Bishop Kelly: A community of service

Bishop Kelly High School, located on Franklin Road in Boise, is the one non-public school member of the Southern Idaho Conference. With 818 students, BK is a 4A school in the SIC, and is a powerhouse academically and athletically. However, when asked to visit with us about a program of high importance at the school, the administration chose the school’s Service Learning Program.

“The mission of Bishop Kelly is to educate and develop the whole student in the Catholic tradition – spirit, mind, and body. Service learning is the key to developing the whole person”, said President Rich Raimondi. At BK, Service Learning is just the start of a lifetime gift of self to others.

Service Learning hours are required for graduation at Bishop Kelly. The grade level requirements are as follows:

Grades 9-11

• 10 hours per semester through Theology classes
• Each grade level performs a specific type of service
• Freshmen: Families of Neighbors
• Sophomore: Religious Communities
• Juniors: Bishop Kelly and Community Services

Seniors
• 30 hours of service or a Service Trip
• Summer (recommended) during school year
• 1 credit pass/fail – required for graduation
• April Service Fair – 30-40 local agencies come to BK and recruit students as volunteers in their organizations

Service Learning Day
• All School service day in the community
• 25 projects throughout the valley
• Examples: Special Olympics. Wassmuth Center for Human Rights, Interfaith Sanctuary, Corpus Christi, Boise Rescue Mission

We had a chance to visit with four stellar BK seniors who shared their Service Learning projects and trips.

L to R: Nate Johnson, Kate Ryan, Nicholas Anewalt, Daisy O’Sullivan

Kate Ryan went on a trip to New Orleans, where students worked with Habitat for Humanity in the city’s 9th Ward, part of the community that remains devastated. The New Orleans trip is an annual event organized by Joan Colleran, the Service Learning Coordinator for BK, and chaperoned by BK teachers.

Nate Johnson traveled to Haiti to teach in an rural orphanage. He taught non-English speaking students with the aid of a translator.

Nicholas Anewalt worked at Fort Boise through Boise City Parks and Recreation, running camps and playing basketball and other sports with kids in Adaptive Physical Education programs.
Daisy O’Sullivan volunteered at the Bown Library branch, where she worked with young children during the Library’s Summer Reading Program.

All seniors are required to write a reflective essay about their experiences, what they did, what they learned, and how they were impacted.

Each of these students reported being moved by their experiences, and humbled at the joy and gratitude of the people with whom they worked. Nicholas said he was surprised at how the little things they did for others made a big difference.

As indicated, Joan Colleran (jcolleran@bk.org) is the Service Learning Program Coordinator for BK. Stephany Herrera (sherrera@bk.com), the Assistant Principal for Academic Affairs at BK, also plays a huge role in the success of the program.

BK students with Stephany Herrera (Asst. Principal) and Joan Colleran (Service Learning Coordinator)

Great things are happening in the schools of the Southern Idaho Conference! Next month we will feature the Emmett School District.

Wil Overgaard and Don Coberly

About Wil Overgaard and Don Coberly

Overgaard and Coberly are retired Idaho school district superintendents and currently Co-CEO’s of RISE TVEP. Overgaard is from Weiser and Coberly is from Boise.

Read more stories by Wil Overgaard and Don Coberly »

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