New class will highlight service

Published 10:11 pm Monday, December 14, 2009

Lakeland students will want to enroll early.

Last week the Suffolk School Board voted to approve a “Service Learning” elective course for the students of Lakeland High School.

The class is aimed at “develop[ing] an appreciation of the concept of service to the community and to develop skills necessary to evaluate the impact of service to others,” said Lynn Cross, aAssistant sSuperintendent of special projects for Suffolk Public Schools and Special Projects. .

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The class will begin as a pilot program in September of 2010.

“It’s an idea we’ve talked about for several years,” Cross said. “Dr. Liverman is interested in giving our students experience for citizenship and life beyond high school. […] It’s a wonderful way to bridge character education and what they’ve learned in academics.”

Students will complete 70 hours of community service outside the classroom, plan individual and group programs, work in groups to problem solve, and work with community leaders. They will also keep a log of their experiences and reflections.

Cross said she hopes the class teaches students to use their academic skills in a work-based setting.

“The teamwork skills they will develop are very much valued in the work force today. In today’s society, you’ve got to have those skills,” she said.

Fifteen to 28 students will have the opportunity to enroll in the class which will be piloted at Lakeland High School beginning next September 2010. While the teacher of the class has not yet been decidedchosen, Cross said no new personnel will need to be hired.

“The class will be taught by a high school teacher who will teach it as an additional block,” she said.

The course is part of the School Board’s goal to “implement programs which encourage higher achievement for all students.”