Seton Catholic High School’s community service teacher goes back to school this summer as one of six teachers heading to India.
As part of the Frontiers of Justice program, the Catholic Church sends teachers annually to mission communities. The teachers observe schools and society and share what they’ve learned with their community.
Lisa Lilaberte’s message will be interactive. She plans to take photos of the community she is visiting, and share them with the seniors in her service class, as well as the students in her world religions classes.
The students will take those lessons and create a network of Web sites to share with elementary students.
"I want to put a face on it for them," Lilaberte said. "It’s hard to care about people across the world without a personal connection."
Students in her class provide a community service using their particular talents. Theatrical students this year performed a play and raised about $1,500 for the Andre House homeless shelter in downtown Phoenix.
"It helps you relate on a human level, instead of just statistics," Lilaberte said. Seton students spend four years working on community service projects.
Lilaberte added it’s also important for her students to understand other religions, and she hopes to bring back photos of a Hindu temple.
"You only fear the stranger," she said.
She will learn more about her July trip soon. In the meantime, her students are completing Web pages of this year’s projects.
Nicole Kuluris, 18, volunteered at the Child Crisis Center. "I could tell the kids had been abused. A lot were really hushed," she said. "Others were so loving. I learned a lot about their circumstances."
Theresa Polowski, 17, and Breanna Walker, 18, helped Improving Chandler Area Neighborhoods, or ICAN, plan an Easter celebration for area children. "They just like to have fun, and gave us a really good time," Walker said.
Go to www.diocesephoenix .org/school/seton_catholic_hs to view student Web sites.