The Gregorian Institute Shield, composed of the crossed gold and silver keys of the Papal Insignia, an open book with the words 'Via Veritas Vita' ('The Way, the Truth, and the Life') written on its pages, three golden six-sided stars on a red banner, and a Germanic cross.

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In Crisis, Ravens Help Homebound Students Learn

The Benedictine mission of community, faith and scholarship transformed culture in Europe at the dawn of Western Civilization and Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, believes it can do the same in America today. Benedictine is Forming its students deeply in that mission, Advancing the mission through alumni in every walk of life, and Extending the mission regionally and nationally.

“Things changed overnight,” Kit Johnson told The Leaven.
Students of Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, have been active in the coronavirus crisis helping educate local children. Here are a few stories shared on the Benedictine College Service-Learning Facebook page.

Benedictine College Junior Ryan Werdel is majoring in Biology and Philosophy, with a minor in Chemistry. But as the coronavirus has moved classes online — both at the college and at the elementary schools in Atchison — he has used his new schedule to reach out, recording a video about microgreens for kids for the new Atchison Boys and Girls Club effort to educate kids.

“I signed up for this opportunity because I was looking for ways I can help the community from home,” he said. “I saw this project and thought of the microgreens I was growing for minimal effort. It’s the cheapest, most healthful, and fun vegetables you can have.”

Other students have been willing to lend a hand in various ways. Fifteen students from Dr. Martha Carletti’s Immunology class volunteered to help out at Atchison High School. They were scheduled to lead interactive labs during each of Macy Pickman’s biology classes before the event was cancelled. Jack Lind sent a note to Atchison and Kansas City families, saying “Due to the fact grade schools and high schools will now be doing classes in online format, I know math classes may especially be difficult.” He offered to tutor students by Skype or in person.

Benedictine College alumna Meredith Stoops, the director of Benedictine College Service Learning, also contributed to the Boys and Girls Club project, with her own “KidzLit” video (shown).

Natalie Ruether, a senior biology major at Benedictine, said the video project was a great way to build community, faith, and scholarship during a tough time.

“This is such an amazing opportunity to be a positive influence on the children of Atchison during this trying time,” she said. “We all have different gifts and the Lord calls us to share those gifts in any way possible.”

“What’s easier than making a quick video that will tell children that they are still important and loved?” she asked. “We may not be able to help them by being physically present but that doesn’t mean we can’t lend a helping hand and support virtually.”

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Benedictine College

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Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is proud to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report as well as one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide. It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging. It has a mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.