Service Learning During COVID-19 (By Dr. Josh Coleman, Director of Campus Ministry)
Dear St. Michael’s Families and Friends,
In light of the pandemic and the moral imperative to maintain social distancing (unless doing essential work for the community), the service requirement for graduating seniors of the 2020 class has been waived. In addition, given that our four-year goal is to reach 80 hours, we are waiving 10 hours for all underclassmen, meaning the underclassmen graduating total is now 70 hours.
Typically, the St. Michael’s service program encourages doing work outside one’s own immediate family and friends. It is an opportunity to grow by engaging difference, whether that is economic, cultural or otherwise. While this is made much more difficult, there are still ways to serve, with the reminder that the spirit of service has inherent value beyond fulfilling a requirement.
Some have suggested writing letters to people at nursing homes or bringing groceries to those more vulnerable to the current pandemic, as just two examples. In this situation we must be creative, knowing that all of our action is made more effective as an extension of a prayerful and open heart to God and all those around us. Perhaps now more than ever, in the words of Theresa of Lisieux, it is a time to “do little things with great love.” The spirit with which we attempt to be a better brother, sister, son, daughter, mother, father or spouse, all creates a space for the Holy Spirit to dwell and bring opportunities for healing.
I am encouraged by those students and families who have already created many ways to serve during this difficult time. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns.
St. Michael's Catholic Academy is mindful of its mission to prepare the student holistically for leadership, service, and decision making consistent with Catholic values; and admit students of any race, color, or national and/or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to the school. St. Michael's Catholic Academy does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and/or ethnic origin, age, or gender in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, financial aid and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs. St. Michael's Catholic Academy does not discriminate against students with special needs; a full range of services might not be available.