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St. Leo the Great Catholic School service project rewarded with Spurs Coyote visit

February 02, 2017 | posted by Stephen Chavez

Topics: Catholic Schools, Hope for the Future

St. Leo the Great Catholic School service project rewarded with Spurs Coyote visit

Day four of Catholic Schools Week included a special visit from San Antonio’s favorite mascot. The San Antonio Spurs Coyote stopped by  St. Leo the Great Catholic School, on the city’s south side, to join the school community as they celebrated “Dunkin with Dad’s Day.” The visit was in conjunction with the school’s participation in the Team Up Challenge, a service project-based initiative, which was funded by the Spurs’ community foundation, the Silver & Black Give Back.

Spurs Coyote at St. Leo the Great Catholic School from Veronica Markland on Vimeo.

The Team up Challenge provides funding for youth-led service projects that make a positive impact on the community, according to their website.

Wanda Leyva, 6th grade teacher at St. Leo the Great, led a group of students who were inspired to help the homeless after seeing them living under bridges. Leyva applied for a $1,000 grant to the Silver & Black Gives Back to fund their project.

“The school community has been blessed by Mrs. Leyva’s presence. She goes above and beyond to openly live out her faith. Her kindness and spirit drives our students to want to make a difference in the world,” said Carol Johnson, principal of St. Leo the Great Catholic School.

The grant was awarded, and enabled students to purchase 18 sleeping bags with socks, knit hats and gloves stuffed inside. Additionally, student made cards with messages of hope, peace and love that were included with each bundle. It was important to the students that their winter kits were directed to the homeless who did not have access to shelter during the winter months.

“I’m very proud of our school community who wanted to reach out to the less fortunate through this grant. Many of our students come from homes that are in need themselves, yet they wholeheartedly believe helping one another is the core of what makes us human,” said Johnson.

In late December, the kits were donated to Haven for Hope Street Outreach, which were distributed to the homeless just in time for winter. Extra blankets, coats, scares and sweaters were collected by the students and were donated to the St. Vincent de Paul Society.

St. Leo the Great Catholic School is nestled across the street from St. Leo the Great church, just five miles south of downtown San Antonio. For more information about the school or to enroll your child, visit

Photos and video: Veronica Markland | Today's Catholic