Last weekend, three children, ages 10 and under, knocked on my door. They wanted to rake the leaves in my front yard to raise money for the children’s hospital. These children worked hard raking and bagging the leaves in my yard. It was a service to me, and they were raising money for a cause beyond themselves. This is what citizenship–our focus for November–is all about.

For the month of November, we are focusing on the School-wide Learning Expectation (SLE) of citizenship for our Student of the Month characteristic. In Mass on Tuesday, I explained that citizenship is being aware of the needs in our community (home, school, city, state, and global), and then working to help meet those needs. There are many ways to be a good citizen, but I highlighted three events this month:

  1. Please join us this Sunday, November 9, at the 8 a.m. Mass at St. John’s Cathedral. St. Joseph’s School is hosting the Mass, and we have a neat mix of students involved (kindergarten through 8th grade). It is an awesome opportunity to worship and serve together.
  2. On Thursday, November 13, St. Joseph’s School is hosting a Friendship Feast to serve those in our community who are less fortunate. Each class has been asked to donate specific items for the Friendship Feast. Bishop Kelly High School is collecting food for St. John’s food bank during the same time as our students are hosting the Friendship Feast. We are partnering with them to make this an even greater service to our community.
  3. Every year local churches join together to provide Thanksgiving food boxes to those in the greater Boise area who cannot afford a Thanksgiving meal. Sign-up to donate food boxes will be this weekend after the Masses, and the food boxes will be returned to St. John’s on Nov. 23.

While we are talking about citizenship, this is a great opportunity to remind everyone that each student is responsible for completing an individual service project. The individual service project should involve the student doing something to help others. Some examples include: making and delivering a meal to someone who is ill, visiting a nursing home to play games or music, helping at a food bank, raking leaves for an elderly person, etc. This is a great time to get involved because there are many community needs during the holidays.