The Rotary Club of Hudson was recently treated to an impressive review of the Hudson High School Service Learning Program by teachers Lani Banner and Marty Bach who announced that the program will be receiving a proclamation from the Ohio Senate at the upcoming prom. Started in 2002, the HHS course is considered a role model in the state and has, in the past, received an award for Ohio’s best high school service learning program.
The Rotary Club of Hudson has been a long time partner with Service Learning providing funding and participating in student projects. Many Service Learning students also benefit from Rotary sponsored high school speech contests, college scholarships and, starting in 2017, the “Uncharted Waters: What Every Senior Needs to Know Before Going to College” high school workshops.
The objectives of the Service Learning Program are to:
1. Prepare students for life outside the Hudson “bubble”
2. Help students step outside their comfort zone
3. Change students’ preconceived notions
4. Cultivate student joy and gratitude with life
5. Encourage student civic activism
6. Foster student compassion and empathy

The program, in its 20th year at HHS, recently added two teachers as the program expanded to 90 plus students per year. The three credit, year long, course combines Senior English and Government with 5 hours minimum community service per week. Extra service assignments and class trips are also offered. Senior English is taught by Lani Banner with emphasis on classic literature and including class discussions of gratitude, humor, friendships and community service. Social and contemporary government issues are covered by Marty Bach who explores current affairs, analytical writing, respectful free speech, criminal justice and consumer finance. Students prepare and present policy presentations for Rotary review. The two other teachers are also involved in the overall programs.
Service learning programs were started at the college level, including Harvard, and have been adopted by many high schools throughout Ohio. The Rotary Club of Hudson is proud to be an integral part of the Hudson program and club members enjoy the interaction with the always enthusiastic students.