What was better? A Month of Service or a Day?

What was better?  A Month of Service or a Day?

Volunteering with AST to visit the British Home to spend time with seniors was one of the opportunities available during the Month of Service.

Kate Alaks, Staff Reporter

This October was the first year in six years that RB did not host its traditional Day of Service. Instead, the whole month became the Month of Service, and Bulldogs were encouraged to find volunteer opportunities in the community.

 According to Assistant Principal Tim Scanlon, part of the reason for the change was Day of Service’s success. There was too much demand from the community for a single day.

 In addition, the school board had made some financial cuts that made it much more difficult for a Day of Service to be organized. Social studies teacher Angela Ziola lost a release period related to Character Counts which she had used in previous years for a variety of activities, including coordinating the Day of Service. She also lost the stipend for her assistant SA sponsor, John Fields, who had helped coordinate the Day of Service. Finally, most of the secretarial support that had organized the Day of Service wasn’t available.

 “We didn’t have all the necessary infrastructure,” said Scanlon.

 So was the Month of Service a success?

 Last year, over 500 students, staff, and parents participated in the Day of Service. This year, however, the students found opportunities on their own, and the school couldn’t keep track of who volunteered.

 “Not a lot of groups talked about [keeping track],” said Social Studies teacher Angela Ziola.

 “I missed the Day of Service,” said Scanlon. “The sense of team effort can’t be replicated without doing it as a Day of Service.” However, he added, “There’s something very limiting about having a Day of Service.” He felt like some people would do the Day of Service and feel like they were then done giving back for the year. “I think the Month of Service was very successful,” he said.

 “I missed the energy on that day and how there was always such a large amount of students, staff, and parents,” said Ziola.

 Sophomore Laura Pellizzari participated in the Day of Service last year and had a great time on the workday. “It was an all-around good experience!” she said. “We cut down and burned buckthorn and invasive species in the zoo woods. It was tons of fun and afterwards we all got our t-shirts and food.” 

 Despite her good experience, Pellizarri did not participate in Month of Service this year. “I kind of forgot about it,” she said. “I had heard about it, but I never really found out any information. Last year it seems it was made much easier to do something for the community.”

 On the other hand, Sophomore Brazil Lewis-Boursaw did not participate in the Day of Service last year, because she was more focused on getting used to the school. This year, she did participate in Eco Club’s October workday. “It was really fun and I’m happy I got to do it because I didn’t do it last year and I wanted to be more involved,” she said.

 Lewis-Boursaw prefers the Month of Service to the Day of Service. “It gives you more of a chance,” she said. “You have more options, and it’s more help, too.”

When asked about plans for next year, Scanlon said, “I would love to have a Day of Service and a Month of Service… To incorporate the Day of Service into the Month of Service.”

Ziola was not as optimistic. “I don’t know how we can do a Day of Service with the cuts,” she said, but added, “I think a month could work, just not one single day.”