Archive for the ‘Community’ Category
Villa Academy was awarded Eco Schools USA Green Flag – just the second school in Washington state to be so honored – in a ceremony yesterday, recognizing its commitment to environmental sustainability and increasing environmental literacy for its students, faculty and school community.
To win the Green Flag, Villa Academy students and faculty – led by the school’s Green Team – conducted an environmental audit of the school, then created and implemented an Eco-Action plan that focused on reducing consumption and waste, conserving water and energy, caring for our school grounds and promoting outdoor education and experiential learning.
Many schools have implemented the Eco-Schools USA program, some earning Bronze and Silver level awards for their progress. The Green Flag level requires a rigorous combination of environmental audits, curriculum reinvention and internal and external monitoring.
Congratulations to our students and faculty and thank you to Roger Crafts, Norma Jenner and Jeannie Nichols for their leadership in “greening” our school!
The Eco-Schools program is an international network of 38,000 K-12 schools in 51 countries, started in 1994 by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) with support by the European Commission. It was named by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) as a model initiative for Education for Sustainable Development in 2003. The National Wildlife Federation was named the stateside host in 2008, thus formally launching Eco-Schools USA.
December first marks the first Sunday of Advent, a time of waiting and preparation for the birth of Jesus. During Advent, we wait in joy, in hope, and in anticipation for the wonderful event we are about to experience-the feast of Christmas, the coming of Christ into our lives in new ways. This waiting is far from empty; rather, it is full of the hope that God promises us as we prepare for Christ in the feast of Christmas.
At Villa, we will be preparing too-with special prayers each day, decorations including advent wreaths and outside lights, Christmas programs with stories, poems and carols, and the traditional Villa Christmas tree and manger scene in the main hall foyer. But most important during the Advent season are the helping hands extended from Villa Academy to people in need outside our community. Everyone helps-from our youngest preschoolers to the oldest eighth graders as well as our families. Mother Cabrini said, “We must be bearers of Christ’s love to the world.” Our “giving” makes that love real. So, what does our outreach look like during Advent?
Preschool and Kindergarten help children in need all year long. Preschool works with a three different agencies, and Kindergarten partners with Ronald McDonald House. During this Advent season, Preschool students are invited to bring in warm hats, gloves and scarves for First Place School, a school that serves homeless children. They call their drive the “Mitten Tree Project”, named after a lovely children’s picture book. Look for the very real “mitten trees” that will decorate our preschool classrooms and hallway very soon!
Kindergarten also collects hats, mittens, gloves and scarves for children, donating them to the families at Ronald McDonald House. They call their collection “Garlands of Gloves”. Watch for the donated items to be strung in the Kindergarten hallway very soon. Specific information about each drive will be sent home to preschool and kindergarten families. These two drives really make sense for young children because they understand what it is like to be cold.
Students and families in grades 1-8 are once again invited this year to be part of the Adopt a Family Project, assisting families in need through Providence Regina House. In early December, each grade level is assigned a family with multiple members from Providence Regina House. Classes or advisories get together and brainstorm possible gift ideas for each family member, and students then volunteer to bring in particular items. Sometimes the choosing of a gift will be left up to the gift giver! Wrapped and labeled gifts are brought to school by Monday, December 16th this year, assembled in family groups, and then delivered to Regina House by our Student Council Officers and parent drivers on Wednesday, December 18th. Often, these are the only gifts an “adopted family” will receive. Look for information the first week of December about your student’s adopt a family, communicated by either the homeroom teacher in Lower School or your child’s advisor in Middle School.
From preschool through eighth grade, we encourage families to have children be a part of the giving: earn some of the money for gifts doing jobs, go to the store and help pick out the gift(s), wrap them (grades 1-8), and finally bring them to school themselves. Classes will often make cards or decorations to accompany the gifts, and thus making them truly gifts of love. Through this season of waiting and joyful anticipation, your child will begin to understand what it means to be a “bearer of Christ’s love to the world” by extending a helping hand. Happy Advent!
- Jody Elsner, Lower School Director
Congratulations to the Villa 6th grade girls soccer team on winning the CYO Championship! Despite wind gusts that blew the actual ball at times, the Vikings, led by Katie O. with two goals and Rachel R. with another, defeated St. Francis 3-0. Goalies Lizzie K. and Katie O. combined for the shutout, marking the third time this season the Viking defense blanked its opponent.
The team was excited, but not surprised by their victory. Going into the game “we were confident in our skills,” said Cate B. Players give credit to their coaches, Steve Tanaka and David Sommerville, for pushing the team to train hard and believe the amount of running they did in early season practices was one of two key factors in their success. The other being the bond they share as teammates, many having played together since kindergarten. “It’s the most supportive team I’ve ever had,” said Lucy T. The Vikings finished their season with 8 wins, 2 losses and 1 draw.
Hunger has been the focus of the 4th graders community service throughout this school year. Partnering with Food Lifeline, they learn about the economic, social and cultural implications of hunger both locally and globally. But, students don’t just learn about hunger, they become part of the solution. Multiple field trips to the Food Lifeline facility in Shoreline gives them the opportunity to directly impact those in need by helping to prepare products for distribution to local food banks, shelters and meal programs.
In addition, both 4th grade classes plan an Empty Bowls soup dinner to increase awareness about hunger and raise money for Food Lifeline. This dinner for 4th grade families includes vegetables planted and harvested by students in the school garden, as well as handmade clay bowls created in art class.
Last week 4th graders visited Food Lifeline for a final time to present their donation to Linda Nageotte, President and CEO of Food Lifeline.
We are so proud of their dedication to this cause and for continuing the great tradition of service at Villa Academy! Great job, Ms. Southern, Ms. Rutledge and 4th graders!
Each January the Villa preschool students and their buddies create beautiful Valentines. These decorated hearts are then assembled to make a Valentine Garland. The Valentine Garland is presented to Children’s Hospital and is prominently hung for all to enjoy.
The students learn about the hospital and its special patients so they can better understand how these valentines cheer up the sick children during their hospital stay and the hardworking hospital staff.
Thank you for being
such a wonderful
Happy Valentine’s Day
From the Preschool
Villa Academy is celebrating Catholic Schools Week January 27 – February 2. Each day of this special week Villa celebrates a different core value of our Cabrinian tradition.
Today we celebrate our neighbors. Villa Middle School students assembled and will deliver primroses and thank you notes to all of the neighbors near our school. Students at all grade levels participate throughout the school year in age appropriate Community Service projects.