Students put their faith into action by participating in service, promoting social justice, and being civically engaged. Drawing on Catholic Social Teaching, our comprehensive Service-Learning program partners with local non-profits and SSJ-sponsored ministries, and incorporates pre-education, face-to-face interaction, and post-reflection in which students live Gospel values by meeting the needs of others and our Earth.
For example, students might learn about aging and caring for the elderly before visiting the senior Sisters at Saint Joseph Villa or about the importance of proper care for the Earth and access to healthy food in conjunction with helping on the Schuylkill Center Farm. As they actively process the meaning of their service learning experiences, students develop a raised social consciousness and a lifelong commitment to personal and social justice.
Service to others is a core element of our students’ educational and spiritual experience. Unique in our approach, NFA’s comprehensive Service-Learning curriculum is fully integrated into the curriculum. One site visit is in the fall, and another in the spring.
Since 2001, Service-Learning continues to empower students in impacting the lives of others and the earth while developing sensitivity towards others and an awareness of social injustice.
Our Service-Learning program flows directly from the Vision and Mission of Norwood-Fontbonne Academy and makes visible the lived expression of the Vision and Mission of the Sisters of Saint Joseph, “We live and work so that all people may be united with God and one another.”
NFA’s Service-Learning is a comprehensive program of preparation, action, and reflection where students live Gospel values by meeting the needs of others and our earth:
Teachers prepare students and present materials to raise consciousness, guest speakers from Service-Learning sites providing further awareness, and students engaging in role playing as they review behavioral protocol. Then students travel to their service learning sites where they engage in meaningful activity.
After their visit, students reflect upon and respond to their experiences through a variety of integrated projects and presentations. As they actively process the meaning of their service learning experiences, students develop a raised social consciousness and a lifelong commitment to personal and social justice.
Service-Learning presents opportunities to form and build face-to-face relationships with persons students may not typically encounter. NFA students learn to appreciate, embrace, and honor the experiences of others.
Each of our service sites engages our students in service with various populations and focuses on unique justice issues. The core of our Service-Learning curriculum is Catholic Social Teaching and the emphasis on the rights of all and our responsibility to ensure these rights.
"...If you want become a big loving and caring person who wants to contribute to your community, start doing small things, then big things, and the next thing you know you are a bigger community helper than you would ever imagine. Thank you for listening."
– Bleek '21