Senior Government students complete community service projects

Senior Government students complete community service projects
Posted on 02/24/2015

Seniors at Bucyrus High School are learning about more than just how different aspects of government operate during Mr. Jason Nickler's senior Government classes. They are gaining real world experiences through community service projects, which Mr. Nickler required each of his 57 students to complete during the first semester of the 2014-15 school year.

Mr. Nickler's community service project requirement was not overwhelmingly time consuming, as each student needed only to complete 10 hours. Students volunteered their time throughout Bucyrus and Crawford County, helping at various nursing homes, the Bucyrus Public Library, the Salvation Army and the Humane Society serving Crawford County, just to name a few.

"Many students volunteered for initiatives through the Bucyrus City School District," Nickler said. "The two programs that received the most volunteer time were the Bucyrus Backpack Program and the Elementary School B.E.S.T. After-School program."

Nickler received many positive comments from the student volunteers, and the program coordinators were very appreciative of the students' service. Senior Taylor Bayless was one of the student volunteers who helped with the B.E.S.T. After-School Program.

"I helped students with math, multiplication and subtraction, and any other areas where they needed help to complete their homework," Bayless said. "It was a good experience for me because it opened opportunities for me to work and help in my community."

Senior Bonnie Welsh went outside the school district to complete her community service project requirement. She spent time volunteering with the Bucyrus United Methodist Church and Stop Hunger Now, a national organization working to end hunger.

"I helped pack 100,000 meals to send to a third world country through Stop Hunger Now, and helped pack lunches for the soup kitchen and packed bags of popcorn for Trunk-or-Treat at Bucyrus United Methodist Church," Welsh said. "I learned that everyone needs to help out in their community, and I will continue to do community service projects and help out those in need throughout my college career and the rest of my life."

The idea of requiring students to complete community service projects wasn’t something new for Mr. Nickler. He was a Key Club member while attending Bucyrus High School, and the community service projects he completed through that organization led him to serve as a tutor and mentor for elementary students in the Columbus City Schools for two years after college through the AmeriCorps program.

"I think it is important for teenagers to realize that they can give back and do things to help their community regardless of their age or economic standing; helping others doesn't have an age limit," Nickler said. "I hope the students realized there is more to being civically involved in their community beyond voting, and that being actively involved in the community doesn't have to be a big time commitment to be impactful."

"I applaud Mr. Nickler's senior Government students for taking the initiative to volunteer their time throughout our community and within the Bucyrus City School District," Superintendent Kevin Kimmel said. "I appreciate Mr. Nickler's willingness to incorporate positive, life-long principles in his curriculum to help our students grow into well-rounded, productive members of society."