Working to improve the lives of others is often noted as one of the most remarkable ways to improve one’s own life. It is important to understand that service learning is a not a new method of education, although it has grown and developed quite a bit over the years. The benefits of service learning are countless. It is an undeniably constructive effort for people of all ages to participate in. Exposing these types of activities on youth is particularly helpful to those individuals in myriad ways. Discovering the ability to improve something else while also benefitting yourself and untold amounts of other people can change a person’s entire perspective on life. Implementing this type of learning into more schools would allow these types of opportunities for more students to earn the skills service learning provides. Agricultural students can specifically benefit from this type of learning because it offers multiple ways for students and their FFA chapters to be active within their community and gain professional as well as personal skills for their future.
This case study will reflect on the single high school located in Lawrenceville, Illinois; is a small city on the eastern side of the southern central half of the state. It is the seat of Lawrence County and according to the 2010 Census, 4,348 people call Lawrenceville their home. 96% of the population is made up racially of Caucasian citizens alone, while 1.49% are African American citizens. The female population of Lawrenceville is slightly higher than the male population, reaching 53.68% compared to the male population of 46.32%. Also, the age demographics in Lawrenceville have the greatest span in the 18-64 year-old range, with 2,457 citizens making up this category.
While the county hosts two separate school districts, Lawrenceville is home to only one, it being Unit #20. Unit #20 has three schools in its helm, an elementary school, a junior high school, and a high school. This case study will reflect on the high school alone, which is simply named Lawrenceville High School.
According to the school report card for Lawrenceville High School, also known as LHS, the school had 369 students enrolled in 2013. The attendance rate has generally stayed the same in the past five years for the school, dropping a minor fraction in the past two years to 93.4% in 2013. The average class size at the school is only 14.2 students per class, much lower than other high schools in the regional area. This is mostly due to the fact that Lawrenceville does not have an extremely large population; therefore it does not have many students enrolled in the local high school.
Test scores for LHS have virtually remained at the same level in recent years, either dropping or increasing by 1-3 points in nearly every category. Standardized tests taken at this school include the ACT and the Prairie State Achievement Exam (PSAE).
Of the 369 students enrolled in LHS, 111 students were enrolled in the school’s...