 2011-2012 school year, Laurel students took their Poverty Awareness project to a new level. Involvement of nearly the entire school in combination with participation by Viroqua High School students led to over $3,100 raised in donations for Couleecap.