Students volunteer for the good of the community

Logan Katz and Lauren Seidman

Many Schreiber students participate in community service. Usually, it starts out as just something students feel they have to do to add to their college applications. However, volunteering can soon turn fulfilling and rewarding. There are many different ways students can volunteer. Some community service programs are through school and others are outside of school.

Weber Individual Needs Students, also known as WINS, is a program in which high school students are matched with academically struggling Weber students.

The Schreiber tutors are selected by members of the faculty. This tutoring session is after school, twice a week at Weber.

“Being a tutor for someone who is struggling is extremely gratifying.  It is really special to be making a direct difference in another kid’s life, especially in my own community,” said sophomore Maddy Lavin.

There are also many ways to get involved in helping within religious communities. At St. Peter of Alcantara Church, student volunteers teach religion classes to first grade students.

“I love working with kids, and it feels great to be a positive role model for them,” said sophomore Olivia Gellis.

Another program, called BBYO (B’nai B’rith Youth Organization), brings together members of different synagogues to participate in various volunteering activities.

“We help out at soup kitchens sometimes, along with many other volunteering opportunities. It’s great to help people in and out of our Jewish community,” said sophomore Jack Lefkowitz, president of the Port Washington boys chapter of BBYO, Port AZA.

Students who belong to other religious groups should ask students of the same faith or leaders in their places of worship about ways to get involved as well.

Another volunteer opportunity for Schreiber students is located in our local public library. Every Saturday, teens from our community gather at the Port Washington Public Library to help children with their reading skills through a program called Creative Readers.

“I love being able to see my reading buddies get better each week.  It’s really great to see my efforts pay off,” said junior Julia Gellis.

Creative Readers helps students create bonds with the different children involved, most of whom have a developmental disorder.

Those involved with Creative Readers spend every Saturday with the same buddy for the entire year, playing, reading, and interacting with them, becoming a true friend.

It is important for teens to understand that they can have a major positive impact.  Volunteering in a way that is exciting and interesting can be a great way to do something you feel passionate about while bettering your community.

It is not only important for a college résumé, but also to establish students’ understanding of their worth as helpful individuals in their town.  Everyone can make a difference by doing something they are passionate about.