Some of the best learning takes place after school.

Volunteer activities can give your teen a chance to show independence, take risks and shine.

There are many different ways teens can find meaningful volunteer activities:

• Informal volunteering. Your teen watches a neighbor’s kids or joins a group of students who are cleaning up a park.

These activities are the easiest to find. They don’t require a long-term commitment. They may whet your teen’s interest to get more involved.

• Formal volunteering. Many teens have a regular volunteer job. They help at a food bank. They tutor a younger student.

These activities teach responsibility—teens have to show up when they say they will. They often help teens decide whether they want a career in this field.

• In-school clubs. From foreign language clubs to yearbook, sports to music, there are clubs for every interest.

Many schools have clubs that are organized to provide service. Groups like Key Club and student government can help students help others.

• Community organizations. Many out-of-school clubs offer teens a chance to learn and grow. Most religious organizations offer activities for youth. Teens might also think about Girl and Boy Scouts, 4-H, DeMolay and community sports organizations.

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