NJ Expands Student Community Service Program

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TRENTON – Acting Gov. Stephen Sweeney signed legislation Saturday to extend and expand a pilot program that required high school students to undertake community service programs as a condition of graduation.

In 2005, the state initiated a three-year community service pilot program aimed at high school juniors. After reviewing the program’s effectiveness, the Commissioner of Education recommended renewing and expanding the program to apply to more students.

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Under the law, the new pilot program will be initiated in the 2010-11 academic year and apply to entering freshmen, who will have to complete a minimum 20 hours of community service over their high school careers.

Fifteen schools will be selected to participate in the pilot program – five schools each from northern, central and southern New Jersey.

The commissioner will be required to issue a report to the Governor and Legislature by December 2014 on the program’s effectiveness, including a recommendation on its continuation and potential expansion to all high schools.


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