Setting up a school community achievement awards program

Setting up a school community achievement awards program

Across the country, and indeed across the globe, there are countless community programs in which students can make a difference in their own backyards or around the world. When schools choose to recognize and reward the efforts of students who are making a difference they become an active agent for change by raising the profile of community programs as well as edifying the merits of community volunteering.

Establishing an annual awards program that acknowledges and rewards the school supported and extracurricular achievements of its students is a positive way to both encourage participation in such programs and reward hard work. A community achievement rewards program would deliver several benefits to schools, their students and the wider community;

1. It would acknowledge and celebrate the efforts of students
2. It would raise the visibility of key community programs, and
3. It would place the school as a centre for doing community good

On top of this, a rewards program would build self-confidence in students who participate in the community, it would provide non-participant students with positive role models, and may in turn encourage and motivate new students to participate.

And establishing a rewards program need not be complex. Here is a suggested model for setting up a rewards program:

– The award finals could be held at the end of year awards at school
– The program could be launched at the start of the year to all students
– During the year teachers and students can nominate other students
– Awards could be handed out for a wide range of participation, including student representative council participation, the top seller for fundraising at school, book drives for other countries, environmental campaigning etc
– The P&C could fund the program outright or could subsidize the cost of running it through sponsorships from local businesses (e.g. the environmental award could be a prize donated by Jims Mowing)
– Students would then receive a Certificate for Community participation for their CV and career portfolio

Establishing a community achievement rewards program is a positive step for schools interested in developing the humanitarian skills of their students. It’s also a positive step that recognizes the efforts of students who are making a difference, encourages participation within the community, and sets a school apart as a positive element for change within the community.

Originally published 29 September, 2011

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