Students at St. Mary’s Ryken are experiencing a different kind of community service – this spring, the community came to them.
The newly formed Southern Maryland Community Resources group sought to provide a special needs ministry for those who have “aged out” of the activities provided by the public schools. To help get the program off the ground, founder Bonnie Elward turned to Beth Allen, a member of the Campus Ministry team at SMR.
Under Beth’s guidance, students received training at a day-long seminar and volunteered at a winter dance and social at a local church. From that involvement emerged a weekly program at SMR in which teachers from the fine arts department and students share their talents with individuals with disabilities who live in the surrounding community.
So far, the group has danced, played theater games, drew portraits, and learned percussion. With the success of this pilot program and the growing rapport between students and the visitors, Bonnie and Beth can’t wait to do it again next year.