CARITAS: SERVICE LEARNING (ARTS AND VSB ONLY)

Learning . . . Living . . . Exploring

CARITASa Service Learning Community for first-year students.

Caritas Students

If you are interested in a weekly service commitment connected to your Augustine and Culture Seminar (required course for first year students) this living-learning community may be for you.  Caritas is comprised of up to 32 students from the College of Liberal Arts or the School of Business who are interested in living Villanova values by seeking truth (Veritas), and  expressing love through service (Caritas) as a Community (Unitas).

Students in this CARITAS will tutor in an afterschool program for K-6th graders at ACLAMO from 3pm to 6pm one day a week. Students will learn with hall mates and classmates in their ACS course and in a weekly discussion group that meets in the residence hall.  The integration of knowledge and experience will allow students to  reflect on  their role as citizens and neighbors of those who live with the consequences of poverty in our society. 

The Mission of ACLAMO’s after school program  is to support school readiness and school achievement among at-risk children in Norristown Area School District's Spanish-speaking community, and to foster commitment to education through family involvement. ACLAMO’s main objectives  are to help students strengthen basic skills and school achievement, overcome language barriers, and motivate them to reach their full potential. The program helps ELL students realize they can set and achieve their own educational and personal goals.

In the Caritas: Service Learning Community you will -

  • Build a community with other members of CARITAS by living with other students who are interested in serving others.  You will live in a residence hall on South Campus.
  • Take a specially-designated section of the humanities seminar Augustine and Culture (ACS) for a full academic year with other students in Caritas Service Learning Community.
  • Serve once a week with K-6th graders at ACLAMO (ACLAMO) after school program.
  • Participate in a one-credit workshop style class that meets weekly in the residence hall, called Villanova Experience (VEXP). This discussion based seminar is a way for you to reflect on the lives of those with whom you serve, yourself, what you are learning through your courses and what is going on in the world. 


WHAT OUR STUDENTS SAY ABOUT ACLAMO

Caritas - 4th Hour

"I loved ACLAMO so much! I especially loved ACLAMO because of the people I met there. The students are so much fun and have so much energy, and the administrators are so helpful and clearly love the work that they do at ACLAMO. It was awesome to go to ACLAMO both semesters and see how the students I was with progressed in their reading, math, and spelling and it was amazing to see them all grow up throughout the year. Getting to be a part of ACLAMO every Thursday was the highlight of my year and I know I will always value what I learned there!"  ~ Class of 2019
   

Front Door at ACLAMO
Front Door at ACLAMO

My past year serving with ACLAMO has been one of the most rewarding yet difficult experiences of my life. ACLAMO is an after-school tutoring program in Norristown, Pennsylvania that serves a population that is mostly made up of individuals of Hispanic descent. As volunteers, we served first and foremost in the classroom, working one-on-one with the children on their homework in a small classroom setting. The children are anywhere from in kindergarten through middle school. Once their homework is completed, we worked with the children on reading, as they sought to earn “ACLAMO dollars” to be used to purchase donated items in the school store on a weekly basis. We also spent time working on individual skills, such as spelling or money. Beyond the direct schoolwork we completed, we were gifted with the opportunity to interact with the children and learn about their lives. Even though many came from backgrounds that were different than my own, I was still able to connect with my second graders. As corny as it may sound, the children of ACLAMO have taught me more than I could ever teach them and have really helped me to start to open my eyes to the multitude of injustices that they face on a regular basis, igniting my passion to really start to look at what I was blind to for so long. When it came time to say goodbye for the summer, my eyes were filled with tears because I could not bear to not see them for several months. These children mean the world to me and I hope that you get to have a similar experience. I highly recommend serving with ACLAMO. Be ready for lots of jokes, smiles, laughter, and an overall educational experience! ~ Class of 2019

Being in Caristas:Service Learning means ...

Professors who are committed to learning in and out of class

Dynamic Weekly Conversations with your classmates about issues that matter

Community within your hall ... strong friendships that last a lifetime

Connections to faculty, administrators, Junior or Senior students, campus life, and your own classmates

Explore approaches to service and learning.

Caritas

Welcome Sign at ACLAMO

About the Community

Students selected will be enrolled in designated sections of ACS and VEXP that corresponds to their Learning Community theme, along with the appropriate housing assignment.  Learning Communities are open to all first-year students in all colleges.  The one-credit VEXP class is an addition to the normal course load, and runs from the beginning of Fall semester until Spring Break.  It is designed not to interfere with other academic requirements.