Volunteer teaser

Today, many schools require volunteer hours from kids — whether it's to fill a requirement for a school program or club, or to help pad their student's resume. 

After all, being accepted into college isn't just about grade point averages or standardized test scores anymore. Racking up volunteer hours has become helpful in gaining entrance into higher education. 

It also helps kids learn new skills and how to give back to their community. More importantly, when kids spend time volunteering, they'll learn how good it feels to help others. When kids learn to volunteer at a young age, it's likely they'll continue doing so the rest of their lives. Below are more reasons your child should volunteer.

First, volunteering allows kids to gain real world and work experience — whether they're planning to attend college or go straight into the workforce.

If your child has expressed interest in a certain area of study before they attend college, volunteering in that area will allow them to explore it without any long-term time or financial commitments. Additionally, your child could potentially meet new people with similar interests while volunteering. Doing so will allow them to take part in a positive relationship with someone of similar values.

In addition to gaining work experience, volunteering will also allow kids to learn social skills such as being on time, working with others, becoming empathetic and following instructions.

Kids can volunteer at lots of different places and events, including road races, a food bank or at a community activity. Volunteering can also be a family event so younger children can participate.

Remember, volunteering is for everyone. No matter the reason, volunteering is full of great benefits for both parents and kids. After all, offering help to others gives a sense of accomplishment and purpose.

So check out your local library, food bank or your school websites and bulletin boards for volunteer opportunities. It’s never a bad idea to volunteer your time and energy to help others.

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Angee (Henry) Nott is a former University of Nebraska track athlete who was a three-time Big 12 champion and a 10-time All-American. She was inducted into the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2010. She has coached track and cross country at Boys Town High School since 2004, where she is also an English teacher. She continues to empower her students to reach their potential on the track and in the classroom.

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