Dear VCES Community,

Each year, every grade level partners with a local organization to provide service and build relationships throughout the school year. We will continue having these service partnerships this year. Each partnership will provide students the opportunity to learn from a guest speaker from the organization, engage in service that helps each organization throughout the course of the year, and visit the organization’s site or a location where it provides service to see first-hand how their class’s service helps support the work that the organization does.

It is our sincere hope that these community partnerships offer our students the chance to better see and understand the needs of our community and that they help to instill in them a sense of empathy for all of our neighbors. Following the model of Jesus, we are called to service and love. Our school service program is a direct response to this important call, and it also allows us to more fully live out our school mission.

The following is an overview of the different partnerships we have in place for the year:

KindergartenSisters of St. Mary of Oregon
Our kindergarten classes will partner with our Sisters, particularly those who are retired and infirm, to share what they are doing in class, to entertain, and to provide company.

First GradeValley Catholic Early Learning School
Our first-grade classes will partner with the early learning school. When they meet with the younger students, they will share what they are learning in their classes to help build community between the two schools.

Second GradeMaryville and SOLVE
Our second-grade classes will partner with Maryville. Throughout the year, students will make cards for residents. Students will have the opportunity to visit residents to sing songs and pray with them. The second graders will also join Maryville residents on special occasions and holidays, and they will learn how Maryville takes care of the residents. The second graders will also partner with SOLVE as part of their science studies. Students will invite a guest speaker to their class to learn more about what they can do to help keep the environment clean. After their life cycle science unit, the second graders will participate in a river cleanup at Salmon Head River.

Third GradeNorthwest Pilot Project
Our third-grade classes will work to provide support to the elderly, disabled, poor, and homeless served by the Northwest Pilot Project, a group that works to keep housing affordable for those they serve. Third-grade students will support this organization by making cards, stuffing stockings and Easter baskets, and collecting kitchen items. They will also visit a location to learn more about the organization and to drop off the items they collect.

Fourth GradeSunshine Pantry / Sunshine Division
Our fourth-grade classes will participate in awareness, procuring goods, and activities that support the people who are served by the Sunshine Pantry and the Portland Police Bureau’s Sunshine Division. Students will learn how the Sunshine Pantry helps families in our local community by supplying food, clothing,  toiletries and toys to over 500 families per month. In the spring, fourth-grade students will take part in the Mac Attack, a competition among local Catholic schools that raises awareness of hunger in our community and helps those in need. The Sunshine Division is a local nonprofit food bank that provides emergency food and clothing to metro area families, including families in southwest Washington.

Fifth GradeCommunity Transitional School
Our fifth-grade classes will partner with Portland’s Community Transitional School, a school for the homeless of the Portland area. Students will do chores to earn money to purchase items that the students at the school need for their education. Students will visit the school and meet the principal to understand how the school operates and what they can do to help. Throughout the partnership, students will learn about Catholic social teaching and how their service connects to our Church’s mission.

We look forward to guiding our students to understanding how their efforts can make a difference and to help them reflect on how we can improve our relationships with our neighbors by providing a helping hand. You will receive more information from your child’s classroom teacher as important events in our partnerships occur throughout the year. Please contact our teachers to learn more about each program.

During Advent and Lent, there will continue to be school-wide service drives and projects that provide opportunities for our entire elementary school community to work together. For example, last year, we supported HomePlate and Catholic Charities through the Traveling Crib. We are glad to be continuing this great work as well.

Thanks, as always, for your support of what we do at school and for helping your children to fully understand the value of caring for all of our neighbors.

In Christ,

Krista Jacobson

The Month Ahead:

We have Mass or a prayer service each Wednesday at 9:35 a.m. in the Motherhouse Chapel.

October 11 | 7:55 a.m. | Parent Prayer with Mrs. Jacobson

October 12 | Jogathon

October 12 | Family Dine Out at Casa Lola. If you bring our flyer, 30% of your food purchase will go directly to the school. Casa Lola is located at 16305 SW Barrows Rd #100, Beaverton, OR 97007.

October 13 | No School – Teacher In-service

October 17 | 6:45 p.m. | VALOR Meeting

October 18 | 6:30 p.m. | Parent Education Night

October 28 | 6:00 p.m. | Halloween Carnival

October 31 | Free Dress for $1. Specific information will be sent about this free dress day.