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Christian Community Service in our Schools

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In our Catholic schools we see the opportunity for students to grow in their faith life. The following describes how Christian Community Service offered in our Catholic schools meets the provincial mandate requiring every student to complete 40 hours of Community Service in order to be granted the Ontario Secondary School Diploma.

Students are strongly encouraged to perform a minimum of 10 hours of service per year. Themes in the religious Education program are used as students develop in their understanding of what it means to be Disciples of Christ. This theological reflection on Christian Community Service placements is supported by Religion teachers. Christian Community Service is a minimum requirement in a life-long process of understanding our role as followers of Christ in the modern world.

When must a student complete 40 hours of Christian Community Service?

Students now have from July 1st (after they finish Grade 8) until the end of Grade 12 to complete this graduation requirement. They do so outside class hours - during lunch breaks, in the evening, on weekends, during school breaks, during summer months.

How does a student go about completing Christian Community Service hours?

The policy, procedure, lists of eligible services, and forms to be submitted upon completion of the required hours are listed below. Students are required to submit forms at least once each academic year. Any service work for an organization not on the approved list requires prior approval from school administration. Report cards indicate the number of hours completed to date. Records are updated periodically as students submit the “Record of Christian Community Service”.

Christian Community Service component of Religion courses

Religious Education teachers will continue to facilitate theological reflection on service/charity/justice/ advocacy to fulfill the course requirement for Christian Community Service.

Information for Parents/Guardians

Parents/guardians are partners in this process and are asked to monitor the completion of service hours and the safety of their children. Students are encouraged to find and complete suitable service placements. Students are also responsible for completing reflection assignments designated by the school.

APPROVED SERVICE ACTIVITIES

Help Your Neighbours

Provide service to seniors or others having diffi culty leaving their homes – raking, shoveling (no snow blowers), shopping (students should not drive vehicles for this purpose), visiting, reading, meal preparation.

Assist a neighbour with childcare – take a child to the park, watch child while parent prepares dinner.

Tutor younger students – read, take to the library, help with homework.

Help Your Community

Volunteer at a senior’s home/centre

Help organize local community events – food drives/banks

Volunteer at a senior’s home/centre

Take part in environmental initiatives – cleaning and recycling operations, park clean-up, planting trees and flowerbeds (students should not use power tools – lawn mowers, hedge trimmers, wood clippers, etc.)

Become involved with charitable or Church activities

Assist with sports teams: community leagues, house league teams parks and recreation programs

Volunteer in leadership roles with community groups– Youth Group, Leader at Church

Volunteer at hospitals, libraries, social service or animal welfare agencies, religious communities/places of worship

Assist with literacy initiatives–at local libraries, daycare centres, community centres

Help Your School or Other Schools
(After school and lunch breaks)

Help with sports teams–run drills, assist the coach

Help in library–shelving books, tidying up, changing bulletin boards

Tutor other students

Assist students with special needs

Assist with the planning of Arts and athletic events

Assist Chaplaincy with programs– retreats, Peer Mediation, Peer Mentoring

Facilitate school events such as parent information nights, new student orientations

Participate in charitable activities

Facilitate environmental activities

Serve on school committees and councils –school governance, peer ministry

LIST OF INELIGIBLE ACTIVITIES

An ineligible activity is an activity that:

Includes any activities contrary to the moral teachings of the Catholic Church

Is a requirement of a class in which the student is enrolled

Takes place during the school day. (This does not include lunch or “spare” periods)

Takes place in a logging or mining environment, if the student is under 16 years of age

Takes place in a factory, if the student is under 15 years of age

Takes place in a workplace other than a factory, if the student is under 14 years of age

Would normally be performed for wages by a person in the workplace (students are not to replace paid workers or be paid workers themselves)

Involves the operation of a vehicle, power tools, or scaffolding

Involves the administering of any form or type of medication or medical procedure

Involves the handling of substances classed as “designated substances” under the Occupational Health and Safety Act

Requires the knowledge of a tradesperson whose trade is regulated by the provincial government

Involves banking or the handling of jewelry, works of art, antiques or other valuables

Consists of duties normally performed in the student’s home or personal recreational activities

Involves a court-ordered program

RESOURCES

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Record of Christian Community Service