Every year, Saint Lucy School students explore the concept of Social Justice, as we focus on living our faith by example, and helping those in need. This trimester teachers introduced the idea of”How should we share what God has given us?” “What is fair sharing?” “How should we share with people around the world?” to give students facts about global poverty and unequal distribution of the world’s resources. This notion is deepened in the learning activities across all the Catholic Social Justice Teaching principles.
Teachers explored the concept of fair sharing through personal experiences, and tried to have students understand sharing resources in their own lives. Mrs. D’Amico showed her kindergarten students enough chocolate kisses for each member of the class to have 1. However, she did not distribute them evenly. Some students received 3 pieces, others 2, and a few received 1 while others received none. Then she asked the students how they felt if they didn’t receive any kisses. The discussion was rich and insightful! A few children cried. Some students with three immediately began sharing with those “in need.” This continued as a perfect example of helping those less fortunate and how it really feels to receive.
After the discussions on sharing and “what is fair sharing,” every class worked on items to donate to the local community. Pre-K filled pre-wrapped candy that will be put in bags with a holiday tag to color. Kindergarten – third grade made placements, fourth and fifth graders made ornaments, the sixth grade made sock puppets, the seventh grade assembled containers with hot chocolate recipe ingredients inside, and the 8th graders reached out to members in the community, neighbors and businesses to gather toiletries and donations of items to fill “Blessing Bags” for the Saint Lucy Parish outreach office to be distributed in January when it is cold and the holiday giving season has ended.
Additionally, our holiday food drive was bountiful to end calendar year 2017. Not only did each class bring in food items to donate, but teachers introduced the concept of “Why do we collect food, or eye glasses, or baby layette items?” Who does it help? Third and fifth grades set up tables in the school gymnasium and assembled boxes for the Saint Vincent de Paul Outreach. All classes carried their food items from the school office to the gym and placed them on the correct table. This helped our students see the connection between collecting and giving food for others.
At their core, Catholic schools are called to serve the poor and vulnerable. Service days each trimester allow Saint Lucy School students to focus on and discuss practical examples of living out our school mission.