The seventh and eighth grade students at Saint Lawrence Elementary and Middle School are learning what it means to walk in the light of God through community service.
Each student is required to complete six hours of community service per trimester, totaling 18 hours per year. The place and time of service is chosen and arranged by each individual student.
According to Mrs. Villamejor, 6th-8th grade Religion teacher, “Many of the students complete their service hours at school helping teachers, or helping at events like Restoration Day, Open House, and the Book Fair. Outside organizations where students volunteer include Sunnyvale Community Services, Sacred Heart Community Center and others where they [serve] the outside community in Santa Clara County.”
After completing the first six hours, each student is required to reflect, in writing, on their experience, why service is important, the impact of their work on self an others and make connections between their work and the school wide learning expectations.
Mrs. Villamejor stated that all of her students completed the assignment, and their feedback was rewarding and inspirational.
One of the 7th grade students wrote about creating “Blessing Bags” which are passed out to homeless individuals in downtown San Jose. “This type of service stood out to me because it involved his entire family and they created something that directly met the needs of someone else,” said Mrs. Villamejor.
This assignment encourages seventh and eighth grade students to engage in direct service ministries first-hand. Students can see and feel the immediate positive impact they make in the lives of others when living out their call to serve in their community.