At The Madeleine, students have been educated with a view toward caring for creation, serving others and belonging to a community where all are welcome. This year, the eighth-graders, the most veteran students, put this into action and modeled a willingness to continue to understand social justice issues in the community and the world in a variety of ways.

The CLEAN (Catholic Leadership Environmental Action Network) Club was founded this past fall by two eighth graders, and includes students from fifth to eighth grades who focus on environmental education and action. They started CLEAN Club as a way to educate each other and other students about climate change. Projects included raising money for earth friendly projects, participating in a clean-up effort with SOLVE and creating holiday gift tags from recycled materials.

From kindergarten to eighth grade, classrooms rotate and make sack lunches each Tuesday to help feed the hungry. While this activity was on pause for much of the last two years, when the opportunity arose again in January, The Madeleine’s eighth-graders knew its importance. They made 345 lunches on the first day with caring notes for the recipients. That quickly put the lunch program, Nourish our Neighbors, into high gear.

Two important cross-curricular projects were undertaken this school year. Art and technology worked together to do a Black History Month project in which eighth-graders explored civil rights movements and communities working together to address injustice in society. They researched and wrote about their group and designed artwork to illustrate it.

The students also completed a research paper on the origins of Oregon’s racial demographics. The paper was a combined effort between English and social studies classes.

“Mr. [Rob] Parker and I are really proud of the students,” said Tina Hanselman, English teacher. “They learned so much about the origins of racism in Oregon, and how it continues today.”