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High School Seniors at Greenwood Complete Service Learning

Greenwood Laboratory School in Springfield may have found a cure for "senior-itis." That's a light-hearted way of describing the lack of enthusiasm many high school seniors have during their last semester before graduation. At Greenwood, high school seniors use their last semester to complete a public affairs capstone course that requires 25 hours of service learning outside the school and a public presentation on their work. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.

Even though Molly Carnahan is a high school senior, she has spent some time in an elementary school classroom this spring.

Molly Carnahan has spent 25 hours at York Elementary in Springfield, a Title I school, that is, a school with a high percentage of students in the free or reduced lunch program, a key poverty indicator.

Carnahan was there to work with the students but also to test a thesis.

High school seniors graduating from Greenwood Laboratory School this spring will be the first class to complete four full years of a service learning curriculum. The program requires students to choose a topic of interest, research it, and participate in a related service learning activity in the community.

The Greenwood Laboratory School is located on the campus of Missouri State University. Officials at Greenwood say the service learning curriculum is a way for the school to embrace the university's public affairs mission. Candace Fisk, assistant professor at the Lab School explains what service learning means.

The culmination of the service learning curriculum comes next week when Molly Carnahan and the other seniors at Greenwood will present their findings during a public exhibition. Fisk says the presentation is a way for students to synthesize the information they've gathered.

This is the first year that students had to complete four years of the service learning curriculum. Fisk says the seniors for the most part have had a good attitude about the requirements.

Just ask Molly Carnahan.