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.
This fall at St. John Vianney, the sixth, seventh and eighth grades were combined to form the middle school. Middle school teachers now instruct in one subject area. The religion teacher, Mrs. Fischer, has introduced a new part of the curriculum which requires the students to perform community service. Her goal is to inspire a student to act for others, not oneself; in doing this, the students reflect the teaching that Christ’s love is demonstrated through service to others.
The students have been given suggestions to help them find service projects that suit them. Mrs. Fischer explained, “Many of the children are obtaining service hours right within the building. They have taken ownership of lunch room tasks such as wiping down tables and seats, monitoring disposal of waste and stacking of cafeteria trays, cleaning the floors. Students are cadets in the morning to assist in the supervision of children during the gathering time outside for the Pledge of Allegiance. The children lead us in prayer in the morning. They also deliver mail at the end of the day.”
The eighth graders are encouraged to find projects outside of SJV. “They are getting involved in the St. Ben's meal program and other volunteer service organizations in the Greater Milwaukee area,” said Mrs. Fischer. The students will turn in a service log at the end of each quarter and have a reflection in class.
Olivia Volkert, a seventh grader at SJV, spent five hours last Sunday morning volunteering at the annual SJV Justice Market. She assisted selling items from Ecuador to benefit the Working Boys’ Center in Quito, Ecuador. Through doing this, she learned more about what the Working Boys’ Center is and what is does for the people of Quito. “I thought it was a lot of fun. I wish I could go volunteer there [at the Working Boys’ Center] but you have to be 18. I will definitely go there in high school,” she said. Volunteering made Olivia feel “mature, helpful, nice and warmhearted.”
Olivia has exceeded her required hours by far, but plans to continue looking for volunteer opportunities. The experiences have shown her that she has a lot to give and by giving, the receiving is incredible. Olivia commented, “It is important for us to volunteer because it shows that you have to help others and not be selfish.” She is happy about the new volunteer requirement, but thinks it should call for more hours.
Mrs. Fischer feels the students are learning that service is recognizing need. She hopes to build the community element of the program. If any SJV parish members have opportunities, they can contact her at the school.