Upper School students continue community service virtually


Ana López del Punta '23

Sacred Heart Greenwich offers its students the opportunity to participate in virtual community service.

In previous years, students at Sacred Heart Greenwich performed community service in person.  This year, however, with the regulations that are currently in place because of the coronavirus pandemic, Upper School students must now participate in community service through virtual platforms.  Mrs. Kerry Bader, Director of Upper School Social Justice and Service and Senior Seminar Service and Theology Teacher, facilitates four programs in which Sacred Heart students can partake.

Mrs. Kerry Bader coordinates the virtual community service programs.  Ana López del Punta ’23

The After School Tutoring Program works in collaboration with Brunswick School.  In this program, Sacred Heart and Brunswick students provide virtual help with homework and test preparation to elementary school children from the Bronx, New York.

Virtual Greeting Cards is a new volunteer opportunity for Sacred Heart students this year.  Students from Sacred Heart, as well as those from Loyola School, located in New York City, New York, prepare video greetings for the retired Religious of the Sacred Heart (RSCJ) and Jesuit communities, as well as for residents of St. Patrick’s Home and King Street Rehab.  As the residents currently cannot receive any visitors, the videos let them know that students are thinking of them during these unprecedented times. 

The Don Bosco Community Center’s Early Childhood Bilingual Program (ECBP) prepares 3-year-old and 4-year-old Hispanic children with developing speaking, reading, listening, and writing skills in Spanish and English, according to donboscocenter.org.  This program has now turned virtual, with volunteers teaching lessons to the children in both English and Spanish over Zoom.  Senior Lauren Mirando is one of the volunteers with Don Bosco’s ECBP.  She remarked on how the program has been able to adapt to the changing circumstances by still offering virtual sessions for the students.

“The Don Bosco program has done a great job adapting to a virtual setting,” Lauren said.  “In previous years the program consisted of two separate programs, one during the summer and one during the school year.  We now have two virtual sessions on Zoom every other week on Saturday for forty-five minutes and Sunday for a thirty minute read aloud in both Spanish and English.  On Zoom, we teach the students a lesson in Spanish and English about various important life lessons.”

Even though she cannot interact with the students in person as she did in previous years, Lauren still enjoys helping them using her English and Spanish skills.

Although I miss being able to make more in-person connections with the students, I like still being able to aid them in their bilingual education through read alouds and interactive activities,” Lauren said.

Sophia Morales ’23 and Caterina Pye ’23 teach SASH students about Cuba’s language, culture, and geography.  Courtesy of Mrs. Kerry Bader

In the past, Saturdays at Sacred Heart (SASH) offered students from Port Chester, New York, White Plains, New York, and Stamford, Connecticut, the opportunity to visit the Sacred Heart campus on weekends for the purpose of study and enrichment.  Sacred Heart students are continuing this program virtually by teaching elementary and middle school children from neighboring communities about various countries’ cultures, languages, and geography. 

Mrs. Bader believes that community service exemplifies Goal Three of Sacred Heart’s Goals and Criteria, “a social awareness which impels to action.”

“We think that it is important, even in the midst of the pandemic, to have our students have opportunities to provide service for marginalized populations,” Mrs. Bader said.  “It allows them to have a broader picture of both how the pandemic impacts them and how it really has significant impacts on other people outside of our community.”

Featured Image by Ana López del Punta ’23