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updated: 4/29/2014 8:54 AM

Students at Glen Ellyn's St. James the Apostle capture spirit of caring

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  • Video: Putting faith into action

  • Students from Glen Ellyn's St. James the Apostle School recently participated in a Day of Service project in which they tackled grade-appropriate activities at their school and 16 locations across Glen Ellyn. Some students, including Emma Nielsen, Sophia Stachnik and Gillian Weesner, joined volunteer mom Carrie Stachnik, right, in cleaning up the porch at Sunrise Senior Living Center and Brighton Gardens.

       Students from Glen Ellyn's St. James the Apostle School recently participated in a Day of Service project in which they tackled grade-appropriate activities at their school and 16 locations across Glen Ellyn. Some students, including Emma Nielsen, Sophia Stachnik and Gillian Weesner, joined volunteer mom Carrie Stachnik, right, in cleaning up the porch at Sunrise Senior Living Center and Brighton Gardens.
    Scott Sanders | Staff Photographer

  • Tony Shurba, a resident at Sunrise Senior Living Center and Brighton Gardens, passes out popcorn and chats with Mickey Schihl, a student from St. James the Apostle School, who was doing work at the center as part of a Day of Service project.

       Tony Shurba, a resident at Sunrise Senior Living Center and Brighton Gardens, passes out popcorn and chats with Mickey Schihl, a student from St. James the Apostle School, who was doing work at the center as part of a Day of Service project.
    Scott Sanders | Staff Photographer

  • Dorothy Michalaski, a resident of Sunrise Senior Living Center and Brighton Gardens in Glen Ellyn, plays in a "chair" volleyball game with students from St. James the Apostle School. The students spent a recent day applying what they've been learning in their religion classes by performing service projects in locations around town.

       Dorothy Michalaski, a resident of Sunrise Senior Living Center and Brighton Gardens in Glen Ellyn, plays in a "chair" volleyball game with students from St. James the Apostle School. The students spent a recent day applying what they've been learning in their religion classes by performing service projects in locations around town.
    Scott Sanders | Staff Photographer

  • Kyle Prout, one of the students from St. James the Apostle School in Glen Ellyn, helps clean up outside tables and chairs at Sunrise Senior Living Center and Brighton Gardens.

       Kyle Prout, one of the students from St. James the Apostle School in Glen Ellyn, helps clean up outside tables and chairs at Sunrise Senior Living Center and Brighton Gardens.
    Scott Sanders | Staff Photographer

 
 

"It's not about yourself; it's about helping other people."

With that one sentence, St. James the Apostle fifth-grader Mickey Schihl captured the spirit of the school's recent Day of Service project in Glen Ellyn.

Mickey and fellow fifth-grader Kyle Prout cleaned up outdoor chairs and tables at Sunrise Senior Living Center as part of St. James School's annual program of putting what the students learn in their religion classes into action by serving others in the community.

"We want the students to understand what it means to be an active Christian, work to improve the quality of life for others, and form lifelong habits of serving others," said fifth-grade teacher Audrey Krueger in an email describing the event.

Every student at St. James, from preschool to eighth grade, was involved in grade-appropriate activities at the school or at 16 different locations around Glen Ellyn.

At Sunrise Senior Living, fifth-graders spent time with residents either playing games or cleaning up the grounds.

Sunrise's activities coordinator Mary Shafer called the service project visits "phenomenal."

"This gives kids an opportunity to be comfortable with seniors and have fun," she said. "I think it's hugely beneficial because seniors love kids."

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