Students For Life, a faith-based organization that believes all life needs to be respected from conception to natural death, is a popular extracurricular club at St. Mary of Gostyn Catholic School in Downers Grove. According to Jen Kahlke, a middle school teacher at SMG and co-moderator of the group, students in grades 4-8 come together to express their faith, to serve others, and to enjoy fellowship with one another.
“This year, we had 40 students join,” said Kahlke. “Overall, this program has been a vibrant one at St. Mary’s for over 25 years. Together, students stand up for life, share their beliefs with friends and classmates, see God in all people, and put their beliefs into action.”
Most meetings are in the morning before school, and run about 30 minutes. “We discuss topics such as the beauty of adoption, how to donate toys for needy children through Sharing Connections, how to reach out to the elderly, and how to artistically create faith-based bookmarks that are judged by the parish’s Reverence for Life organization,” she explained. “Students can also participate in a special Students For Life Mass in January and make blankets for Project Linus.”
Kahlke’s co-moderator for the club is Sandy Pizza, a first grade teacher at SMG. “Each year, the Students For Life club takes a field trip to Feed My Starving Children in Aurora,” explained Pizza. “This non-profit organization donates nourishing meals for hungry children world-wide. This year, our students and additional volunteers packed meals to feed 24, 624 babies. They loved participating in such a worthwhile cause.”
“I enjoyed working with students and their families to share our beliefs,” added Kahlke. “Their energy and enthusiasm during service projects was a joy to witness. Parents are very supportive, and it’s so nice to see them working with their children to express their love for all people.”
440 Prairie Avenue
Downers Grove, IL