Students get school credit assisting less fortunate
Safespace is a nonprofit organization that specializes in helping abused spouses and hildren. The Service Learning class of Sevier County High School sends two students to the facility every day to help organize and collect items needed.
The two students who volunteer their time at the agency are Jannie Jackson and Alana Spears. These senior women took the class in an effort to give something back to the community from which they live. Everyday the students trek over to Safespace as part of their class participation grade. Some of their responsibilities include distributing brochures, setting up a cell phone drive and collecting the used phones as well as fun projects like updating an organization scrapbook.
Due to the strict confidentiality regulations, the students are not allowed to interact with the clients of the facility, but their assistance is greatly appreciated. “This was a great way to teach students how to be productive as well as instruct them in some valuable information,” stated Van Helton, executive director for the agency. “We were glad to have the help and the girls did a wonderful job.”
Jackson, who plans on becoming a middle school teacher upon completion of school, commented that she had seen articles and literature on Safespace but wasn’t too familiar with what exactly the establishment offered. “I have become more aware of my environment and feel it was a worthwhile effort,” she stated. “I enjoyed working with the staff and will continue some sort of volunteer work even after the semester ends.”
The course objectives were to promote awareness of the need for volunteers and to display attitudes, habits and values becoming to a volunteer. Students were also asked to articulate their personal values and ethical principles, which, according to all the agencies that utilized volunteers from this course, was a very positive experience. Jane Bishop, instructor for the class hopes that next semester will prove just as productive and eventually other schools in the county will offer such a valuable course.