11th Grade Community Service
Service learning can be explicitly characterized as an opportunity to jointly integrate meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, instill civic responsibility, and strengthen communities. Crystal incorporates this kind of service learning into its already comprehensive educational experience, as each grade annually participates in a collaborative day of service and reflection. The Junior class recently had its community service learning day two weeks ago. Several advisory groups headed to local senior centers, while the other groups headed to local children’s hospitals and support centers. My group spent the day at the Ronald McDonald House and Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital in Stanford.
Unfortunately, because I was recovering from a cold, I was not a part of the eight CSUS students who entered the sliding-double doors of the children’s hospital. The risks of contamination and infection were far too great to neglect, as the immune systems of the children receiving treatment are weaker and more susceptible. Visitors to the hospital led an arts and craft period for several of these children receiving treatment. Additionally, part of the experience involved learning about the different treatments Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital provides for: heart transplants, kidney transplants, cancer, etc. Although, only eight students from the group stepped foot into the hallways of the hospital, we all shared the same central experience, whether directly or indirectly. After all, the rest of my group visited the Ronald McDonald House that generously houses families of children receiving habitual treatment at the Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital. Regardless of the name, Ronald McDonald House is not primarily associated with McDonald’s, for the house its own sector in the whole Ronald McDonald House organization and relies mostly on volunteers and donations. Such a service may be extremely convenient and serviceable for these families, especially those families who have traveled across counties, states, or countries. Another part of the day was spent preparing care packages for the children in treatment and their siblings – stuff, seal, and sign. Through these packages we would show our understanding and hopefully alleviate the tension and stress of confinement in a hospital room. I was lucky to have met a resident child of the Ronald McDonald House, as we sat down for a short while and flipped through a picture book of animals. For me, meeting this little girl made the experience much more tangible, and such a touch of personal investment allowed for a more impactful day. Through exposure and involvements in these real adversarial environments, we may expand our social consciousness, our compassions, and our dedication to positively impact the world.