Brookfield Board of Education has approved a recognition program for students who perform community service, and the township trustees are on board to help students achieve the necessary hours.
School Superintendent Toby Gibson said the program is one way the school district can build a relationship with the community by performing needed tasks, while fostering a mindset where students “get out and help people.”
This year’s seniors will have to perform 10 hours to be able to wear a community service cord at graduation with their caps and gowns, under the policy approved Sept. 18. Members of the Class of 2021 will have to perform 20 hours, and members of the Class of 2022 30 hours. For the Class of 2023 and beyond, they will have to perform 40 hours throughout their high school years.
promoGibson said he envisions holding “Community Service Saturdays,” in which the district provides a bus to take students, teachers and administrators to perform tasks such as raking leaves, picking up sticks, planting flowers and shoveling snow.
He enlisted the help of the trustees, figuring they know best the areas where work needs done. The trustees endorsed the initiative Sept. 10 and agreed to allow residents who are 65 or older or disabled to request work to be done on their properties. Call the township administrative office at 330-448-4500 to sign up.
The trustees said they also will ask members of the police and fire departments and the code enforcement officer to recommend residents who could use some help.
“Great things happen when you get people together, and you have enough volunteers that are willing to do it,” said Trustee Ron Haun. “It makes all the difference in the world. As the community continues to shrink, we need more of that. It’s important.”
Students can perform community service outside of “Community Service Saturdays,” as long as they can document their work, Gibson said.
“It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as they’re not getting paid for it,” he said.