CLICK HERE to view the photo album "Twelve Baskets – Easter Basket Drive"
This past week, 310 Easter baskets were delivered to Extension Services (north Minneapolis), Holy Rosary (south Minneapolis), East Side Learning Center (St. Paul), and PROP (Eden Prairie). Wednesday evening elementary Faith Formation students donated five baskets and senior high youth donated eight hand-tied fleece blankets, which were included in the family Easter baskets to Holy Rosary. Thank you to all who were able to donate the items and baskets, as well as the 17 shared ministers who helped create, sort, count, and deliver these baskets to these organizations!
–Jane Schmitz, Parish Director
Pax Christi – you have touched the hearts of children at East Side Learning Center. When our kindergartners and first-graders were presented with the colorful Easter/Spring baskets, our students were totally surprised. The sparkle of delight in their eyes and their spontaneous dancing for joy revealed their excitement! Our students were awed by the fact that “people who don’t even know us are being good friends!” Hnub Ci voiced this thought and the others around her agreed. The generous members of Pax Christi have surprised our students with baskets, which for many, was their first ever! Besides containing the traditional candy, the baskets also included treasured books, games, sidewalk chalk, small toys, shampoo, toothbrushes, and other personal items. This generosity also provided our students the opportunity to share with their own families as the members of Pax Christi had shared with them. Very quickly after receiving the baskets, we heard little ones talking about how he/she was going to give things in the basket to a sibling or parent when they got home. They genuinely seemed as excited about giving as they did about receiving. What a great lesson our friends at Pax Christi taught them!
East Side Learning Center (ESLC) strives to be a major force in "unlocking each child's potential through the foundation of reading." ESLC fulfills this mission by providing year-round, one-on-one reading tutoring at no cost to families for St. Paul children (K-3) who read below grade level and do not have the resources to get help.
The School Sisters of Notre Dame founded ESLC in 2001 in response to a request by the East Side Neighborhood Development Company who asked the Sisters to help address unmet educational needs in the struggling East Side neighborhoods of St. Paul. These neighborhoods are home to large refugee, immigrant, and minority populations. The Sisters responded with a pilot program at an elementary school with 25 volunteers, the School Sisters of Notre Dame, and 19 children. Since then, ESLC has expanded to multiple sites. Thanks to the commitment of over 200 volunteers, 280 children currently receive daily tutoring, four times a week at five elementary school sites.