Youth Forward Scholarship Winter 2016 – Giving to children that are either blind or children with austism

Name: Salvatore C Castronovo
From: Theills, NY
Grade: Junior
School: North Rockland High School
Votes: 0

As an Eagle Scout, I have truly embraced the purest meaning of citizenship, which is compassion. As a scout and a leader in my community, I took on several projects that benefit the community. One of these projects was to repurpose a room at the Immaculate Conception School to construct an atrium for the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program. The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is an approach to the religious formation of children. It is rooted in the Bible. It is based on the educational principles of Maria Montessori. Children gather in an “atrium,” a room prepared for them, which contains simple yet beautiful materials they use to help them absorb the most essential proclamations of the Christian faith. This religious project is geared towards blind children and children with autism. In an atrium the child can ponder a biblical passage or a prayer from the liturgy by taking the material for that text and working with it – placing wood figures of sheep in a sheepfold of the Good Shepherd, setting sculpted apostles around a Last Supper table, or preparing a small altar with the furnishings used for the Eucharist. Older children who
do read often copy parables from the Bible, lay in order written prayers from the rite of baptism, or label a long time line showing the history of the kingdom of God. 

Another way, I demonstrate compassion is to volunteer annually to support the Stony Point Seals. This non for profit organization’s whose goal for the past 10 years has been to raise funds, approx. $50,000, for two children in Rockland County that require special medical equipment and treatments. I have volunteered my services for the past 4 years. I entertain the young children and event adults by making balloon figures. I donate all of the money that I raise to this
organization. Although it is only a few hundred dollars it really makes me feel great to see the smiles of the children’s faces when I handed them the balloon figure.

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