Action for Mission: teaming up to bring Franciscan compassion to elementary school
The Franciscan Advocates for Peace, Sisters Lucy Ann Meyer, Mildred Tigges, Jean Michael Treba and affiliate Jan Prokes, partner with Hamilton Elementary School in La Crosse, Wisconsin, in an effort to foster peace and non-violence and integrate the Franciscan value of compassion.
They volunteer at the school once per week and on Jan. 9, treated the staff to a recognition luncheon.
“It’s a call to serve at this school,” said Sister Lucy Ann. “If we help just one child live a more productive and peace-filled life we will have been successful in our efforts.” About 70 percent of Hamilton’s student population receives free or reduced lunch. “The teachers and the staff need assistance in the classrooms, with the monthly food distribution and in other areas. My hope is that with our support we are planting seeds for a more peaceful learning environment. This appreciation lunch is to recognize the teachers and staff, and thank them for their work and dedication to the children.”
Jan, who does not have an education background, is delighted to volunteer at Hamilton. “The teachers are awesome ... so skilled. You don’t realize what a first grade teacher is tasked with until you’re in his or her room.” Jan has received several handwritten thank you notes designed by students.
First grade students receive math help from Jan on Mondays; Sister Lucy Ann helps fourth graders on Wednesdays and Sisters Jean Michael and Mildred visit Hamilton on Thursdays.
Born out of the 2013 General Assembly call for action for mission, these Franciscan Advocates for Peace were referenced by several of the teachers attending the recognition lunch as “rock stars!”