Maryknoll Magazine Classroom Program Celebrates 10 Years; More Than 140,000 Students And 2,600 Catholic Schools Participate 

Lesson Plans Spark K-12 Interest, Stimulate Discussion About Mission Service

by Mike Virgintino Friday, February 11, 2011
Maryknoll, New York – February 11, 2011 – A decade-long classroom program from Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers is providing a growing number of U.S. Roman Catholic students with important lessons about the call to mission to help people in the world’s poorest developing countries. Maryknoll magazine, once sporadically distributed within Catholic school classrooms for quiet-time reading, has emerged as the critical mission-learning companion in K-12 Catholic schools, other Catholic religious education initiatives for youth and for sacramental preparation.

The Maryknoll Magazine Classroom Program, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary during the current school year, delivers and stimulates free mission education to more than 2,600 U.S. Catholic schools and 147,000 students. The K-5 program is found within 753 schools and touches almost 60,000 students while the program for grades six through 12 is found in 1,880schools and involves almost 88,000 students.

Maryknoll Magazine is published by Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, the overseas mission outreach of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States that follows Jesus in serving the poor and others in need in 26 countries. All Catholics are called to mission through baptism, and Maryknoll’s mission education outreach in parishes and schools throughout the country engages U.S. Catholics in mission through prayer, donations, as volunteers and through vocations.

Maryknoll created the classroom program during 2000 for middle and high school students. The K-5 component was added during 2008. First introduced with a nominal fee to cover expenses, the program grew steadily each year. A significant growth spurt occurred during 2007, when the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers decided to provide the program for free to honor the 100th anniversary of the magazine.

Beginning this month, Maryknoll magazine has been converted from a 10 issues/year publishing schedule to a bi-monthy timetable, with more robust content incorporated into each issue. For 2011, one additional issue will be published to commemorate the centennial of Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers with the theme of The Gift of Mission – The Maryknoll Journey. The missioners will celebrate as they continue their journey into the next 100 years to share God’s love and the Gospel in combating poverty, providing healthcare, building communities and promoting human rights.

Lesson Plans, Posters, Magazines

“Every issue of the magazine, when partnered with its lesson plan, is a great resource for teachers,” said Margaret Gaughan, managing editor, Maryknoll magazine. “It offers a complete package, requiring little or no homework on the teachers’ part, and it provides role models of service for students.”

Each lesson plan, created by teachers for teachers, focuses on a specific article in each issue. The complete package includes the lesson, a poster for classroom display and copies of the magazine for each student in a class. Materials provide teachers with guidance to develop lively discussions that are focused on service among the world’s poor and to encourage students to contemplate mission in their personal lives.

For the lower grades, where many students are still developing reading skills, the lesson plans are presented in age-appropriate language. Activities often are designed to reference the pictures that accompany the articles.

“The photography is stunning and attracts the children’s attention,” Stephanie Schuler, a third-grade teacher at Seattle’s St. Catherine School, told Maryknoll. “It reinforces our Catholic identity by showing practical applications of the facts the students learn in religion class.”

The most important lesson from Maryknoll, according to Ms. Schuler, is the reminder that people are brothers and sisters throughout the world. Her class turns the lessons into action by pooling pennies for the people that Maryknoll missioners serve in the world’s poorest areas.

The program also serves as a valuable teaching tool for other subject areas such as social studies. With programs in Asia, Africa and Latin America, Maryknoll missioners are able to convey their stories of help, hope and love in foreign lands that deliver valuable lessons that transcend religion.

For more information about the Maryknoll Magazine Classroom Program, visit http://www.maryknollsociety.org . To support Maryknoll’s commitment to bring the world of mission education into schools and parishes, a gift for this specific program can be offered on the Society website or by calling 1-888-627-9566.

Follow Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers on Twitter and Facebook.

For additional story content that includes profiles about the teachers who create the classroom content and to learn how schools in New York and Washington have incorporated the programs into classrooms, visit http://www.maryknollsociety.org/index.php/articles/2-articles/650 .

Contact: Mike Virgintino
Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers
PO Box 302
Maryknoll NY 10545
914-941-7636 x2219
mvirgintino@maryknoll.org

0    submitted by Mike Virgintino
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