Labor of Love, A&O's Annual Visit to the St. Lucia Retirement Home

One of the most anticipated field trips of the year for Alfa & Omega’s primary school students is a late fall visit to the neighboring St. Lucia retirement home on Montgó in Dénia.  This event is based in love and respect towards Dénia’s senior citizens, and consists of various bonding activities, all of which have a common theme: To give and receive both joy and happiness.

Our students don’t know quite what to expect when they arrive at the home, but smiles and laughter soon break out as they dance, sing, play games and talk with the residents. This has long been a special get-together between the two generations and serves as an excellent opportunity for the retirement home residents and the Alfa & Omega students to meet, connect and share experiences.

This traditional event celebrates the coming of the Christmas season with loads of sweets and carols accompanied by tambourines. But what separates this from all other field trips during the year is that the families of students participate in the festivities as well.

In keeping with the school’s mission to “assist students of promise in becoming lifelong learners who will productively serve a world in need of their gifts,” We put a strong emphasis on students participating in community service.   Students will learn that being involved in one’s community means service without expectation of reward, and that privilege bestows responsibility. We challenge students to live a life of integrity and find purpose larger than the self. Our prayer is that students will build life-long relationships within the communities where they live, thus fostering a sense of extending themselves beyond Alfa & Omega.

It is possible to educate for the XXI Century by employing innovative approaches that take the students out of the classrooms to assist in becoming lifelong learners who will productively serve a world in need of their gifts. In this case serving the elderly and gaining from their wisdom.

Field trips like this build a strong values-based foundation which is so necessary for a society that is so easily lost. Our prayer is that students will gain a better understanding of the needs in their communities and develop a heart for serving those needs.

 My informal vision statement for Alfa & Omega might be

 "Think like an adult, live with a young heart, give wise counsel, and never stop dreaming like a child.

Jorge Pastor