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This information helps teachers and leaders run a student volunteer program at their school.
To get students interested in volunteering you might need a bit of a sales pitch. It can help to use an inspiring way to get them involved. You could:
- host a world café (Word 954KB) as a way to talk about what volunteering means
- use volunteer organisation sign-up sheets (Word 906KB) so students can decide who they want to volunteer with, for example the Clipper Ship City of Adelaide, a local aged care home, Humbug Scrub or the Salvation Army
- think about using a volunteer passport, similar to Children’s University Adelaide’s Passport to Learning
- invite volunteer organisations to talk about the types of volunteering opportunities they offer.
Don’t forget to make it fun.
Practical lesson plans are included in the Fostering a Culture of Giving: Volunteering and the Australian Curriculum. These resources have been developed by teachers for teachers. The lessons are mapped to specific areas of the Australian Curriculum.
Some examples are:
- volunteering: build your purpose – maps to Health and Physical Education
- using photographic images to persuade – maps to The Arts
- good citizens volunteer – maps to History.
We have a couple of example lesson plans to get you started:
- example lesson plan 'Where can I volunteer?' (Word 540KB) – maps to Civics and Citizenship
- example plan, lesson-by-lesson (Word 533KB).
Reflection is a way for students to think more deeply about how they can help others, their community and their own lives. It also helps engage and motivate. Students could:
- do a short 'my thoughts' questionnaire about volunteering (Word 955KB)
- take part in a reflection day (Word 967KB)
- speak or listen to other students about their volunteering experiences
- provide feedback through surveys and small group discussions
- develop a volunteer word cloud (Word 1MB).
Ongoing reflection should be offered all the way through a student volunteer program. You can use a reflection journal (Word 6MB) to help with this.
Scaffolding is another way to help students learn about volunteering.
- organise a group excursion to a volunteering group or organisation
- have the students create their own brochure or webpage about volunteering
- arrange a presentation by someone like the Salvation Army
- invite a guest speaker to present and share their personal volunteering experience.
Staff with the Department for Education have a duty to take reasonable care to protect children and young people in their care and control from a reasonably foreseeable risk of harm. This duty can extend beyond school grounds. See the department’s camps and excursions and duty of care policies.
Getting parents and caregivers involved can help students to feel motivated and learn. Encourage them to talk to their children about their volunteering experiences. Some ideas for conversation might be:
- Have you ever been a volunteer?
- Did your parents volunteer?
- Did a volunteer ever help you?
If you get students to create a volunteer brochure, you could invite their family to assess the brochure. You can use a brochure assessment form (Word 547KB) to see how effective the brochure has been. They might even convince their families and friends to volunteer.
Student volunteer program – we'd like to hear from you
If you found these student volunteer resources useful or have ideas for us, please get in contact.
Volunteers – Engagement and Wellbeing directorate
Phone: 8226 3795
Email: education.volunteers [at] sa.gov.au (subject: Student%20volunteer%20program%20feedback)