Service Learning and Outreach
As a cornerstone of Saint Simon Parish School we foster community outreach and service beginning in kindergarten. Students from first to eighth grade are grouped into families, where monthly service projects are performed to extend a helping hand to others.
We are focused on three Key Initiatives:
Caring for the Environment
Classroom lessons on ecology, waste reduction, composting, recycling, pollution. Monitoring of the school and Parish water and waste consumption.
Caring for the Hungry and Those Living In Poverty
Classroom lessons on needs of those in our own community who are poor and hungry. Direct participation with community providers (St. Vincent DePaul, the Kinship Center, and Catholic Relief Services).
The school holds monthly food drives to contribute to St. Vincent de Paul. Food items are also distributed to local families in need, and via the Saint Athanasius food pantry in Mountain View. Together with the Parish Saint Simon school donates approximately four hundred bags of food every month.
During our Lenten food drives, approximately two thousand food items are donated to needy families at the Kinship Center, providing one hundred and seventy-five bags of essential holiday food, including sugar, cookies, flour, popcorn, hot chocolate bread/cake mix and juice.
Operation Rice Bowl through Catholic Relief Services contributions are gathered by school children and families during Lent. These contributions go towards development programs designed to increase food security around the world. Initiatives include: clean water, small enterprise development, agricultural expertise, educational opportunities, and HIV/AIDS and mother/child health programs to the poor in more than forty countries.
In support of Catholic Charities and the Kinship Center in San Jose, Saint Simon Parish School children and families contribute to a special Advent food drive to bring necessary holiday food items to Kinship Center families. The eighth grade class cooks, serves, and provides clean-up for a Christmas party at the organization's facility in San Jose. The Kinship Resource Center offers comprehensive services to grandparent and relative caregivers in the county who are solely responsible for a relative child when neither parent is present in the home.
Saint Vincent de Paul's Giving Tree Program is frequently the recipient of food and gift items from Saint Simon Parish students. Together with the Parish, Saint Simon school families assist with donations of food, clothing items, toys and gift cards to make the holiday season enjoyable families in need in Santa Clara County. Two hundred families are served annually during the Advent Giving Tree Program.
Caring for the Homeless
Each summer Saint Simon parishioners participate in the Tijuana Ministry, an immersive experience for parishioners and junior high students who work to build homes for families in need in one of Tijuana's poorest areas. During the week ministry programs are also offered to women, children, and teens. Read more about the Tijuana Ministry program here, or visit the parish Tijuana link to see details, including a wish list of items in preparation for the trip.
Ongoing Outreach Activities
Annual service hours
Students in grades six through eight complete service hours during the year, either in at school or in their community. Requirements include: grade six (10 hours); grade seven (20 hours), and grade eight (20 hours). Students can actively participate in support of the Parish's Pastoral plan to care for the environment, for the hungry and those living in poverty, and for the homeless.