Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 1453, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Summer is for service (and fitness): program guides young people to good health, volunteering

the Inland Register

(From the Aug. 21, 2014 edition of the Inland Register)

Students participating in this year’s “Summer is for Service” program were introduced to several opportunities for helping the community. Pictured are some of those who helped serve lunch at the House of Charity in downtown Spokane. (IR photo courtesy of Janet Maucione)

With grant funding from Providence Health Care, a new program, “Summer is for Service,” has helped change the lives of a number of young people by providing service learning experiences and opportunities to learn various life skills and life sports.

This innovative program was developed and implemented by Janet Maucione, Director of Religious Education at Sacred Heart Parish, Spokane, and a Cataldo School parent, with the assistance of Cataldo teacher Mitch Weller and a host of adult volunteers.

The program was aimed at students from grades 6-8 from the parishes of Sacred Heart, St. Augustine, and the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes, as well as Cataldo School. The program ran for eight weeks, from June 23-Aug. 14 this year.

The concept was simple: provide young people with opportunities to become “people for others” while developing critical life skills and promoting a healthy lifestyle through sessions on fitness and nutrition.

Throughout the Spokane area, the young participants provided important assistance: to the senior citizens at Emilie Court; by helping with the Catholic Charities gardens in Vinegar Flats; packaging foods at Second Harvest; volunteering at St. Margaret’s Shelter and St. Anne’s Children and Family Center; assisting with animal care at Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service; and preparing and serving lunch at the House of Charity – among other volunteer services.

The volunteer/service component was followed on Tuesdays and Thursdays with life skills mini-workshops, such as:

• A babysitting class, taught by Lilac Queen and Sacred Heart parishioner Kaylee Pearson.
• First Aid and CPR, taught by Tony Maucione, teacher at Gonzaga Prep.
• Money Skills, taught by professionals from Spokane Teachers Credit Union.
• Résumé writing and job hunting, taught by Gonzaga Prep senior Spencer Ceballos.
• Nutrition and Healthy Lifestyle choices, taught by experts from Washington State University’s “Food Sense” nutrition education program.

Wednesdays were devoted to promoting fitness and avoiding the sedentary lifestyle that has become a serious problem for increasing numbers of young people. Physical Education instructor Mitch Weller directed activities such as “ultimate Frisbee” and “capture the flag” games at Manito Park. Participants were also introduced to life sports such as golf, instructed by a pro and held at Eagle Ridge Golf Course; tennis, taught by Sacred Heart parishioner Erin Harbaugh; and cycling, which included a bike trip along the Centennial Trail.

The students also got a VIP tour of Gonzaga University sports facilities, conducted by assistant athletic director, Joel Morgan.

The young people who participated in this program made a difference in the lives of many they served. They also learned a great deal about themselves – something that is important for everyone, but especially for young adults who are just starting to question where they belong and what is important in life.

Special thanks to all of the parents and adult volunteers who made this possible, and especially to Rene Campagna, a Cataldo parent and the program’s liaison to Providence Health Care, and Anita Condon, Development Director at Cataldo School.

One of the spots where students volunteered was Catholic Charities’ St. Margaret’s Shelter. (IR photo courtesy of Janet Maucione)

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