Enriching the Classroom Experience

Academic enrichment activities are a part of life for CJ students and are purposefully embedded into the school’s courses. These extracurricular opportunities range in theme from math, science and the arts to social justice, social responsibility and service. They are initiated by faculty and staff members at different times throughout the year, each with a unique purpose.

While not all alike, these instances spent away from the textbook help serve as a catalyst for illuminating an eye-opening, inspirational, informational, or fun aspect of the lesson at hand.

Take a look back at how some of these opportunities helped enhance the learning experience for students during the month of October:

St. Vincent de Paul CEO David Bohardt, ’64, returned to his alma mater Wednesday, October 26 and talked to juniors and seniors taking sociology with Mrs. Ellen Downer (pictured above).  After finishing a unit on social inequality, the class was moved by the close-to-home facts Bohardt disclosed about the things he witnesses daily surrounding issues of homelessness.

“On any given night in the City of Dayton, there are more than 1,000 men and women who don’t have a home,” Bohardt said.

Students were surprised to learn that while mental health and drug addiction can contribute to homelessness, people of all nationalities, creeds, races and backgrounds are equally likely to find themselves living on the streets. According to Bohardt, not even employment can guarantee a home—nearly 30 percent of all homeless people have jobs.

“If you don’t have a solid foundation or a rock like leaders and educators to help guide you, things can start to go wrong,” he said. The self proclaimed record-holder for most demerits accumulated as a freshman (a whopping 112 in 1960-61), Bohardt himself explained how if not for the extra care by one influential Marianist brother at Chaminade, he could have very well ended up like any of the residents he now works to serve at St. Vincent De Paul.

On Friday, October 28, a group of about 20 CJ students along with social studies teacher Tony Ricciuto attended a special service at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force for Spc. Jesse Snow, who was killed in the Konar province of Afghanistan on November 14, 2010. During the morning service for family members (and also open to the public), Snow was posthumously presented with the Silver Star, the third-highest decoration for valor in the face of the enemy.

During the last weeks of October, art students were treated to in-person encounters with cultural traditions from Mexico and Japan. Those in class with Diana Barr prepared to celebrate the Mexican holiday known as Dia de Los Muertos (or Day of the Dead) by building a classroom altar outfitted with art projects to honor loved ones. The unit will culminate with a Mexican-style fiesta for students.

Ceramics students ventured to the grounds of Mt. St. John with Janet Lasley on October 26 and 27. Those taking the art elective were able to fire their Raku pieces with Bro. Don Smith. Raku is a form of Japanese pottery.

All members of the sophomore class took a field trip to Sinclair Community College on Wednesday, October 19 for a 10 a.m. showing of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible.  Students, along with a group of chaperones including English teachers Mike Kelly and Erin Ketch, enjoyed the show in the Blair Hall Theatre as well as lunch on campus in Sinclair’s cafeteria.

Twelve student-athletes were selected to attend the Anthony Munoz Foundation Leadership Seminar at Xavier University on Thursday, October 6 accompanied by Jason Unger, assistant principal, and Marcus Colvin, social studies teacher and head football coach.

The goal of the foundation is to provide leadership skills and potential scholarships to those students who are not only talented athletes, but who also have a great focus on their grades and service to their community. Seminar attendees were challenged to create a community service plan to implement back at school.

Chaminade Julienne was crowned the winner of the Goodwill Drive to Victory competition on WHIO’s Touchdown 7 Friday, October 28, and received a $200 student scholarship. The real winner, however, was the Goodwill Easter Seals Miami Valley store, which received 12,320 pounds of donated items from CJ community members. The total represented the second heaviest donation during the entire 10 week competition.

Thanks to everyone who helped make this event so successful!