Schools working to get students required community service hours

Published: Oct. 19, 2023 at 4:58 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Schools across Arkansas are still working to dot their i’s and cross its t’s regarding the LEARNS Act.

The LEARNS Act will require students, beginning as freshmen this year, to gain 75 hours of community service work before graduating.

School districts are now working on programs to ensure students can complete the required 75 hours.

In Cave City, High School Principal Mark Walling said in previous years, his students have been very active outside the classroom, which rings true this year.

“Our freshman has made cards for the residents of the nursing home. We delivered those and spent some time down there. They are also working on cards for the military,” Walling explained.

The principal said some students in every district may struggle to reach the 75-hour threshold.

“It will be a struggle for some kids. If we can organize through their freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior year and give them opportunities here on campus, we should be able to get our kids to it,” Walling explained.

Other schools don’t believe they’ll have an issue getting the hours.

“We go around campus and pick up the roadways and ditches and anything we find trash-wise. It’s been a really neat experience for them,” said Batesville Spanish Teacher Matt Wentz.

Both schools said they like the LEARNS Act initiative of students working in their communities.

“If we can impact one of our kids to want to do this in their life, it’s well worth it. I think the joys our kids get from it is really beneficial,” Head Football Coach Ryan Morrow added.

Students will be required to earn 15 work hours in their freshman year and 20 per year for the following three years.