In 1995, Mater Christi School began its service learning program known as Reaching Out. Each year, 7th and 8th grade students, accompanied by their teachers, do volunteer work at non-profit agencies in the Burlington area. These include St. Joseph’s Home, Salvation Army, Ronald McDonald House, COTS, King Street Youth Center, Spectrum, Burlington Boys and Girls Club, and St Joseph’s and Mt Calvary cemeteries. On October 5, the eighth graders completed the second phase of this program.
In addition to going out into the wider community, the class musicians gave a concert for the Sisters of Mercy, whose convent is attached to the Mater Christi middle school building. Sixteen 8th graders presented a modified drum line, played some jazz, and performed violin and voice solos for the Sisters. The Sisters expressed amazement at the talent exhibited by these 8th graders.
Other volunteer efforts included activities such as playing bingo with St Joseph’s Home residents, raking and filling in bare patches in two cemeteries, creating fundraiser materials for COTS, preparing meals at Spectrum and the Salvation Army and much more.
Each student goes to two different sites in one day, and this includes helping some of the MCS teachers of younger students in their classrooms.
Mater Christi faculty, staff and parents readily agree that this program is extremely valuable for the junior high students in that they get acquainted with the other non-profit agencies in Burlington and have the opportunity to learn new skills, problem solve, and interact with persons with whom they would not otherwise have the opportunity.
MCS is grateful to each of these agencies for welcoming its students, enabling them to have a life experience which over the years has proved its value in a multitude of ways.
Sister Joanne LaFreniere, RSM
Director of Public Relations and Spiritual Life