Mount Carmel School students from seventh to twelfth graders will soon have the opportunity to serve their community and develop a better understanding of it after the institution launched yesterday a new service learning program that will be tied to formal instruction for better results.
Mount Carmel president Galvin Deleon Guerrero, who was the guest speaker at the Saipan Rotary Club meeting yesterday, asked Rotarians for their help not only in providing community project ideas but also some sort of mentoring to students so they could learn from the club members' experiences and insights.
The community service will be required under the students' Theology program.
Deleon Guerrero believes that by making the students more involved in the community, they will gain a deeper understanding of what service learning is all about.
As defined by the Community Service Act of 1990, service learning is a method under which students or participants learn and develop through active participation in organized service that is conducted in and meets the needs of a community.
Deleon Guerrero shared that during his college days, he was recruited for one week to do community service for Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit organization that builds houses for homeless people. That experience, he said, gave him a deeper understanding of the importance of serving the community.
“From that point in time forward, I knew that when we give to our community, we gain so much more out of it in terms of understanding people better,” he said.
Deleon Guerrero said he firmly believes that “service without learning is just charity and learning without service is just knowledge. Service with learning, however, is wisdom that comes from experience and understanding.”
He said he wants Mount Carmel students, in partnership with Rotary Club, to be on the “frontline” in helping the community.