To The Daily Sun,
Letter writer Ruth Dunnavan misses a very important point in her article regarding community service for students. This program, which is a part of many schools throughout the country, is to encourage volunteer activism in the community. This is neither a fee or tax program. These programs help instill increased self-esteem for these students as well as awareness of the communities they live in. There are many school agendas that have requirements that students need to graduate. This by far is one of the most important ones.
Fire companies and EMS programs are based on volunteer participation in many communities. Political activities are often volunteer based. Many government boards such as planning boards, zoning boards are often volunteer staffed. In the New Hampton and Bristol area, SUN or Stand Up Newfound is dedicated to helping those afflicted with substance addiction is run by volunteers.
Our country has long histories of many organizations staffed by volunteers. The Revolutionary War was almost totally volunteer. The Civil War had volunteers to fight in this period of time. The list is endless.
It is really essential to open the doors of volunteers to the students as part of their education. It is a learning process. In addition, one better appreciates the efforts that volunteers contribute to their communities.
Soup kitchens rely often on volunteers to help the homeless. Some students go among the homeless by setting up "sleep camps" in the streets to better understand the lot the homeless face.
This requirement of community service is an honorable way to help develop students and increase their awareness of what is in their community. It will also help them to be better informed citizens when they become eligible to vote, and pay taxes. In addition, students can choose the community service they wish to participate in.
Lastly, the internal rewards of self-esteem and personal satisfaction that comes from this experience is without limitations.
Robert T. Joseph, Jr.
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