Parish 262-673-4831 School 262-673-3081

Enlightened by Faith, Enriched by Education

Service Learning Experience Projects


This is the location where you will be able to find information about Service Learning Projects, sign-up sheets, deadlines, reflection sheets, etc.


Time for Us to do Something - Video - Matthew West

Service – Why is it important?

You hear it all the time—how important it is to take care of those around you.  From your little brother or sister to the homeless you see in the street, it seems like society constantly reminds you how important it is to be concerned about others.  You might ask:  Why is service to others so important?  I know it helps them, but how does it help me?  How will serving others make a difference in my life?

The answer is quite simple.  When you decide to notice, when you decide to act, when you decide to make a difference (even in a small way), you have taken the first step in changing the world.

Look around you—who do you see volunteering their time?  Your parents or your friend’s parents may be coaching you & your friends in soccer, baseball, football, cheerleading, skating, hockey, etc.  Many parents and parishioners volunteer countless hours to help teach you about your faith & to make your Confirmation Retreat a memorable time for you.  Many people in Hartford help on various community events such as the Pink Pumpkin Run which helps families battling cancer, the Beautification Committee who plants & cares for the flowers downtown.  These are just a few of the people who volunteer in our parish & community.

What’s in it for you?  Your actions will not only be appreciated, but chances are, they will touch the lives of both the people you meet and many people you may never even see.  The greatest reward of serving others is how it makes you feel about yourself.  That special feeling is God’s way of telling you thank you! Thank you for caring!  Thank you for making a difference in the world!

What does the Bible say about service?  Jesus tells us time and time again how important it is to serve others as a part of leading a Christian life.  A genuine commitment to others is ultimately a commitment to Christ.  It will make a difference in the choices you make and even the vocation that you are called to.  In the book of Matthew Jesus says to the people “Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.”  In other words, if you are feeding or clothing the poor, you are doing the same for Jesus.

Give of your time and talents (we all have many hidden talents we aren’t even aware of until we are asked to help).  Give of yourself with a happy and loving heart!  It is when we do this that we realize that our actions in the name of service truly imitate Christ!  God will bless you with a rewarding sense of fulfillment that comes from serving Him through serving others.

CORPORAL WORKS OF MERCY – When Jesus was describing the universal judgment that will take place at the end of the world, He spoke of the importance of good deeds done for others.  These are: to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to visit the sick, to bury the dead, to give drink to the thirsty, to shelter the homeless, to visit the imprisoned.  Again, “As long as you did it for one of my least brothers, you did it for me.”

SPIRITUAL WORKS OF MERCY – Gathering together other words of Jesus, the Church also teaches us to:  counsel the doubtful, comfort the sorrowful, pray for the living and the dead, instruct the ignorant, forgive injuries, admonish the sinner, bear wrongs patiently.


Service Learning Experience (SLE)

Project Information


On the right hand side you will see the names of several letters and forms.  These are links that will take you to that letter or form. 


As part of the service component of their formation, students in Grades 8-11 are asked to determine an area (or more) of service that they will complete during the Religious Education year.

There are projects that will benefit the parish directly.  There are also very specific experiences chosen to get the student out of their comfort zone and see what real poverty looks like. 

All of these opportunities are meant to lead our youth to ongoing service within the parish and larger community.  It is not about the amount of hours that are put in, but the experience that those hours provide.  In many cases, it moves students out of their “comfort zone” and introduces them to a world much different than their own. 

No matter what they choose, it is meant to remind them that as Christians we are called to love others as Christ loves us and that every time we serve the needs of others, we are serving Christ himself.

An email was sent with a list of available service experiences, asking parents to take time to look the list over as a family, talk about each option, and prayerfully reflect on which project your student will choose.  Links to the forms that were attached can be found on the right hand side of this page!

As part of this component, the students will also be asked to reflect on their service.  They will required to submit a form directing their reflection of their service experience(s).  These completed forms will be submitted to their catechists.  After the catechist has read and commented on them, the catechists will submit the completed forms to the Youth Minister for evaluation and recording.


Reflection Explanation and Introduction

Reflection is one of the most rigorous components of a service learning experience. Students who take the time to reflect on service learning experiences will get more from those experiences. This is why reflections are a required part of service learning. Reflection helps students thoughtfully process their community work. It helps them critically assess and understand what they are seeing and doing.

Service learning practitioners and researchers have concluded that the most effective service learning experiences are those that provide structured opportunities for learners to critically reflect upon their service experience.

Below is a graphical representation of the reflection process, also referred to as the Experiential Learning Cycle*.

—Kolb, David. Experiential Learning Cycle chart.
—Kolb, David. Experiential Learning Cycle chart.

As students participate in a service learning project, or experience, and do the related community work, they should ask themselves these questions: What? So What? Now What? The reflection process begins with a defining and sharing of the "What" of the student's experience, and follows a continuous cycle towards "So What?" and "Now What?"

What? Report the facts and events of an experience, objectively.
So What? Analyze the experience.
Now What? Consider the future impact of the experience on you and the community.

Examples of Reflection Questions based on the Service Experiential Learning Model

—What happened?
—What did you observe?
—What issue is being addressed or population is being served?

So What?
—Did you learn a new skill or clarify an interest?
—Did you hear, smell, or feel anything that surprised you?
—How is your experience different from what you expected?
—What impacts the way you view the situation/experience? (What lens are you viewing from?)
—What did you like/dislike about the experience?
—What did you learn about the people/community?
—What are some of the pressing needs/issues in the community?
—How does this project address those needs?

Now What?
—What seem to be the root causes of the issue addressed?
—What other work is currently happening to address the issue?
—What learning occurred for you in this experience?
—How can you apply this learning?
—What would you like to learn more about, related to this project or issue?
—What follow-up is needed to address any challenges or difficulties?
—What information can you share with your peers or the community?
—If you could do the project again, what would you do differently?

—Kolb, David. Experiential Learning Cycle chart.
—Eyler, Janet, and D.E. Giles. A Practitioners Guide to Reflection in Service-Learning. Nashville: Vanderbilt University, 1996.  




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