"How we educate the mind will change with the times; how we cultivate the heart is and will remain timeless." Blessed Basil Moreau
Catholic education is about more than simply acquiring knowledge. It involves the formation of the whole person. Academic knowledge only reaches its fullest impact when the mind is integrated with the heart, and when students can use what they have learned to help the world around them. Therefore, service to others is an essential part of a Catholic education, as students use their intellect to recognize and uphold the dignity of all human beings.
Service is a part of every student’s experience at Christ the King. From the moment they enter pre-Kindergarten, students engage in service to others. By the time they graduate as 8th graders, they have served in a variety of settings and have been exposed to many populations, including the elderly, the developmentally disabled, the poor and those facing unplanned pregnancies. The Student Service Program is structured so that students receive a strong foundation for service and gradually assume more individual responsibility as they mature. By the time they graduate, we hope that they have acquired the heart of a servant, which inspires them to a lifelong commitment to service.
Pre-Kindergarten through 6th Grade
Each grade partners with a local service agency throughout the school year, including:
- At least one field trip to the agency
- In-class activities to benefit the agency
- Class presentations given by agency representatives to educate students on the underlying issues served
- Regular prayer for those they serve
Mission of the Service Program
The Christ the King School Service Program seeks to develop Christian stewards who receive God’s gifts gratefully, cultivate them responsibly, share them lovingly in justice with others, and return them with increase to the Lord.
(Adapted from USCCB website description of stewardship)
- Receive God’s gifts gratefully – We celebrate the gifts that God gives us, especially our faith, our minds and our hearts. We pray in thanksgiving. We have a positive attitude towards each other, our teachers, our school.
- Cultivate them responsibly – We participate in the sacraments and sacramental preparation. We do our best. We attend Mass on Sunday. We continually practice stewardship (inside and outside of the classroom). We participate fully in academic learning to cultivate our minds, and engage in service to cultivate our hearts made for loving others.
- Share them lovingly in justice with others – We share our gifts of time, talent, and treasure with our brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ by engaging in service with a variety of community groups and reflecting on these experiences in the classroom.
- Return them with increase to the Lord – We strive to use our gifts to build God’s kingdom here in our community. We look forward to our vocations, and we pray for the grace and courage to respond to God’s call for each of us during our time at CKS and beyond.
The Program Consists of:
Kindergarten & Pre-K: Wellbrooke, a senior living community offering rehabilitation and long-term care for the elderly.
Kindergarten and Pre-K visited Wellbrooke at different times during the year to deliver crafts for Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day, as well as to sing Christmas carols. In the classroom, the teachers taught children about the aging process so that they understood more about the needs of the elderly. They remembered the residents of Wellbrooke every day during prayer intentions, and they dedicated decades of the rosary to the residents and staff of Wellbrooke. They also introduced a Christmas service project by collecting over 100 puzzles and delivering them to the residents.
1st Grade: St. Joseph County Soil & Water Conservation District, learning how care for God’s creation is an important aspect of Catholic Social Teaching.
First graders learned about care for the environment as an important part of service. The District’s Education Coordinator came into the classroom several times to talk about soil and composting, and waste vs recycling. She taught the students how to set up and maintain a compost with red wiggler worms in the classroom. This culminated in a day at the Mishawaka Reservoir, where they examined the outdoor environment for signs of decomposing matter and also signs of a healthy environment, including micro-invertebrate life in the river.
2nd Grade: LOGAN Center, which supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
This year, second graders went to LOGAN in December and performed Christmas songs for the clients. A LOGAN representative come into the classroom in October to enlighten them on what LOGAN provides for the community. In March, second grade ran the LOGAN Nose-On for the entire school; they were able to sell noses and raise over $500! The kids have learned so much about intellectual and developmental disabilities through their interactions with LOGAN!
3rd Grade: Women’s Care Center, which serves women facing unplanned or crisis pregnancies.
Third grade was introduced to the Women’s Care Center with a personal tour and participated in a story/sing-along hour. The children saw the room where they perform ultrasounds, the rooms where they meet with the new moms, the “store” where moms can purchase items for their new babies using coupons, the large meeting/activity center where they hold classes and activities for the babies and their families, as well as the chapel. They held a class book drive that expanded to an all-school book drive during the Advent season. They created “gift tags” in our classrooms for our parish members that contributed to the Crib Drive, and finally they held a “diaper drive” and prayed the rosary to present as a spiritual bouquet at their farewell classroom meeting with WCC representatives.
4th Grade: Healthwin, a skilled nursing care facility.
Fourth grade visited Healthwin twice this year. In January they made crafts, played games and visited with the residents. In May they had a picnic lunch, played outdoor games and read to the residents. In our classroom, they prayed for Healthwin residents and made crafts each month to brighten their doors and walls. The children learned a lot from the residents and enjoyed getting to know them.
5th Grade: Hannah & Friends, which serves adults and children with special needs.
Fifth grade visited Hannah & Friends once in the fall and once in the spring. They had lunch with the clients and played games with them. They also went to their gym and played basketball, tennis, pool, etc. At Christmas, they made ornaments and cards and sent them. In addition, they collected new and gently used books and dropped them off at the office for the clients.
6th Grade: Food Bank of Northern Indiana, which distributes food to the poor in a six-county area.
Sixth grade will partner with the Food Bank of Northern Indiana. The students will sponsor a Food Drive in the course of the year for the Food Bank. Students will visit on site to help pack the “snack packs” for children. They will also make, as part of their lunch time prayers, intentions for children suffering from hunger and from lack of clean drinking water.
7th and 8th Grade – take responsibility for performing individual service hours at sites of their choosing.
7th Graders perform 12 hours of service. They are encouraged to perform these hours at a variety of different sites so that they may be exposed to different needs within the community. Their service may include volunteering at Christ the King Parish.
8th Graders perform 24 hours of service. They perform all of their service at one agency of their choosing. This allows them to develop a deeper relationship with that site, as well as a deeper understanding of the related social issues. Currently, 8th graders perform their service at Healthwin, Wellbrooke, Reins of Life and Hannah & Friends.
8th Grade Service Immersion
Students in 8th grade also have the opportunity to participate in the Service Immersion program. In this capstone experience, students spend the year learning about Catholic Social Teaching in all of their classes. They learn to apply this teaching to the world around them by seeing how it intersects with Social Studies, Science, Literature, Math and Religion. This culminates in a three-day service experience in Indianapolis, where students work at a variety of service agencies and have the opportunity to engage in theological reflection on their service experience.
- The 8th Grade Service Immersion takes students to the following sites:
- All students visit Gleaners Food Bank, where they sort thousands of pounds of food donations. Some of them will return for a second day to assist customers who shop at the food pantry.
- Some students will visit Warman House, a transitional home for homeless veterans, where they perform housework and landscaping, and then treat the vets to lunch.
- Some students will visit the women and children’s shelter at Wheeler Mission Ministries, where they will prepare lunch for the residents and sort clothing donations for their thrift store.
- Some students will visit Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center, where they will serve guests who shop at their food pantry.
- All students will spend the last day of the Immersion at Holy Angels Academy, an inner-city Catholic school working with disadvantaged children. They spend the year as pen-pals with their Holy Angels buddies. Then, on their visit, they celebrate Mass together before treating their buddies to an outdoor Field Day.