Published December 9, 2010
A crayon drawing of a dove with its open wings hovering over people of many colors was the first-place winner in the fourth annual Chancery’s Choice Poster Contest in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Workers in the archdiocesan downtown office, the Catholic Center, judged the entries. The theme for this year’s January celebration planned by the Office for Black Catholic Ministry is “Your Kindness Should Be Known to All.”
The first-place prize went to Gilliane Conklin, who attends St. Catherine of Siena School, Kennesaw. Olivia House, a student at St. Thomas More School, Decatur, earned second place, and Carmela Pagsisihan, Our Lady of Victory School, Tyrone, took home third place.
The winners will be recognized during the archdiocesan MLK Youth Celebration on Sunday, Jan. 16, 2011, at St. Peter Claver Regional Catholic School, Decatur.
“Apostolic Blitz Day” at Pinecrest Academy in Cumming took place on Oct. 29, giving students a break from the classroom and a day of service in the community.
Middle school students visited 13 organizations, from assisted living facilities to early child education programs.
The programs that hosted students were: Chestnut Ridge Assisted Living (Cumming); Forsyth County Senior Center (Cumming); Head Start Early Intervention Preschool (Cumming); Head Start Early Intervention Preschool (Buford); Easter Seals Early Intervention Preschool (Roswell); White Oaks Assisted Living (Cumming); SarahCare Adult/Senior Day Care (Johns Creek); Sheltering Arms Early Intervention Daycare and Preschool (Duluth); No Longer Bound (Cumming); Smarta International Preschool (Cumming); Tara Plantation Assisted Living (Cumming); and 40 Days for Life (Atlanta).
Girls in Patricia Torrey’s seventh-grade class visited Smarta International Preschool. The visitors were paired with a child, singing with them in Spanish, and helping with arts and crafts. During story time, students Ana Paula Sanchez and Steffi Harrisson read books in Spanish, while Maddie Brabrook read a book in English. Many of the girls received goodbye hugs from the children.
Teresa Quattrocchi, a parent chaperone, said. “It was wonderful to see our girls so lovingly open up to children they did not know and how well they bonded in such a short time.”
Some seventh-grade boys visited SarahCare Adult/Senior Day Care, where they visited residents and entertained them with music and Bible skits.
“After their visit, the boys spoke of their experiences with authentic excitement, mentioning residents they spent time with by name and sharing how much fun they had,” said Grethel Hoffmaister, a middle school teacher.
The nonprofit Renovación Conyugal in October received $20,000 in grants to sustain its Latino youth services during the first half of 2011.
The money will help two initiatives get off the ground: improving communications between Latino teens and families and a suicide survivors program.
Belisa Urbina, the director and a parishioner at St. Francis of Assisi Church, Cartersville, said the money would pay for programs greatly needed by Latino teenagers and families.
She said that Latino teens are a group of people that attempt suicide in high numbers. This group will help support survivors and their families, she said.
The teen program—known as “Renovación Juvenil”—serves Latino young people with workshops, support groups and leadership training. The program focuses on preventing risky behavior, such as gang participation, teen pregnancy, drug use, and improving the communication with their families.
After the teens complete the program, Renovación Juvenil continues to offer leadership training.
“I Love Renovación Conyugal. It has changed many lives including mine,” said Edgardo Delgado, a service recipient who has been with the program for five years.
The grants came from the Imlay Family Foundation, $11,000; Best Buy Children’s Foundation, $6,500; and the Atlanta Braves Foundation, $2,500.
Based in Marietta, Renovación Conyugal is nonprofit, serving more than 2,400 Latinos a year throughout the entire state. The new grants will help Renovación Juvenil to expand above the 572 teens served in 2010.
Urbina said the organization would like to team up with parishes to offer the program and is in need of more financial support to continue its mission. For more information, visit its website at www.renovacionconyugal.com or call (678) 363-3079.
Marist School displayed an AIDS Memorial Quilt as part of its selection as
a “No Place for Hate” middle and high school. It was given the recognition by the Anti-Defamation League.
The school displayed a panel of the AIDS Memorial Quilt in awareness of World AIDS Day on Wednesday, Dec. 1.
The quilt celebrates the lives of people who were loved and lost to HIV/AIDS. The quilt is a way to foster healing, heighten awareness, and inspire action. The display encourages students to learn compassion, empathy and respect.
“AIDS/HIV is still an important issue that needs more awareness among young people in the United States. Even though our students may not be that familiar with the disease’s prevalence, it is still a significant issue globally. Since we have student groups that participate in the AIDS Walk in October and other projects that deal with AIDS Awareness, we decided it would be appropriate to have a quilt on display for World AIDS Day. This is a wonderful opportunity that the Anti-Defamation League provides to the Atlanta area No Place for Hate Schools, and we are very fortunate to have a quilt for the second year,” said LePret Williams, the school’s director of diversity.
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