7th & 8th Grade Students Participate in Service Days and Mission Trips
Annually, our 7th graders participate in a Louisville Community Service Day the week of Halloween. As part of their work with Dare to Care all year, the students visited and toured the main facility to see their donations and work in action. In addition, they spent the rest of their day at three local community partners completing a variety of service projects. 7C volunteered at Catholic Charities - cleaning facilities, organizing donations, preparing for Christmas gift drives, working in the daycare, providing ESL tutoring, and sorting food donations in the Sister Visitor Center. 7E volunteered at Love City where they volunteered in the daycare, Pork City BBQ kitchen and restaurant - an entrepreneurial training entity of Love City, and prepared Halloween treat bags for children in the Portland neighborhood. 7O volunteered at St. Vincent DePaul where they assisted families shopping in the food pantry, organized food donations, and assisted in the preparation of meals in the Open Hand Soup Kitchen.
The week before and the week after 7th grade's Service Day, our 8th graders participated in annual Mission Trips to Appalachia, as well. This year, our student, teacher, administrator, parent, and grandparent volunteers partnered with Big Creek Missions in Leslie County, Kentucky. 81 of our students, 5 teachers, 4 administrators, and 29 parents/grandparents took part in these mission trips! They worked in the county's food pantry, repaired homes in the local communities, built wheelchair ramps, completed home visits, served in nursing homes, assisted with school tutoring programs, and volunteered at school family resource centers. Using the money they collected with spirit days at school, the students also shopped for and delivered donations to the local food pantries, animal shelters, and school family resource centers. We're grateful that these opportunities continue to be available to our students and that so many participate annually!
Recently our Pre-K students completed a science lab investigation of pumpkins! While pumpkins are popular this time of year and students often have fun decorating them at home for Halloween, the teachers used them in the classrooms for a variety of learning objectives and targets.
The main goal was the development of foundational scientific concepts in your youngest students, specifically that of observation and investigation. Measurement skills and number concepts were also practiced as they explored the pumpkins, measured their size, and counted their seeds. In completing the lab, they also worked on their listening skills, background knowledge, and vocabulary skills - all grade-level concepts part of their curriculum!
The students loved this lab and the opportunity to explore the pumpkins in a new way - will it sink or float? What's the outside of the pumpkin like compared to the inside of the pumpkin? Do they feel different and therefore have different jobs/purposes? How many seeds are actually inside of a pumpkin, compared to other fruits/vegetables?
Student Reflects on Appalachian Service Experience
Lucia, 8th Grade Student
Our former pastor, Father Mark Spalding once said, “Good, better, best, never let it rest, until the good is better and the better is best.” Our school, Holy Trinity, lives by this motto throughout our everyday lives, which is evident in our service projects. One such service project is a service mission to Appalachia, a region stricken with poverty with inhabitants who are in need of help. Our school provides the 8th Grade class every year with the opportunity to travel to Appalachia and serve the people there. I traveled to Appalachia this year to participate in this trip with half of my class, with roughly 40 people, consisting of my peers as workers and their parents and the school staff as chaperones.
Serving with peers in Appalachia has been an enriching experience. The first day we arrived, the adults separated us and placed us into small groups where we were tasked with buying canned food and clothing from a local grocery store. In those groups, we were placed with people we didn’t generally hang out with. As we shopped, I learned more about their interests and their passions in life. For the second day, a construction day, our teachers placed us in different groups again, but with more people this time. We worked on building a front porch and insulating water pipes for a delightful old woman. With my peers, I conversed with her and discovered all the stories she had that she hadn’t shared before. Which leads me to the third day, where we delivered the bags of food and clothing to local schools. With my peers, the mission trip to Appalachia has been a wonderful one, and I am glad I had the opportunity to learn more about the situation in Appalachia, as well as my classmates.
However, it isn’t just my peers I served with. Throughout the mission trip, I also worked with my teachers, school staff, and parents who volunteered to chaperone. Serving with them was enlightening, as they experienced all the things that every 8th grade class did in this poverty-stricken region. They tell me stories about the years before, and how much we worked, and how much we have improved the lives of those we work for. They provide us with the tools to construct; with wood, hammers, drills, power saws, shovels, picks, etc, and instruct us on how to use them. Without our peers and chaperones, we would be lost in what we are to do. They keep the whole service trip organized, so that we may help as many people as we can. One-fourth of our group are adults, who have sacrificed their time to serve. Our teachers and chaperones are vital to the trip, and with it, I have realized how important the trip is to them and our school.
With both my classmates and my teachers by my side, we have helped several people, including many homeowners and workers in the region. The second day, as I said before, we traveled to a quaint house nestled in the forest on the mountain and worked on covering water pipes so that they won't freeze in the winter. As a separate group dug, my friends and I worked on building the front porch for the same house. We made measurements, cut the wood boards, and evenly put them in their proper place. Throughout it all, we conversed with the owner of the home, who shared with us her experiences throughout her childhood and adulthood. We learned why she wouldn’t move out of her home; despite how simple and small it is, it is hers, and she is proud. She is proud of her home and where she lives, and nothing could change that. It was eye-opening to listen to her stories and humbled me at the heart.
Our 8th Grade class was given the opportunity to serve people in need in the poor province of Appalachia through our school Holy Trinity. In the service trip, we served with our peers, teachers, and parent volunteers to serve those who need our help. Throughout it all, I learned more about my classmates and my teachers, as well as the people who lived there, and their stories. This mission humbled me in ways I didn’t think were possible, and opened my eyes to how alike we are, despite our very different lives. We are all the same, but some may struggle more than others. It is then our job to use our time and our energy to help those less fortunate than us, as that is what we are called to do as human beings. As Father Mark Spalding, now Bishop Spalding said, "We are called to make the good better, and the better…best."
Last week, the Archdiocese of Louisville recognized teachers for their continued commitments to the students and schools of our Archdiocese. We thank our teachers recognized for their continued dedication!
Our Jr. High students have been busying completing labs over the last month in their science classes!
8th grade students have been studying Newton's Laws of motion, including a focus on inertia, speed, velocity, and the linear motions of physics. Using toy cars and ramps they constructed, students looked at inertia, or an object’s resistance to change in its state of motion. They discussed the importance of seatbelt usage & why one's body continues moving forward after hitting the brakes. They also measured the distance pennies traveled from toy cars when the cars were traveling at different speeds. The goal of this toy car lab was for students to build a better personal understanding of Newton’s 1st Law, which states that an object will remain at rest or in uniform motion in a straight line unless acted upon by an external force.
In a similar lab, 8th grade students used dominos to explore the physics concepts of linear motion, speed, velocity, and acceleration. Students gathered data and tested spacing to find how to make dominos fall as quickly as possible, as well as making dominos fall as slowly as possible.
Meanwhile, 7th grade students are using microscopes to complete labs. Students learned to make wet mount slides and use compound light microscopes. They later had their choice of slides to explore as a group, while practicing recording data and using the microscopes correctly. After learning to use microscopes appropriately, students discussed the idea that unicellular organisms are all around us. Within their science classes, they are learning about microorganisms and bacterial reproduction. As a class, they brainstormed samples to test for bacteria, such as iPads, hands, doorknobs, and other surfaces around the school. After collecting samples, they allowed them to incubate on agar plates for 10 days before re-examining them under the microscopes.
Today, 4th graders connected with a class from Canada! They practiced their geography skills to guess where they were from. They also connected to discuss the Global Read Aloud novel they are reading, Front Desk! Throughout the Global Read Aloud, our students are reading this book while making connections with students from across the world who are also reading the novel.
Thank you to all who have dropped off their old markers and crayons to be recycled in the art room already this year! This week, Ms. Given shipped out 670 markers, or 13.4 pounds, to be recycled through Crayola's ColorCycle program. There are bins in each classroom, as well as the Art Room for these specific items. Families are welcome to bring in their old markers (permanent, washable, highlighter, etc.), as well as their broken crayons throughout the year to participate!
Jerry Pallotta, author of the Who Would Win? series and many other children's books will be visiting Holy Trinity on Tuesday, Nov. 12. Pre-K through fourth grade students will be participating in this author visit. Book orders are coming home this week should your child be interested in a copy of his books. Questions should be directed to Mrs. Hill - Thank you, Mrs. D.Dee Hill and Mrs. Mary Scott Herrington for organizing this opportunity for our students!
Student Council is hosting its annual Scare Out Hunger Food Drive from Oct. 21 - 30. We challenge all families to "Be the Real Superhero this Halloween and Scare Out Hunger!" Homerooms will collect boxed and canned food items (no glass, please). The homeroom with the most items collected will earn an ice cream sandwich/popsicle party of their choice. Clifton Campus students will partner as one homeroom for this contest. Our 7th graders will count all items on Oct. 30 and deliver them to St. Vincent DePaul, Dare to Care, and Catholic Charities during their Louisville Service Day on Halloween.
Along with this food drive, Ms. Given and Student Council are partnering for a Halloween Coloring Contest for Grades PK-2, Grades 3-5, and Grades 6-8. Coloring pages can be picked up from Ms. Given during Art classes, Mrs. Davenport's office door, or Mrs. Watkins on our Clifton Campus. All contest entries are due by Oct. 29 to Mrs. Davenport/Ms. Given/Mrs. Watkins and winners will be determined by our Student Council panel of judges.
Follow-Up: Our school collected over 2,030 food items during this annual drive! All efforts were delivered by our 7th graders to St. Vincent DePaul, Sister Visitor Center at Catholic Charities, and Dare to Care as part of their 7th Grade Service Day on Halloween! Thank you all for your contributions and for supporting this effort!
5th Grade Girl Scouts Achievement in STEM Challenge
A few of our 5th grade Girl Scouts worked hard this summer to design an app for a local STEM challenge. Their hard work and achievement have paid off, as they continue to be honored and celebrated in our community! Check out the feature written about their work in a recent TCS communication:
"Teammates Ruby Lilla, Hadley Bazant, and Reese Thomas may be the youngest Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Virtual Innovation Lab participants - but as the old adage goes, age is just a number. As incoming fifth graders at Holy Trinity Parish School in Louisville, this all-girl team of 3, won 1st place at their local goIT App Design and Development competition and placed 4th at their regional competition where they went up against 8th grade students years older than they were. With a record like theirs, this girl power team has a lot to be proud of coming into the inaugural TCS Virtual Innovation Lab. During the 12 hour goIT App Design and Development program hosted at Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana, and facilitated by Best College Match Foundation, Ruby, Hadley, and Reese harnessed technology to prototype a mobile app for social good. Their app, EduAnimals, helps stop animal abuse and educate users on proper pet care. On speaking with the girls following goIT, “WE WANT A REAL APP!” they said. “One that helps animals and people learn more about their pets and how to be good animal owners and advocates. We all love animals and want to make sure they are cared for.”
Now, with the Virtual Innovation Lab, Ruby, Hadley, and Reese will be one step closer to making their app dream a reality. Working alongside TCS employee and EduAnimals team lead, Samish Jokhla, and other content experts, the team will choose 12 hours of content to further explore. These range from deeper dive into coding, business planning, and take your app to market, but all are designed to further hone students' business, technical and marketing skills in an interactive and agile approach."