Student Service Learning Commitment
Being a WJHS SMALL Giant means giving a little time…and making a BIG DIFFERENCE!
The Student Service Learning Commitment (SSLC) is a graduation requirement for all students earning a Westmont Junior High School diploma at the graduation ceremony. Students perform this community service with an approved not-for-profit organization, and must include the phases of preparation, action and reflection.
Students at WJHS are required to earn:
- 9 SSLC hours by the first school day of the 2nd week of May of their 6th grade year.
- 12 SSLC hours by the first school day of the 2nd week of May of their 7th grade year.
- 15 SSLC hours by the first school day of the 2nd full week of March of their 8th grade year, or a total of 36 hours over the course of their 3 years at WJHS.
Credit for Student Service Learning Commitment can be earned starting the summer after Grade 5 and must be completed by junior high school graduation. Students may earn SSLC hours in the following ways:
Active membership in approved school clubs; Early Act, SMART Service, Seeds of Hope/Sprouting Seeds, Outdoor Environmental Science, Recycling, Student Council. Other clubs may be eligible for SSLC hours after administrative approval is given.
Students will have opportunities inside and outside of school to fulfill this commitment.
NEW SSLC ACTIVITY LOGS
For more about SSLC, click on the links below of the description:
Student Service Learning Commitment List
This list will grow as our relationships locally, statewide, nationally, and globally grow. If you have a question about a service opportunity that is not on this list, check the link above "SSLC Program Description" or call/email the office.
- St. Balderick's Foundation- 1 hour will be awarded for 5 or more donations. An additional hour is awarded for being at the event and having head shaved. Any student that collects over $250 in donations will be given and additional hour.
- People’s Resource Center - MUST SIGN WAIVER - WAIVER FORM. Students 12 years old and younger must be accompanied by an adult.
- Westmont Park District - P: 630.963.5252
- Forest Preserve District of DuPage County
- West Suburban Humane Society
- DuPage Senior Citizens "Chore Days" - Volunteers are needed the first three weekends in May and November to help seniors clean up their yards.
- The County of DuPage - Volunteer Opportunities
- Operation Gratitude "Saying Thank You to All That Serve"
- Giving DuPage - A fantastic new website connecting DuPage County residents to volunteer opportunities:
Frequently Asked Questions:
Student Service Learning Commitment Questions
If I help with the little kid classes at my dance studio and do not get paid, can I count those hours? The short answer is "probably not." All service completed, that go towards fulfilling the SSLC requirement, must be done for a non-for-profit organization. If a dance studio, athletic team, or other extra-curricular organization is a non-for-profit organization, the answer is "yes.
More clarification on how WJHS club hours count. Talk to your STAR or Resource teacher.
Snow Leader - can this count toward SSLC hours? SNOW leaders can receive 3 hours for this role.
Recycling on Friday mornings - does this count? Can other students sign up for this? This does count, but we already have enough students for this.
If I babysit and DO NOT get paid, does that count? No. Too hard to track. However, there will be events when “day care” is needed within the district, and that could count.
Park District sponsored, play performances (e.g. musicals). count? No. There is a partnership with the Park District though...and ways to serve through them...look for updates on this website and on the bulletin board in the Becker Commons.
Can my student donate items (food/hygiene/pet food) for service hours? If so, how many hours can he/she get? Yes, students can receive up to 2 hours for donations. 2 cans equal one hour.
My child loves animals. Can he/she receive service credit for volunteering at an animal shelter? YES! The shelter will probably need to have an adult stay with the student though.
Life is very busy right now. Are there opportunities during the school day or right after school? Totally understood. There are service (activity) clubs. Student Council, Student Leadership Team, Outdoor Environmental Science Club, and Early Act, are all service-related clubs. When they do service activities, typically there is transportation after school (a 4:15 PM or 5:15 PM bus). Additionally, if a parent/student reaches out because the student's schedule outside of school makes it difficult to reach his/her hours, the office will work with that student/parent to be creative. This contact/collaboration between the parents/student/school office should occur in the first semester of the school year. Please do not wait.
I know that this is a graduation requirement. What happens if I am an 8th grader and do not complete my service hours by mid-March? The administration will work with all 8th grade students that do not finish their 15 service hours by mid-March. Students will be given opportunities before and after school if they fall in this category. If students do not complete these hours by mid-May, students will lose the privilege to participate in the 8th Grade Graduation Ceremony.
Does cutting my Grandma's lawn and raking her leaves count? No, but it's really nice of you to do for your Grandma!
Last year I was a student at WJHS and I did not fulfill my hours. What do I do? For the 2016-2017 school year, you will need to fulfill your past and current SSLC obligation. 8th graders this year should have 12 hours from last year and 15 hours from this year...totaling 27 hours between the two years (if they were WJHS students both years).
What SSLC opportunities occur within the school day for every student? Each student will be able to go to Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) on a SIP day with their his/her grade level (2 hours). Due to the pandemic, this may not occur.
What if my church/synagogue is completing service, can this count towards SSLC? NO if the activity is participating in a religious activity, play, as an acolyte, or youth group that’s purpose is to promote a given religion. NO if activities promote worship or evangelism do not count toward the service hours requirement. However, if such an activity benefits others without proselytizing, then the activity will count. Feeding the homeless, building homes for the needy, holiday group presentations to the community, and assisting with gift giving during the holidays all count towards community and service hours.
NOTE: The information BELOW can be found in a two-page document if you follow the "SSLC Program Description" link toward the top of this page.
YOUR STUDENTS WILL:
- Gain a better understanding of diverse cultures and communities.
- Connect with members in their own community.
- Learn more about social issues and the root causes of the issues at hand.
- Develop strong leadership, collaboration and communication skills.
- Obtain an opportunity to act on a value or belief.
- See how content learned in the classroom is applied in the real world.
- Realize that they can make a difference no matter who or where they are or how old they are.
- Gain confidence in their individual skills and abilities.
- Develop critical-thinking skills in real-world applications.
- Create a strong camaraderie with their peers and realize the importance of good citizenship.
Credit for Student Service Learning Commitment can be earned starting the summer after Grade 5 and must be completed a week prior to junior high school graduation. Students may earn SSLC hours in the following ways:
Active membership in approved school clubs; Early Act, Student Leadership Team (SLT), Outdoor Environmental Science, Recycling, Student Council. Other clubs may be eligible for SSLC hours after administrative approval is given.
Additional SSLC Information:
- Student Service Learning Commitment activities are coordinated through the STAR class/teachers. Students should record their SSLC on the electronic forms. For more information, contact your child's STAR teacher.
- Students should strive to find a variety of SSLC activities in order to broaden their horizons. The idea is to find a way to help others, especially if the student chooses a responsible action to meet a need. It is an act that stresses the idea that it is better to give than receive. Helping the environment, an animal, a special habitat, and a community area constitutes community service. We are also looking toward recognizing support for local, state, regional, and international activities.
- Verification of service performed during the first semester can be turned in throughout the semester year. Students find meaningful service-learning opportunities that result from direct action with recipients. Activities such as serving food at a soup kitchen, tutoring a child in reading or math, and playing the piano for residents of a hospital are examples of direct action.
- All SSLC opportunities must be supervised by adults (who are not a relative of the student) representing nonprofit, tax exempt organizations. For- profit nursing homes and assisted living facilities are the only exceptions to the nonprofit rule, and these require a pre-approval form to be filled out in advance. Student Service Learning Commitment activities are due to the grade level STAR/Resource teacher.
How do I log hours?
- Hours can be designated by the sponsor of an event.
- An SSLC slip can be signed off and you can take a picture of it for the electronic form.
- Hours can be logged in half-hour increments.
- A half an hour community service will be earned for giving items such as cans, clothes, and the like to a charity – the number of items will not matter. Students may accumulate up to two hours of time through donations.
- Some SSLC activities may be coordinated through the school day.
- Hours cannot be saved or banked for the next year. Students are encouraged to participate in service hours on a regular and on-going basis.
What does not constitute community service?
- Any activity in which you receive a tangible benefit or reward such as money (like babysitting) or special favors.
- Any school activity in which you will receive a grade or credit toward a grade.
- Practice hours for performance activities (i.e. choir practice, sports practice, etc.)
- Helping a relative or friend with chores or a job.
- Participating in a religious activity, play, as an acolyte, or youth group that’s purpose is to promote a given religion. Activities that promote worship or evangelism do not count toward the service hours requirement. However, if such an activity benefits others without proselytizing, then the activity will count. Feeding the homeless, building homes for the needy, holiday group presentations to the community, and assisting with gift giving during the holidays all count towards community and service hours.
- Playing in a band for formal presentation at school does not constitute community service unless the ensemble plays outside the school for the benefit of others such as for a nursing home.
- Please talk with a teacher or administrator if you have questions regarding a type of service.