Social Justice Week 2017
Social Justice Week 2017 now remains in the hearts and minds of our students, staff, parents and committee members. Our focus this year was homelessness. Megs Howes, Jean Johnson, Becky Rogers, Sara Summy and CeCe Talley prepared an outstanding week of learning! Speakers included:
- Jim Cain from Family Promise
- Oliver Campbell who searched for many years to find Jennifer Jorgensen to thank her for her
smile and kindness when she volunteered at a shelter where he lived as a child.
- Chris Cornelius, Urban Bicycle Food Ministries
- Fred Eppting, a junior Drake football player who was homeless from age 2 until college
- Rob Hoover from Connection Café shared stories about homeless people in Des Moines
- Sam Irwin, a local artist who worked with middle schools students to create a mural of faces
who are all children of God
- Jaime Miranda, a senior Pella Central wrestler who was homeless off and on throughout his
- James Okwaramoi shared his story of life in South Sudan and what the lack of water is doing
- Hans and Nelson Peterson were our faith based music artists in residence for part of the week
- St. Theresa Peace and Justice Committee shared the poverty simulation with all students
Middle school students competed in Canstruction by designing and using canned food items to create sculptures. Mrs. Walsh’s Courage House won first place. Middle school students also made sandwiches for Urban Bike Ministries. Primary students collected items for children’s bags at shelters. All students made shelters out of milk cartons to collect change for the homeless. Students brought in food, clothing, personal supplies, stuffed animals and many other items which will be given to local groups to help the homeless. $1,134.86 was collected through the well and the students’ houses they created.
Students in grades 1 -5 also planned the morning openings and the closing. Student Council members researched quotes from Pope Francis and found readings for each grade to share. The students also shared different activities about homelessness, faith, love and our interconnectedness to each other.
This week helped us put a face to those who don’t have shelter, food and some of the basic needs. It also gave us a better understanding of the causes of homelessness. The message of resiliency was also present in all of our speakers. We are all connected! We feel that there is no better way to celebrate Catholic Schools’ Week than to dig deeper into our faith and to follow the example of our great parish!
“Love proves itself by deeds, so how am I to show my love? Great deeds are forbidden me. The only way I can prove my love is by scattering flowers and these flowers are every little sacrifice, every glance and word, and the doing of the least actions for love.” – St. Theresa