(Hope Every day for the Lord's Planet)
A National Award-Winning Program
Nativity School's HELP Program consists of several community service activities that are implemented throughout the school year. The purpose of the program is to provide the students with an awareness of the needs in the community and to develop a sense of responsibility to assist with these needs.
In July 2000, Nativity School was selected as one of three elementary schools in the nation by the NCEA (National Catholic Education Association) as a recipient of the SPICE Award (Selected Programs for Improving Catholic Education). The award recognized Nativity's HELP Program as an outstanding program for integrating Catholic social teaching into all aspects of Catholic education.
Components of the HELP Program include:
Mother Teresa Week
Specific items such as canned foods, clothing, bedding, toiletries, etc. are collected daily for one week and delivered by the Student Council to the Sisters of Charity in Miami.
Each homeroom class "adopts" a needy family. During Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter, the students in the class send gift baskets to the families and help to make their wishes come true.
Pennies From Heaven
Students collect pennies in the fall. The pennies are presented at a special mass and donated to the local Respect Life organization. Since 1995, Nativity students have donated over $100,000.00 in pennies to help mothers and their babies!!
Students participate in different projects each year during Earth Week to raise awareness of the environment and the world around them. The week's activities culminate with a beautiful outdoor mass at the Shrine in celebration of our earth and its resources. Environmental Awareness
Past projects have included:
The entire student body has participated in an "Earth Walk" around Chaminade Drive.
Students have saved energy on one of the days of Earth Week by turning off all electricity. Many classes were held outdoors on blankets and picnic tables.
Students have raised money to donate to Heifer International to buy farm animals for needy families around the world.
Students have sold energy-efficient light bulbs and used the profits to buy trees in the forests (American Forest Association).
Students have raised money by reading books and donating the profits to purchase acres of land in the rainforest. The elementary school hallways were turned into a simulated rainforest!
Students created life-size animal paintings which were photographed and displayed on t-shirts. The t-shirts were sold and the monies were donated to assist with specific environmental issues such as the Everglades, the Lighthouses, and endangered animals. The governor of the state of Florida visited Nativity and spoke to the students about the environment. (He also purchased a t-shirt!)
Community Service Learning Program
All Nativity School Junior High students are required to perform a specified amount of service hours and reflect on their good work as part of their religion curriculum.