Key Club focuses on giving back to the community. The club requires members to complete a minimum of 50 hours of community service by the end of the school year. Some take advantage of summer volunteering opportunities and accumulate close to or more than the required amount. Although those that engage in summer services get a head start in filling out their hours sheets, only 10 hours from over the summer can be used and because only 10 can be used, 10 hours is what will be done.
But why the limit? Why wouldn’t a club, focused on giving back, encourage the summer service?
When asked, Tushar Varma, Key Club president, said, “We want more involvement throughout the school year because we offer a lot of opportunities and want them [members] to be involved, and we don’t want them to just come to the meetings and not do anything else.”
Yes, limiting the summer service hours accepted increases activity during the school year but by limiting the amount of hours over the summer, members become less involved in their community year round.
50 hours is a lot of time. Why not spread the wealth? Members will complete the bare minimum of 10 hours over the summer, and stop there since the incentive has been taken away.
By increasing the number of summer hours accepted will not only increase summer activity, but it will still require students to continue to volunteer during the school year maintaining the club’s original goal. In addition, since those participating in the club in the past have successfully obtained the 50 hours (not without struggle), hours accumulated over the year should increase as well.
Members receive 30 minutes of volunteer hours from each meeting attended, which is very generous. Meetings take place once a month starting in late fall, giving participants about four hours to add to their logs throughout the school year. The 10 summer and four meeting hours supply a total of 14 hours out of the 50 required.
Members of the club have the opportunity to earn awards for the amount of hours they obtain. One is the Presidential Award. Students who receive the Presidential Award have earned 100+ hours throughout the school year. Some go unrecognized for this achievement because of the summer service hour restrictions. They go unrecognized despite the fact they went above and beyond the required amount.
“I understand why I guess it’s like a good idea to let them do more than 10 hours over the summer, so if I could change that I would,” said Varma.
During the interview, Varma pulled out his phone and began to make notes about topics brought up and asked questions of his own at the end. By doing so signifies a step taken in the right direction. Is a change in the number of summer hours accepted looming in the future? Maybe.