GuamServiceLearning.com teaches kids to give back - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

GuamServiceLearning.com teaches kids to give back

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It's the leveraging of technology to help students give back to the community while also pursuing their interests. Oprah Winfrey once said, "Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you." With the unveiling of GuamServiceLearning.com, the Guam Department of Education and the Ayuda Foundation hope students will be able to do just that.

The interactive site allows students to connect with teachers and service organizations in the community, making it easier for them to find and log the required 75 hours of service learning necessary to graduate from high school.

Superintendent Jon Fernandez told KUAM News, "Service learning has been an initiative of the department that we've been working on for the past several years." And Ayuda Foundation executive director Carlotta Leon Guerrero added, "What the intent of the service learning law is from reading it is to say to the students, you're needed now, your community needs you now, what you know right now, what you're learning in school is something that can be of value to the community."

But more than just a tool for convenience, the website aims to become a student-led project.  Juanita Blas said, "We wanted it to be very simple: this is student-driven, find your projects and make your hours, it's not geared toward parents, it's not geared toward community organizations, we're contributors, but this is a student site."

Next year alone, roughly 14,000 students are expected to complete approximately 300-thousand hours of service learning.

Students, teachers, and community partners can register online and must be verified and vetted before accessing the site. Projects can be searched via grade level or subject area, and there are even options for students with disabilities or with transportation issues.

While the website is geared specifically towards DOE students and teachers, there has been interest by other learning institutions including Guam Community College and the University of Guam. The website is in its beginning stages but the possibilities for the future are limitless.

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