Global Classmates, Unbound’s new outreach to Catholic schools, provides a way for students to learn about the realities of poverty and grow in compassion for others through sponsoring children in need.
The concept of Global Classmates is simple. A class sponsors a child through Unbound and, like other Unbound sponsors, develops a relationship with that child through correspondence. The difference with Global Classmates is that there’s also an intentional learning and faith formation dimension in the principles of Catholic social teaching:
- • Respecting the dignity of all people
- • Loving our neighbors wherever they may be
- • Prioritizing the needs of the poor and vulnerable
- • Growing in community and solidary with others
To help support the students’ learning process, Unbound has developed resources that teachers can use with their classes. They include fact sheets, activities, puzzles, games, videos and prayers, as well as suggestions for how to use them. New resources will be added as they’re developed. They’re free and available to anyone at unbound.org/educationalresources.
Kimberly Klein, a member of Unbound’s parish outreach team and a former Catholic school teacher, spearheads the Global Classmates program. She said the idea began to develop after a 2019 visit to St. John the Evangelist Parish in Seattle, Washington, by Unbound preacher Father John Gillespie, and a conversation with school principal Bernadette O’Leary.
“Principal O'Leary said their school's community outreach is to the homeless and their global outreach would be to their Unbound sponsored friends,” Klein said. “I believe they first started referring to them as ‘global classmates.’ I just started thinking about how Unbound can support schools with our global view of service to others.”