Students Earning Service Hours


Anne Reis

Did  you know that the name Ezra means helper in Hebrew?  Neither did I until I met Ezra Brown, a Homewood middle school student who showed up in the library ready to volunteer for service learning hours at the beginning of this school year.  In order to graduate, every student in Howard County must complete 75  hours of service learning .  According to the county’s website, “Service learning is a teaching method that combines meaningful service to the community with curriculum-based learning.”  I am so grateful that Howard County values having a service learning program, without it I might never have gotten to know Ezra!  When I first met Ezra he was new to Homewood because he had just transferred from a school in Georgia where he had been a volunteer in his school library.  He needed service learning hours and I needed help in the library.   Since he has worked with me, Ezra has designed and created every display that has been featured outside the library.  According to Ms. Julia Schettig, this is the perfect example of using service learning to better the student as well as the community.  Ms. Schettig says, “Ezra has flourished both in and out of the classroom because of his service learning experience.  It is wonderful to see him succeed.”  Ms. Sharonda Ebanks believes that “service learning teaches students responsibility and to give back to the community. It teaches students selflessness.”   The name Ezra means helper in Hebrew, and Ezra Brown has been a huge help to me in the library.  He totally lives up to the meaning of his name, he is a true helper.