Students earn school credit by doing yard work for neighbors in need

It’s September, which means students across the country will be heading back to school. For most, that means the days of being outdoors in the summer are through, and they’ll spend most of their time inside in the classroom.

But one school proved that sometimes heading outside for a little work can be beneficial, both for the students and for their community.

The Alternative Learning Center in Dubuque, Iowa lives up to its name, allowing students to get class credit in some pretty unexpected ways—like doing some lawn work.

It’s one of the several activities students can choose from as part of the school’s curriculum. The activities count towards their phys ed credit.

“The students and I and other students come out and help them,” teacher Tim Hitzler told KWWL at the end of the last school year. “Could be raking leaves, pulling weeds, cutting grass, cleaning gutters, just depends on what they need.”


Not only is it a unique way for these kids to get school credit—and get some valuable home improvement experience—but they also get to help out their community: All the yard work is done for people who could not do it themselves, such as the elderly or people with disabilities.

It’s hard work, but the teachers say that the students love seeing the finished product… and knowing they helped a neighbor in need.

“The students aren’t typically too excited at the beginning but once they get involved and start doing the yard work they become more motivated. What they really like is helping people. They really like giving back to people and meeting the person.”


The students worked outside for a few weeks until the end of the school year.

Hopefully they continue the program this year, and other schools enact programs like it, because it really sounds like a great way to teach kids the value of hard work while benefiting their community.

Share if you would love to see more schools do this!

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