Sacred Heart students, alumni, and staff live out the mission of the school every day not only in but also outside of the classroom. Some of our Sacred Heart students showed this off over the summer as they volunteered at the Don Bosco Summer Bilingual Camp which took place at Holy Rosary/Corpus Christi School in conjunction with the Greenwich Audubon Center.
Upper School students Nadia B, Martina B, Megan M, Stephanie N, Caterina P, Gabi P, Emma R, and Gabrielle W all participated in the program as teaching assistants, during which they helped young children (ages three to four) learn English in an intensive dual language program in English and Spanish. The camp also taught social-emotional learning, Audubon life sciences, and yoga.
The bond formed between the children and volunteers was perhaps one of the most rewarding parts of the program for all of the participants. Caterina recalled a memory of an American boy named Bobby who was enrolled in the program but wasn’t familiar with Spanish.
“At first, he was hesitant even to try to speak the language; however, as time passed, he became aware of the basic words and phrases used in the classroom,” she explained. “One instance that made the experience so rewarding was when he finally spoke in Spanish. We were cleaning up the lunchroom, ready to head back to the classroom when he said, ‘Gracias’ (‘Thank you’) to me. This particular moment showed me the impact my peers and I had on these children as he was finally comfortable speaking this unfamiliar language and showed the knowledge he attained.”
The Don Bosco program fits the goals of the Board of Trustees One Heart committee, which strives to foster an environment of inclusivity and belonging for all. Through volunteering, students experience the benefits of this work up close and personally.
“When you participate or volunteer in such programs, you are helping communities and people that don't have the same resources or education. It helps others realize that service work should not be a requirement but should be an experience everyone wants because of the many rewards,” Caterina said about the benefits of volunteering with Don Bosco.
“The biggest benefit I received from working at the Don Bosco program was learning how to properly teach children manners at school, and discovering how much the environment (school) influences their actions in and out of the classroom,” Emma explained. “I also felt satisfied knowing I slightly changed the future of a child for the better.”
Stay tuned for more articles that highlight the ways in which our students, staff, and alumni live the mission of the school in both their personal and professional lives.