Civic engagement and student involvement
Recipetips’ study found that students regularly listen to public officials and celebrate and support their success.
One more part of the amazing world of public affairs: Civic engagement. The poll shows how civic engagement directly benefits our schools. What is it? Well, most people refer to it as volunteerism.
There is a lot of emphasis today on connecting and getting people involved, but how do we do it right? Civic engagement is positive volunteering. Volunteering takes place daily but also involves long-term volunteering. Public service and the sharing of resources help students see their capacities to make change.
The poll shows that the students want to volunteer, but not all are aware of community based opportunities available. A majority of students view their school as their closest opportunity to volunteer, but only 25% are aware of community-based volunteer opportunities.
So, what could be done to get more students involved in community and local organizations?
Students are responding to the need for volunteerism in our schools. A 2012 BIPP survey confirmed this and showed that the “Public Trust in Public Schools: Views of Inequality in California” was only slightly negative at 6%, indicating that most students trust our schools. As these positive feelings continue, students want to learn about volunteer opportunities for themselves, but don’t know how.
Organizations that engage with students, students, families, and staff can create relationships and trust within the community. When a nonprofit has effective relations with students, family members, staff and the community as a whole, students feel free to take part in these opportunities. The VIA success model of engaging students with local community and elected officials is a significant part of the VIA Life Vision program.
For students who are unaware of community based opportunities, there are good opportunities available. One such opportunity is the Youth Service Bureau of Alameda, Alameda County’s Premier nonprofit organization committed to increasing civic engagement among youth and adolescents, including teens in Alameda County. By creating a safe place for people of all ages to give back to their community, the Youth Service Bureau of Alameda, Alameda County provides programs that teach students the importance of addressing social, economic, environmental, and political issues in Alameda County. VIA’s work in Alameda is an example of positive volunteering at its best.