|2/1/2017 8:40:00 AM|
At St. John the Baptist, the focus is on service
|Courtesy St. John the Baptist|
A resident of the Springs enjoys a dance by St. John the Baptist students Conner Breunig, Olivia Pisaneschi and Carly Weber. Students and those who live at the retirement center have formed friendships.
MILWAUKIE — The eighth-grade class at St. John the Baptist has been serving elderly in the community with great enthusiasm, and last month the class planned a caroling trip to The Springs, a local retirement home.
“We are all really excited to go sing,” said eighth-grader Olivia Pisaneschi.
The class visits The Springs four to five times a year, spending time with residents and sharing crafts and activities with them. It’s an opportunity for the students to step out of their comfort zones and learn about another generation.
Each class at St. John gets to plan and participate in service projects throughout the year. In addition to visiting the elderly, other service projects include volunteering at the Oregon Food Bank, a coin drive to support the parish, collecting mother and baby supplies for the Madonna Center, gathering clothing for My Father’s House, sending cards to homebound parishioners and collecting canned food for St. Vincent de Paul.
Principal Angela Gomez is excited about the level of enthusiasm and commitment to service. She believes that when kids feel connected to the larger community and come to learn that their actions — even small ones — can make an impact, it is empowering.
When students realize that they can effect change and have the ability to make someone’s life better, it gives them a greater sense of self-worth, she said.
“My children are not only receiving a top-notch education, but they are becoming better citizens,” noted parent Amber Ploussard. “They can see and quantify the difference they have made; they feel like they can do anything.”
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