More Than 400 Graduates Earn Service-Learning Diploma

“If I didn’t help others, I would just not feel right,” says Tina Lugor, a Dudley High senior. Through her medical careers classes, Tina linked her class curriculum to the real world, volunteering at Kindred Hospital while earning hours toward her service-learning diploma.

With more than 350 service hours, Tina became one of 528 Guilford County Schools (GCS) graduates who earned the district’s service-learning diploma, offered for the first time to students in the Class of 2012 who have dedicated at least 175 hours of service. Students who earned the diploma will be denoted during graduation by a green service-learning cord.

Another 354 students earned the service-learning exemplary award, which this year required 75 hours of service-learning time.

Service-learning is part of the district’s character development initiative, which is included in GCS’ strategic plan – Achieving Educational Excellence. Service-learning intentionally links teaching and learning to meaningful action in the community.

The service-learning initiative kicked off in 2010 when GCS staff and students volunteered thousands of hours to build a Habitat for Humanity house from the ground up for a GCS family. Since that time, students in all grades have embraced the program.

Students begin to track their service-learning hours in high school, and this year, high school students contributed 164,606 hours, equaling a donation value of more than $3.5 million. Dudley High contributed more than 60,000 hours to that total.

Students who earned the diploma or award will be recognized during the district’s first Cool to Serve event on June 24 at 2 p.m. at High Point’s Showplace. The event, made possible through a donation from Businesses for Excellence in Education, rewards those students who have embraced GCS’ service-learning program. All students who earn the exemplary award and diploma will be invited to attend the event and win raffle prizes from Apple, but only those who earn the diploma will earn the opportunity to try to unlock the car and drive home in a brand-new 2012 Honda Civic LX from Vann York Auto Group.