Star News: New Hanover High class teaches community service skills

New Hanover High class teaches community service skills

 WILMINGTON — In many public school districts across the nation, high school students must log some hours in community service in order to fulfill graduation requirements. It’s a nice idea, and one that has lasting lessons to teach and long-term values to learn, according to educators who support the concept.

But not all of them do, and there is no such requirement in New Hanover County. That doesn’t necessarily mean that community service gets short shrift here.

In 2014, then Principal James McAdams tasked a handful of New Hanover High School teachers with coming up with an honors elective class for students interested in learning the skills serving their community can impart. The resulting Service Learning class on the Market Street campus just wrapped up its third year of operation with about 40 students in two sections and about 30 nonprofit community partners.“In 2014, we saw that a lot of our students wanted to have involvement in the community, but it was really difficult since so many of them do so many extracurriculars after school; their time is pretty limited,” teacher Elizabeth Felts said. “This was Mr. McAdams’ idea, and he had me and a couple of other teachers brainstorm about what a class would look like, and he really let me run with those ideas.”