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In Religion class, Fourth Graders at Villa Maria Academy have begun learning about philanthropy and what it means to be a good neighbor by doing something kind for others. For their Good Neighbor Projects, the girls were asked to write a paper about someone or a group of people that they see being a good neighbor and how fourth graders can be good neighbors too.
Many wrote about groups in their communities, but one of the girls wrote about her older sister, a Sixth grader at Villa, who she admires for being a good neighbor. Her sister created an organization to collect used soccer supplies that would be donated to needy children in the Ukraine. “She loves soccer and wishes that everyone can get that same chance. She is making that dream come true… My sister is being a good neighbor and I am very proud of her,” said Greyson W. in her paper.
Service is a key leadership tenet that permeates every aspect of the culture at Villa Maria Academy. It allows students to discover more about their personal motivations and apply academic context beyond the classroom. Fostering a culture around leadership and service helps students to understand the impact of the individual on the local and global community.
Another student, Charlotte A., wrote about her family’s participation in the Fresh Air Fund. The Fresh Air Fund provides free summer experiences to more than 1.8 million New York City children from low-income communities. Charlotte’s family hosted a child for a week and bought “we bought him new shoes,” said Charlotte. “Good neighbors always do the right thing.”
“These are great examples of our Villa girls leading the way through love and service. They get it,” said Fourth Grade Teacher, Miss Devine. “We teach the girls every day that leadership is related to the power of their influence.”