Community service during a pandemic

Traditionally, students must complete a minimum of 15 hours for their government class in order to graduate.
In addition, students can complete 40 hours of service to get the Service Learning Hours Cord or 50 hours to apply for a Civics Seal on their diploma when they graduate.

However, COVID-19 has made it difficult to require this, imposing the risk of spreading the virus.

“It’s kind of hard to require community service this year,” sophomore Correne Bellem said. “That implies that we would be outside of our house and interacting with people that we don’t know.”

The risk of the virus has caused AHS to not require students to complete service learning in the community as of right now.

“Our focus remains on virtual lessons and supporting our Curriculum Teams in their development of meaningful learning experiences with high level tasks and learning targets,” history teacher Meg Anderson said.

However, there are some opportunities for students to volunteer virtually.

“Your community has a lot to do with who you are as a person,” Bellem said. “Being able to give back is a really valuable thing to be able to experience.”

Opportunities may be limited, but there is always somewhere you can help. Visit the AHS Service Learning page to learn about virtual volunteer opportunities in Fairfax County.