You have probably noticed that students find the most satisfaction by being actively engaged in doing something to make the world a better place. Service Learning is an active and experiential learning technique where students have a direct impact on a need or interest that motivates them. It requires sequential lessons and training that comes before the service activity or the reflection that follows. Service learning experiences can become the starting point for self-awareness, self-improvement and self-fulfillment. During the service learning project the student makes a difference for others, and makes a difference in oneself.
Every school year JROTC Cadets plan, resource, and execute the AJ Arnett 5K Honor Run. Students begin the process by exploring their options and goals for the race; followed by developing courses of action to resource the activity. Once the students cultivate their course of action they begin the planning process. The Students then coordinate their efforts with the race director, vendors, sponsors, and myself. During this coordinating and planning effort they are responsible for securing a 5K route plan, insurance, permits, volunteers, online registration, advertising, entertainment, T-shirt design, awards, fundraising, and police and medical support. Therefore, Concordia JROTC Cadets plan, coordinate, and execute a community-wide fundraising event that promotes Veteran and Police awareness within the community. Afterward, students compose a written reflection in class to capture lessons learned.
This year, the AJ Arnett 5K Honor Run will be held on Saturday May 20, 2023. The race starts and finishes at Concordia Lutheran High School. The Cadets were able to donate $12,000 to Honor Flights of Northeast Indiana, Shepherd’s House, and Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana last year. Over the last 8 years we have been able to donate more than $86,000 to support our local heroes in an enjoyable and fulfilling learning experience.
As one can see, service learning becomes a method of learning that maximizes training, meaningful service, and structured reflection. Service learning reinforces curriculum content and standards, and benefits the students academically, as well as personally and socially. By getting involved to fulfill different needs, you have the potential to make a difference with a specific student or within your community. Register today to support our local heroes at www.ajarnetthonorrun.com.
MAJ John Sheaffer,