The Student News Site of Hudson High School

The Explorer

The Student News Site of Hudson High School

The Explorer

The Student News Site of Hudson High School

The Explorer

A look into Service Learning

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Mia Dezelic
A quick selfie is snapped during outdoor recess with students of Mrs. Oleksiw’s 2nd grade class.

Nine months ago, the students of the 2022-2023 Service Learning class walked into their classroom for the first time, walking in and meeting their 4 teachers, Mrs. Vonville, Mrs. Amiet, Mr. Kosmin, and Mr. Bach. They walked down to an open seat, trying to find a few familiar faces to talk to. But then, they hear the lovely sound of Mr. Kosmin’s voice. And then, they look at the board and see a randomizer that sends them to brand new seats with people they don’t know as well. This is when these students realized they were in for an eventful year.

Service Learning is one of the senior-only class selections that combines English, Social Studies and community service into a 3 period-long year-round class. But this class isn’t open to anyone, as you have to submit an application and attend an interview before receiving a letter of acceptance. But once accepted, you enter a class you’ve never experienced before. 

Service Learning runs on a unique schedule, where students only attend actual classes in the high school 3 days a week. The other two days, Tuesday and Wednesday, are days when the students attend their assigned volunteer site. At these sites, students do different tasks, like cleaning facilities, teaching and assisting students, sorting donations, and visiting patients. For many, the site they attend can have a much different atmosphere than what they are used to. But these sites are where most kids learn valuable lessons and make an impact in the lives of others. Service Learning students spend their time at the site learning how to grow as a person, instead of being stuck behind a desk all day. And as our time slowly comes to an end, I started to reflect on the past year, and all the news knowledge I gained (like how Mrs. Amiet keeps Starburst in the bottom right-hand drawer of her desk.) 

Service Learning is a whirlwind class. When you first enter, you expect a very easy year, hardly any work, laid back classes. But no, that isn’t correct at all. Yes, Service Learning is easier than most classes, but you still have a good amount of work to do. The classes can be very intriguing, especially since Contemporary Issues tends to cover more current events that can help lots of us in the future. The class also can have some fun times, like when coloring pages appeared in Kosmin’s room for Halloween. Or the party we had prior to break for donating presents for the Boys and Girls Club.

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Since we spend three periods together, you grow to know your classmates quite well over the school year. And since the teachers love the art of randomly assigning partners, you might be stuck asking someone you’ve probably never seen before this year “What is your greatest weakness as a friend?” A bit awkward, but I can honestly say it does help you practice your ability to talk with anyone, not just your friends. You also use this random assignment to get groups or partners for various projects, which most of the time, works out quite well. 

Grace and I present our site project at ACCESS. (Mia Dezelic)

But the best part of Service Learning is, of course, the time you spend at site. You end up being assigned to two sites throughout the school year, one per semester. My first-semester site was at ACCESS Women’s Shelter, a women’s homeless shelter located in Akron. Some sites can actually have multiple Service Learning students assigned to it. So I had Grace Baldwin as my site partner at ACCESS. Melaine, our supervisor, was so nice and helpful. She always did her best to find something for us to do, even on days when not much could be done. One thing to add, at each site, you are assigned a site project, something you can do at site that helps them going forward. At ACCESS, Grace and I helped make the base plant to redesign their teen room. It took a while, but it was a great way for us to practice pitching ideas to others, something very useful in the workforce. Leaving ACCESS was a little sad, as we had really gotten to know the staff, and saying bye was tough. 

When the second semester rolled around, I found myself assigned to Mrs. Oleksiw’s 2nd grade classroom at Ellsworth Elementary. And I have loved every minute of it. These kids are some of the sweetest kids ever, always greeting me with a smile and hugs, always so full of energy. I have never left the class without a smile on my face. I mainly worked with the kids, helping them with any school work and  I even joined them for recess. And I even got to join them for a field trip. I also helped with different tasks around the classroom, like helping them get their Tower Garden ready, grading papers, helping with decorating the bulletin board, decorating their class door for Right to Read week, and more. Mrs. Oleksiw is also so incredibly sweet, always willing to talk to me and doing all she can to help. And while some days the energy they have can be a bit overpowering, it doesn’t change how much I love those kids and my site.   

And now, it’s almost time for me to say goodbye, not just to my last site, but also to the Service Learning class itself. This past year has been a lot different than the other 3 years I spent here at HHS, but it was a good change. I learned how to be more responsible for my actions, how to be a better listener, and how to be more mature, kind, empathetic, and considerate of all those around me. I will be forever thankful for the past 10 months. To the Service Learning Class of 2024, good luck. 

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About the Contributor
Mia Dezelic, Webmaster
Mia is a senior and is completing her third year as a member of The Explorer staff. She is excited to wrap up her final year on the staff with a group of incredible people. Her favorite article she's written is an editorial on the story of Lia Thomas and the impact it had on trans women in sports. Mia is a member of the Girls Swim and Dive team, NHS and is an officer for the Outdoor Society Club. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hiking and hanging out with friends and family. She enjoys listening to music, specifically Conan Gray and Harry Styles, but you might catch her listening to classical music while studying. After high school, she plans to attend college and major in government. She hopes to enter a job that has a focus on helping others and fixing this messed up world.
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