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Life-long Learning at Saint Victor School

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Saint Victor students in the Service With A Smile elective raise money to put together care packages for the homeless.

The Electives Program has been in place at Saint Victor School for three years. The goal and purpose of offering electives was to expose students to learning outside the classroom, introduce concepts that are different than core academic subjects, and create an opportunity for students across the grades to learn and work together. This year, as Saint Victor enters its fourth year of the Electives Program, four new classes are being offered. In addition to Dance, Gardening, and STEAM, teachers offered five new choices: Cooking, Gospel Plays, Mathematical Art, Chess and Service With a Smile.

Students in grades 1 through 8 were excited at the addition of the new classes.

In cooking, students learn not only techniques and recipes but learn how to plan a meal on a budget. Sr. Sara King, CSJ works with students in Gospel Plays to brainstorm creative ways to enact the Gospel. In Mathematical Art students recognize that math and art are connected. This results in beautiful works of art.

The basics of Chess are taught by Mr. Fornoles, a junior high math teacher and a parent volunteer. Service With a Smile is led by Vice Principal Victoria Hinkle and the head of Saint Victor Parish’s Saint Vincent de Paul Program, Mary Morris.

This unique elective follows the spirit of Saint Vincent de Paul and strives to create an environment where students can experience the joy of building a community of prayer and service. To fulfill their mission of service, the students in the Service With a Smile elective identified the community’s homeless population as a group in need. The students, with the help of their moderators created a goal to make self-care bags for the homeless. In order to purchase the items, the elective is selling frozen treats at recess and lunch. This venture is call “Vincent’s Blessed Ice.” Their goal is to raise enough money to purchase items that will go into these self-care bags which will then be donated to the homeless.

According to Mary Morris, this is the first group of its kind, involving students in Saint Vincent de Paul work. Ms. Morris first approached the school administration last school year in the hopes of creating a service class for the students.

After several meetings, Service With a Smile was created. Since the start of the school year, the students in the elective have enjoyed praying, discussing, and brainstorming ways to serve the community around them. Victoria Hinkle and Mary Morris hope that the students’ positive experiences of community building and providing service to community members in need will shape their faith and their future.