PTSA begins service cord program to recognize community service

Krista Kroiss, Beat Editor

It’s a school night, and Key Club President Alan Tran could be at home doing his homework or binging his favorite show on Netflix. Instead, he is volunteering with the Valley Church Reading Program, where he is helping children from low-income families with their homework.

“I love providing kids who cannot voice their opinions with a chance to succeed,” Tran said. “These kids are passionate about learning as well, so it is always an amazing experience every time we are there.”

Tran is one of many students who dedicate their time to serving the community, whether for a club or for personal reasons. This year, the PTSA is introducing a Service Cord program, which recognizes eligible seniors like Tran for their community service with a cord at graduation. This program is already in place at Skyline and Issaquah High Schools.

“What is nice about the community service cord is that it is open to any graduating senior, and is not dependent on a GPA or school involvement,” PTSA President Shelly Russell said.

In order to be eligible for a service cord, a student must complete 100 hours of community service between eighth grade graduation and the submission deadline. Hours are due on the first Monday of April.

Because the program is new this year, the required hours are adjusted for this year’s sophomores, juniors, and seniors: 25 hours for class of 2018, 50 hours for class of 2019, and 75 for class of 2020.

For Tran, recognizing volunteers is an exciting way to encourage more people to give back to their community.

“Volunteering is something that makes our local community better,” Tran said. “The more people that help, the better our community will turn out.”

“The first Monday of each month, there will be PTSA volunteers available at both lunches,” Russell said. “They will be able to collect the required forms and answer any questions about the program.”