The Heart of Community Service

Staff Writer, Caroline Glass

As a Christian school we find it very important to give students a chance to serve others while sharing the light of Christ in the community around them. Have you ever wondered why CCS has us take a community service class or the impact of it? We decided to interview Karen Smoak, Director of community service to find out why and the importance of having that type of class. Senior Adi Nease also shares her favorite aspects of it and the impact it made on her!

Adi Nease and her friends from The King School Pose for a Photo!

Caroline Glass continued to interview CCS' Community Service Organizer, Mrs. Smoak.

Why does CCS have students participate in a community service class?

​​​We have students serve so they can learn and experience giving without expecting anything in return. By having a community service class, CCS is also carrying out our mission statement when we have students do so. From the experience students are forever changed and greatly impacted. 

How did the idea of a service class come out? 

The idea was created by Mrs. Dodson and then she started the community service program. Mrs. Dodson's heart is service and she wanted students to have an opportunity to serve as well. She loved watching students serve and willingly give to others. Also as a school it was important to teach our students that mission work is important and can make a big impact on others. 

What do you think is the hardest part for students when they serve? Or is there even a difficult aspect about it?

There is definitely a difficult aspect about it. Some students aren't prepared to see life outside the CCS bubble and the hurt and pain of what's out in the world. Students also find it hard that it's not about them and learning to give themselves to others. 

Are the students allowed to choose where they would like to serve in the community?

The students can choose. We want the students to make the choice so they can like where they are serving. So they can even go back to a place they volunteered at before if they would like. 

How many times each week and for how long are students serving?

The class is a semester long and we block it with Bible. Mr. Monahan and I split the week up so community service and Bible are switched every day. The classes are an hour and a half every day. In Bible, we teach students about those beliefs and how important it is to serve others. Then, in community service class the students put what they learned into action! 

Caroline Glass continued to interview CCS Senior and Community Service Student Adi Nease.

What place are you serving at or have served at? 

This fall I served at The King School. 

How long have you been there? 

I was there from August until December. 

What is your favorite part about doing community service? And are you glad CCS gave you the chance to do so? 

My favorite thing about community service is the connections that were made with the people at my site. I was a teacher aid for the first grade class at the King's school and the relationships I built with the teacher, Mrs. Foster, and the kids are incredibly special. I am so grateful CCS makes community service a senior class because it puts young adults in real life situations. It allows us to go off campus and experience either jobs or passions that we might have in the future and develop a love for things outside of CCS.

What have you learned so far about yourself and others from your experience at the place you served at? 

I have learned that it's important to instil kindness into children at a young age. The kids at the King School are true examples of Christlike love and it's so important for young children to know that and show it to others. 

Has there been anything difficult during your community service?

The only difficult part was going to the school some days. I had community service 6th and 7th period and some days I honestly wanted to go home. 

How were you different before you did community service versus after? Or did you change? (or perspective change, etc.) 

My perspective has changed in the way I view kids’ intelligence and my own patience. Most people think of first graders as kids who can't add or subtract simple numbers. In reality the 10 first graders are so smart, not just in school, but in their short lives they have been exposed to so much and understand things far beyond what I did at that age. For myself I had to relearn patience in a whole new way. Not only did I have to sit there and help the kids with their math homework but I had to continuously help them with the same problems everyday. I had to learn how to give the kids grace when they messed up and be patient when they needed my help the most. 

Lastly, can you name a few things that have still stuck with you about the service experience? 

I loved playing restaurant with Princess and Mia during recess. 

I also will remember Jonathan giving me a hug everytime I came into the classroom.

I will also always treasure my drives to community service with my karaoke buddy Christina and how we would listen to Post Malone everyday.

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