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.