Archive for the ‘Service Project’ Category

Kindergarten Coin Drive

Our kindergarten classes collected $284 in their recent Ronald McDonald House Coin Drive! Once the money was collected they used their money skills to sort and count the coins then purchased items from the RMH wish list. The children were very excited to pick out items for the RMH!

Working with RMH has been extremely beneficial for our kindergarten students. They all understand what it is like to be sick (although they don’t know the difference in severity) and feel great compassion for the children at RMH. The coin drive not only raised money for families at RMH, but it was also a great connection to our math curriculum as the students are learning to identify and count money. The children have really enjoyed working with the RMH this year!

Villa Celebrates Advent by Extending a Helping Hand

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.

Garland of Gloves

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.

Villa students extend a helping hand.

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

Simple Lenten Meal Wednesday, March 13

During Lent we focus on prayer, personal sacrifice and service to others. Our simple meal will draw the students’ attention to those less fortunate among us. View the March menu for details of what will be included in the meal. WE hope many of you will plan to have your child participate. One dollar for each meal purchased will be donated to Catholic Relief Services, Operation Rice Bowl. Click here for details about Operation Rice Bowl. Students will be served only once; there will be  no second helpings served on Wednesday, in keeping with our theme.  We will begin each meal in the lunchroom with a special prayer.

Changing the World, One Coin at a Time

Juan and Juan

As many of you know, last year, Villa Academy’s preschool raised over $1000 for Wuqu’ Kawoq Maya Health Alliance to help two-year-old twin boys, Juan and Juan in Guatemala. Recently, the preschool class received a video update from Wuqu’ Kawoq’s Medical Director, Dr. Peter Rohloff.  The young boys were severely malnourished and had a number of medical issues when Dr. Peter (as he is known to the preschoolers) first met them a year ago.  ”They are much better now thanks in part to all of the money you were able to raise for them,” Dr. Peter reported, “and their mother, in particular, is very, very grateful for everything that you did to help them out.”

Continuing their Coins for a Cause community service project, the preschool is currently collecting money for another Guatemalan child, Levi.  Just a few months old, Levi was born with congenital deformities of his hands and feet. Additionally, he is severely malnourished. Levi’s overall health needs to improve before doctors can begin the multiple operations required to repair his deformities.  Dr. Peter thanked the preschoolers in advance for their efforts: “Funds raised will provide Levi with the milk, food, and vitamins he needs to get stronger.” Preschoolers are especially excited their coins will help with one of the surgeries to restore full use of Levi’s hands and feet.  ”My kids were very touched to give for that reason alone as they wanted baby Levi to be able to hold his toys and run and play like they do,” said preschool teacher Sara Olson.

Coins for a Cause, which will run through March 28, also provides students the opportunity to learn about Guatemalan culture and geography.  This will include a short lesson in Kaqchikel, one of the Mayan languages, an introduction to quetzal birds and howler monkeys, as well as a glimpse into the village where Levi lives.

Contributions to the preschoolers’ Coins for a Cause may be made directly at

Coins for a Cause

The Third Trimester Community Service Project for the Preschool classes has focused in the past several years on helping a Guatemalan child in need of medical care which is financially beyond the reach of the family.

This year the money raised will help Levi, a 3-month old boy who is severely malnourished and who was born with multiple deformities of his hands and feet.The money raised will pay for intensive nutritional therapy to help him gain strength, medications to treat infections, and surgery to help him gain full use of his hands and feet.

The project is being introduced to the Preschool children today, Ash Wednesday, February 13.  Each child in the Preschool is invited to collect coins to bring to school. Our collection will run from February 13 – March 28. This project occurs during the season of Lent because of its core tenet of service to others.
Children are encouraged to raise the money by doing extra jobs or chores around the house.  Any amount raised will be a huge benefit to this little boy.

Be My Valentine

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
Children’s Hospital!
Happy Valentine’s Day
From the Preschool
Villa Academy

Primroses Say “Thank you”

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.