The Ridgefield School District and the Ridgefield Schools Board of Directors is pleased to announce the implementation of a new program to recognize graduates who show a commitment to community service. Beginning with the class of 2022, graduates who complete a minimum number of community service hours will receive a diploma with a special “Community Service” seal to recognize those students who voluntarily donate time to worthwhile efforts in the community.
To qualify, students must complete at least 36 hours of community service for each year of high school. Because this program is new, the number of hours required to qualify for the honorary designation will be phased in. This means that seniors who graduate in 2022 must complete at least 36 hours, while the Class of 2023 must complete at least 72, the Class of 2024 108 hours, and the Class of 2025 and beyond will need to successfully complete at least 144 hours to earn the special designation at graduation.
“The Ridgefield School District Board of Directors is grateful to be part of a service-minded community with students who care deeply about making a difference,” said Joseph Vance, Ridgefield’s School Board President. “The Community Service seal program allows us to recognize and encourage their efforts, and honor those who have given of themselves for the betterment of the Ridgefield community.”
Volunteer hours will be tracked on an official “Community Service Log'' and verified by a supervising adult on all activities. Examples of qualifying community service activities include participation in any service project conducted by a service organization such as Scouts, 4-H, Key Club, church, etc.; participation in a community service event such as Walk-a-Thon, Jump Rope for Heart, or other fundraising events held for the good of the community; and personal projects which benefit a member of the community or the community at large such as helping an elderly or disabled person (not a relative) with household chores, visitation to a nursing home or other facility to perform services for a resident, volunteer work in a community institution (library, hospital, etc.), tutoring younger students on a regular basis, or similar projects to benefit others.
Some examples of activities that will not count towards the requirements include membership in a service organization without participating in service activities; participation in any activity for which an individual receives compensation; service as a teacher’s aide during school time; participation in political organizations or political campaigns; membership in the school band, choir, sports team, or drama production (these activities are highly encouraged for personal gain and experience, but do not qualify as community service); and court-ordered community service or school-ordered service.
While it is impossible to list all examples, it is generally understood that community service recognition is for participation in the community for the express purpose of helping others.
Students who successfully complete the required hours of service will be recognized at graduation and have the designated seal affixed to their diplomas.