Service Learning

We believe that each person ministers to one another through faith and service, thereby building and supporting the community of faith at Bishop Kelly High School. You will find members of our community involved in service work seven days a week, and even over the summer vacation!

Service Learning in New Orleans

Jesus did not isolate Himself from His followers.  His mission was one of teaching, serving and living among the people.  Likewise, Jesus calls us to minister to our neighbors in the everyday passage of life.  In this way, we carry out God’s message and manifest His love here on earth.  We are called not only to preach God’s love, but also to serve and minister.

BK’s Service Learning seeks to move the classroom discussion of the personal and social components of Christian lifestyle into real life instances of service and ministry.  Service Learning is just the start of a lifetime gift of self to others.  We hope to bring students into the community so they can experience living the principles and beliefs of the Christian lifestyle.  The program reaches not to the school community, but also to parishes and agencies around the Treasure Valley.

Service Learning is a chance for the Bishop Kelly student to respond to Jesus’ call to feed, clothe, comfort, teach and help “the least needy of my brothers and sisters.” (Matthew 25:31-46).  This call, repeated throughout history in the Church’s teachings and documents, has always been generously practiced by the faithful in the Christian community. It is now passed on to our students to carry out the work of Christ and contribute to building a better world for all.

SENIOR SERVICE LEARNING PROJECT

We strongly believe that service to others is not something we “do”, but it becomes a part of who we are.  To graduate, seniors must complete at least 30 hours of community service with one community agency and complete a reflection process.

The program is designed to take the faith development offered to the student through the theology program one step further by helping the students to utilize their many gifts and talents to benefit the community in which they live.  The goals of the service learning agency placements are best served by concentrating one’s hours in a single agency or site. It is our belief that a focused experience achieves the best learning experience for the student.  The students have an opportunity to meet with service agencies from the Treasure Valley during the Service Learning Fair at the end of their junior year.  An agency contract must be completed by May 13, 2015. The Service Learning Handbook (live link to the PDF below) explains the entire process and assists students in completing their senior service project. Please contact BK Service Learning Coordinator, Teresa Nygard, at tnygard@bk.org with questions.

Doing service is about those who we serve, not about us.  I often remind students that SERVICE IS NOT ABOUT YOU!  If you find yourself complaining about this requirement, try your best to put things in perspective.  Service is a sacrifice for those in need, not just a checklist to get through high school!  “Serve one another with whatever gift you have received.” 1 Peter 4:10

 


SERVICE LEARNING PROGRAM FOR UNDERCLASSMEN

Ten (10) hours of service learning per semester, twenty (20) per year, is the minimum requirement for underclassmen (freshman, sophomores, juniors).  Each grade level is called to a specific type of service.  Freshmen are encouraged to serve their families or neighbors; sophomores are encouraged to serve their religious communities; juniors are encouraged to serve in Bishop Kelly sponsored service projects.  Up to five hours of summer service may apply towards the fall requirement and five hours over Christmas Break towards the spring requirement.  Parents will be asked to validate that the service has been completed.  A reflection process to facilitate learning about the experience is also conducted by the theology teachers.

Service Log for Underclassmen (PDF)


BISHOP KELLY SCHOOL-WIDE SERVICE PROJECTS 

Annual Food Drive

Each fall student campus ministers coordinate a school-wide food drive that takes place over several weeks. Students bring thousands of pounds of non-perishable food items to their second period class to help support the local Catholic parish food banks at Holy Apostles, Sacred Heart, St. Mary’s, St. Mark’s, St. Paul’s-Nampa, and St. John’s Cathedral.  During this time students also learn about and discuss Idaho’s growing hunger problem, giving them greater awareness of, and compassion for the needs of families in our community.

For more information, please contact Bishop Kelly Campus Minister, Teresa Nygard at tnygard@bk.org.

More information on poverty and hunger:
Value of Development Index (PDF)

Bishop Kelly Pennies for New Orleans Drive

Each year the Campus Ministers collect spare change throughout Lent for the St. Bernard Project in New Orleans (more information provided in the link: http://www.stbernardproject.org/­.  This fundraiser provides thousands of dollars each year to those who are still rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina.  Funds go directly to the organization, not to students who participate in the service trip.  Each year, those who go to New Orleans on the service trip work with this organization and are able to hand deliver a check from Bishop Kelly.

BK Legacy Garden

The Legacy Garden at Bishop Kelly High School began as a senior gift by the class of 2009. Its purpose is to serve as a source of fresh fruits and vegetables for the local Catholic parish food banks.

In the spring just before graduation, the senior class plants the garden, and in the fall of the next school year, the next year’s senior class harvests the produce. Students learn about soil preparation, organic gardening techniques, and sustainable gardening while giving of themselves to help others.

For more information, please contact Bishop Kelly Legacy Garden Coordinator, Andrea Symmonds.

Service Trip

Since 1999, Bishop Kelly High School has been offering a summer service immersion experience for incoming seniors as a way of completing the Senior Service Project.  In years past, groups have worked in Mexico, Guatemala, and most recently New Orleans.  The goal of the trip is centered on five principles: community, spirituality, service, solidarity, and social justice.

For the past two years, the group has gone to New Orleans to help with the rebuilding effort.  Even today, years after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the city of New Orleans, there is still much work to be done.  Currently, the group is working with The Phoenix of New Orleans, a non-profit dedicated to rebuilding homes that were destroyed by the failure of the levees.

Students work on a number of projects including hanging drywall, hammering nails, digging trenches, painting and pouring concrete.  Students have the opportunity to meet and work alongside the people who will be living in the houses they are helping rebuild.  The residents share their stories and their lives with Bishop Kelly students, bridging the gap between simply “manual labor” and “service to others.”

Students apply to be a part of the traveling team in the fall of their Junior year, and work throughout Junior year to raise funds and prepare for the trip.  Fundraisers help to cover travel costs and provide necessary funding for materials needed for the projects.  Traditionally the group has consisted of 25-30 students and 5 BK faculty, staff, or parents.  The trip takes place in early June, between the students’ junior and senior year.

For more information regarding the experience, please contact Bishop Kelly Service Trip Coordinator, Kate Masterson at kmasterson@bk.org.

Service Learning Day

Each year, Bishop Kelly sets aside a Friday for Service Learning Day where all students, teachers and administrators serve our local community.  Each first period instructor is asked to coordinate a service project that can be completed in one day. The goal is to extend classroom instruction by relieving some of the burden from an organization in need around the Treasure Valley.  Examples from previous Service Learning Days include a Spanish class visiting a primarily Hispanic school to help students with class work, and a Biology class working with “The Common Ground” community garden for refugees.

For more information or to suggest an organization that could use some help from the BK community, please contact Bishop Kelly Service Learning Coordinator, Teresa Nygard, at tnygard@bk.org.