Our weekly 85-minute class periods on block days have historically supported courses to conduct science experiments, collaborative projects, and increasingly now social justice practicums. It is a chance for our Lancers to apply their learning to address the most pressing of social concerns: environmental injustice, poverty, and dignity of the human person. It a hands-on approach that allows students to engage with the topics and serve the most in need.
We collaborate with multiple organizations. Recently students worked with Iskashitaa Refugee Network. They pureed locally harvested calamondin limes with prickly pear juice to make a jam in an effort to reduce our carbon footprint in food waste and help support refugees. When we go to St. Francis Shelter, we pray in the chapel alongside the homeless men and clean, sort, and organize. At Casa Alitas, we play with asylum-seeking children, clean rooms, run basic housekeeping, and care for the garden. Dr. Dynse Crunkelton from Reachout Women's Center will visit and discuss abortion with our students and we then create sock monkeys for the newborns involved in crisis pregnancies. We make strength bracelets for Beads of Courage to support children with chronic illnesses as an act of solidarity. We also visit Keeling Elementary monthly to volunteer in elementary classrooms to support students in their academics. We coordinate with The Fountains Senior Living Facility on making sleeping mats for the homeless out of plastic yarn. We make the "plarn" (plastic yarn), the seniors crochet the mats, and then are donated anyone experiencing homelessness. These initiatives are made possible for our students by the Carmelites Human Development Grant.
It is the point when the theoretical merges with the practical and our students gain insight as to what it looks like to be a disciple of Christ in our world.