“San Domenico - Where Caring is Common”
Buddy Sisters at Lourdes Convent (Retirement Community)
Every year, each First Grader is paired all year with a “Buddy Sister” at Lourdes Convent, where there are several elderly Dominican Sisters in residence, many of whom have been teachers, administrators, or volunteers at SD and other schools over the years. In May, the First Graders will be meeting their Buddy Sisters in person when we take a Service Learning trip to Lourdes. To promote connection in the meantime, the students have been making holiday cards for the sisters.
Most recently, they made Valentines Day cards with thoughtful notes and pictures. Each Valentines card included some chocolate from the First Graders to their Buddy Sisters.
Sadly, the Sisters lost two of their own this Fall - Sister Jeremy and Sister Marie, so we hope the cards bring some comfort and cheer to Lourdes.
Cedars of Marin Fine Arts Studio
In March, the Third Graders will be going in small groups to visit the Cedars Fine Arts Studio in San Anselmo. While there, the students will conduct interviews and work on group art projects. Most importantly, they will engage and spend special time with the Cedars artists. They have been preparing for the visits by making a list of questions to ask their interviewee and reading books about individuals with developmental disabilities. On March 1, a group of artists will be coming to the third grade classroom to share their puppetry as a preview of the visits.
Homeward Bound Family Center
Every year, the Fourth Grade goes in small groups throughout the year to make meals for the families at the Homeward Bound Family Center (FC). There are nine families who were previously facing homelessness, living at the FC and each family has one room to share. While at the FC, HB provides support for the families to find permanent housing. For the meal the students bring all the ingredients and this year our menu is Caesar salad, Caprese skewers, zoodles and lasagnas (both veggie and meat) for the families living at the FC. Most of the adults at the FC are single, working mothers with young children so having an easy, nutritious, tasty meal ready when they get everybody home makes life a little easier. Here are some photos of our winter visits:
Fourth Grade Business Day Proceeds Donated to Marin Humane Society
Once again this year, the Fourth Graders held their annual Business Day. They paired up in teams and created mini-businesses. From selling lotions and dog treats, to shoot-a-hoop, the class hosts the rest of the Lower School to raise money for the charity they choose. Not only did the students learn about being entrepreneurs, they also made thoughtful choices about how they can help make a difference in their community. After careful deliberation this year, the class decided to donate the proceeds to the Marin Humane Society.
Fireside Apartments for Low Income Seniors and Families
Throughout the year, each Fifth Grade Leadership Team will take turns going on Service Learning trips to Homeward Bound of Marin’s Fireside Apartments for low-income seniors and families.
Homeward Bound of Marin is the county’s primary provider of homeless shelters and services for the homeless. Fireside is one of the Homeward Bound facilities and provides permanent, affordable housing and many other services for seniors facing homelessness.
At Fireside, the students manage the food pantry, which is fully stocked by the Marin Food Bank, for the elderly residents and families. Not only do the students sort and bag the food, but they also distribute and hand deliver it to the seniors, some of whom are housebound. To promote real connection, the students also bring breakfast for and play Bingo with the elderly residents.
As you can see from the pictures, it was a busy morning of service, connection, laughter, and fun.
Breakfast with Santa Donation
In early December, the Fifth Grade class hosted the annual Breakfast with Santa for the school community. Service Learning is a focal point of this project. The money raised by selling tickets to this special event which includes a pancake breakfast, crafts and musical performance, is donated to a worthy cause. The Fifth Grade class collaboratively decided to donate the proceeds to St. Jude Hospital so the monies will go to support the fight against childhood cancers.
San Francisco/Marin Food Bank
The Seventh Grade class spent a morning of service at the SF Food Bank in early February.
They were able to tour the site and learn tremendous amount about hunger in SF and Marin and how the Food Bank works to fight it. Then they worked tirelessly, bagging, measuring, labeling, and packing rice.
We were so lucky to have several teachers and a dozen parents join us too. In total, we had about 90 SD volunteers and they made a great team - packing hundreds of pounds of rice for people facing food insecurity in San Francisco and Marin. Below are some pictures that give you a sense of the morning.
Middle School Service Learning Club
Candy Grams - Selling Candy Grams for Little Wishes
Little Wishes, founded by UCSF pediatric nurse, Laura Eurphrat, in 2003, brings care and kindness to chronically and critically ill hospitalized children to ease their discomfort and bring them moments of joy. They do so by providing very special and targeted gifts to sick children. After meeting with Nurse Laura to learn more about the organization, the Service Club set out to support the cause. They created and sold Candy Grams for Valentines Day. The Service Club presented the slide show above to morning meeting to encourage their peers to help. As a final touch, they are making friendship bracelets and cards for a number of Little Wishes patients to help remind them that they are not alone.
Helping First Grade
Once again, Service Club visited the First Grade classroom to work with the students. They helped them make Valentines Day Cards for their Buddy Sisters.
We had our third visit with residents of Bello Gardens Retirement Home to visit senior “Buddies”, taking along puppies and cards . The Service Club had an especially sweet visit with their Bello Buddies in January. Once again they brought Jessica’s Haven puppies to share. The residents received much love and connection from the students and the puppies. The also gave us the Christmas cards they handmade for us in reply to those we made for them, and in February, sharing Valentine’s Day cards