Whether you're on your way to the library or stopping by City Hall, chances are you're driving by St. John Vianney School, located in the heart of Brookfield. This blog will provide insight into life and education at SJV, a 4K-8 educational anchor in Brookfield since 1957.
Last school year, Mrs. Sue Schmitt, a Social Studies teacher at St. John Vianney School, assigned her then seventh-grade students the task of preparing a social justice plan. The students were to brainstorm and plan their own service-learning project. Emme Granger, Amanda Neimon, and Simone Tegge dreamed up the idea of holding a lemonade stand and bake sale for The Smile Train. This international charity focuses on providing free cleft lip and palate surgery to millions of poor children in developing countries. Most children with these facial deformities cannot eat or drink properly and aren’t allowed to go to school or hold a job.
The girls fulfilled the requirements of their seventh-grade assignment by identifying an injustice they wished to address and devising a plan of action to help right the unfairness. However, as eighth-graders, the girls decided to actually execute their plan. This past August they spent one afternoon selling lemonade and baked goods from a stand they set up on a neighborhood street corner. Determined to raise even more money, they restocked their stand with lemonade, water, cookies and other treats to sell on school grounds during volleyball try-outs and football practice. In total, the girls raised $159 for The Smile Train, nearly 2/3 the cost of one Smile Train surgery for a child in one of the world’s poorest countries.
The girls were quite please with their results, sharing a special sense of satisfaction knowing that they gave a desperate child not just a new smile, but a new life. It put smiles on the faces of these three St. John Vianney eighth-graders as well.
If you ask someone at St. John Vianney School, what is the best part of the beginning of the school year, many may mention the Pizza Bash being held this Friday evening. The Pizza Bash is a traditional event where students look forward to a delicious pizza dinner, many fun games and of course, socializing with friends. Parents, on the other hand, not only get a pass on cooking dinner and cleaning dishes, but also get to network and compare notes with other parents. This event is especially popular with new families.
I remember when my now freshman at Marquette was in 1st grade, we attended our first Pizza Bash. Since we were only one week into a new school, we only knew a handful of families and really did not know what to expect. I held on to my 1st grader’s hand, but before our hands get too sweaty from nervous perspiration, we were served pizza and invited to sit with older SJV families. Right after ice cream, our 1st grader ran off with his friends and we met several other 1st grade families. We were welcomed into the SJV community.
We have since attended eight Pizza Bashes. Sometimes it's eat and run as we raced to a volleyball match. Sometimes we ate in shifts as we volunteered to serve. We always have fun catching up with friends on summer happenings and tips for the new school year. Oh, for those parents with younger children, this is a night where you can actually socialize. Chances are your children are in the games area enjoying the supervised activities. This year, the games will be run by the 5th grade Girl Scouts and 3rd grade Boy Scouts.
Tomorrow, we will enjoy our 9th Pizza Bash, as we race between high school volleyball practice and two volleyball games.