With Earth Day being right around the corner, volunteering is a great way to engage your students actively in supporting their environment. Students benefit greatly from participating in community service; one study found that students engaged in volunteer activities and community service tended to perform better in reading, history, mathematics, and science with higher graduation rates. There are many sites to find great environmental volunteer activities in your area, and we have collected some of our favorites below.
- Help in a community garden.
- Start a toy drive to “reuse” gently worn toys.
- Pick up litter in around the school or in wildlife area.
- Adopt a town monument and keep it clean.
- Plant a vegetable garden and provide the produce to neighbors.
- Offer to do lawn work for the elderly or infirm in the community.
- Launch a community wide campaign to put all electronics on sleep mode before bedtime.
- Start a community garden.
- Organize a community hike to get people out in the sun and appreciating nature.
- Protect natural resources by volunteering for the National Park Service Youth Conservation Corps.
- Learn rehabbing skills while volunteering with Habitat for Humanity.
- Certify your backyard, even your apartment balcony, as a wildlife garden through the National Wildlife Federation.
These are just a few of the many ways in which students can get involved in their communities while making a difference. Margaret Mead said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." One small group of students can impact a community.