The Micah 6:8 Program at St. Viator School in Las Vegas celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, and its benefits keep on spreading. The program was created to provide students with physical and intellectual learning disabilities a Christ-centered environment in which to learn.
Luke Silvestri was the first Micah 6:8 graduate and he returned this week to hand out a unique award named in his honor: the Luke Silvestri Kindness Award.
The award is given out each trimester to students who show extraordinary kindness and inclusiveness of all students, both Micah 6:8 and non-Micah 6:8 students, Assistant Principal and Pre-Associate Paul Mertzman explains. These students are observed by staff members as they go about their normal school day activities.
The latest recipients were Kaden Benito, Isabelle Celeste, Maranel Israel, Ella Langerveld, Adam Salas and Kennady Conrado-Wood.
“We look for students who live out the Micah 6:8 scripture passage, ‘Act justly, love tenderly, and walk humbly with your God,’ ” Mertzman says. “And here at St. Viator School, we add ‘walk humbly with your God and each other.’ ”
Mertzman announced the name of its latest winners at an awards ceremony Thursday, while Principal Katie Kiss handed them to each student. The school maintains records of the award winners and they then receive a Micah 6:8 pin at their eighth-grade graduation to wear on their school ribbons. This year’s eighth graders who received their pins included: Tamer Sayegh, Luke Hodges and Kara Hartz.
“When we started the Micah Program, we — the school and parish community — thought we were doing something special to help our Micah children,” says Fr. Richard Rinn, CSV, Pastor and Assistant Provincial. “Ten years later, we learned the Micah Children did something for us. Our students are more aware and more accepting, more generous with care and compassion.”
The Micah 6:8 Program is the only inclusion program of its kind in a Catholic school in the state of Nevada. It continues to change lives because of the generosity of parish members and the Viatorian Community, who work together to support it financially.