Skills Spotlight: Service Learning in Spanish

Upper School Spanish teachers Ileana Hernández Carafas and Pam Sheehy partnered with Caritas in Port Chester to create a special program that combines upper level Spanish with Public Purpose. Once a month, Upper School Spanish students visit Caritas to assist with setting up tables for lunch service, bagging fresh produce, loading carts, and helping clients with their food selections. Throughout their time at Caritas, students communicate with clients in Spanish, providing an authentic opportunity to practice the language outside of the classroom.

"We all had a truly enriching and heartwarming experience. Everything we saw - from the display of the many flags of Latino countries hanging in a flowering tree, to the hand painted signs on the church doors proclaiming 'We are immigrants, not criminals!' - provided an invaluable true-to-life experience that could never be duplicated in a classroom. Students learned new vocabulary, but most important, they learned how to respectfully communicate with the the people they served, providing them with options and assisting them with making decisions for their families. The students were truly happy afterwards. We are so proud of them!" ~Ileana Hernández Carafas and Pam Sheehy.

Portrait of a Graduate Connections:


RCDS students practice skills and habits essential for wellness and success in college, in work, and in life, including communication, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and adaptability.