By Will Sohn
School is ending soon and summer will soon be upon us. These upcoming months will be packed with lots of activities, events, and summer work for many people. As summer approaches, many students also are looking for more local volunteer opportunities. Students know that volunteering is a great way to help in the community and to earn LINCS credits for the upcoming school year, but what are LINCS?
LINCS stands for Learning in Neighborhood Community Service. Council Rock School District has a long tradition of community involvement and believes that students will be positively impacted by the service that they can offer to the community. Although the school district does not require LINCS hours for graduation, they highly encourage students to participate in volunteer services. Students should be aware of the different criteria of the LINCS program.
Unlike graduation requirements, LINCS hours are a prerequisite for NHS (45-50 hours depending on when you apply). CRSD does acknowledge on transcripts and diplomas those students who have accumulated over 60 service hours. Students who have done this will also be eligible for different scholarships and service learning awards sponsored by local community organizations. Even though LINCS hours are not required, students should still volunteer in order to enrich themselves and be rewarded for their work.
Before you volunteer, LINCS organizations must be pre-approved and verified through the school. There is a link on the North website that provides a list of pre-approved LINCS organizations and district opportunities. Students can earn LINCS credit through events such as fall festival, different clubs that help non-profit organizations, fundraisers, and other school events. Students can also volunteer at the district elementary and middle schools or through school-sporting community services.
In addition to district opportunities, many pre-approved local organizations offer LINCS hours. Local churches and synagogues in the Bucks County area are already verified through the school. Libraries are also providers; I volunteered last summer at the Northampton Library in Richboro and received credit throughout the summer. This year, I am volunteering at St. Mary’s Hospital with several other students from Council Rock North in order to complete my service credits. As a fellow hospital volunteer, sophomore Tejas Banhatti spoke on what this summer would be like:
“I think that this is a great way to earn hours for the upcoming year ... but it is more than just about earning hours, it’s also about giving back to the community. It will be a lot of work, but it’ll be worth it.”
While the number of hours required to join NHS or receive recognition on your diploma and transcript may seem overwhelming, it definitely does not have to be completed over one summer. Students can accumulate hours gradually throughout their four years. Moreover, a wide range of both district and local volunteer opportunities exist for Council Rock North students; we should take advantage of this opportunity and enrich ourselves and help our communities.