Catholic School Week - 2013
Faith. Academics. Service
Catholic Schools Week is a celebration of who we are as a Catholic Christian elementary school. Every winter Catholic schools across the nation plan their own special way of celebrating the important role Catholic schools play in a values-added education. Students and faculty look forward to the week every year as it offers many opportunities to have fun and experience learning in some special ways.
Home & School Association volunteer parents and faculty devote hundreds of hours to pulling off a week of activities to celebrate as a community.
The week started this year with each of our three sponsoring parishes dedicating a Mass on Sunday to Catholic education. The students of the school participated in many aspects of the Mass, as lectors, cantors, choir members and altar servers. Reflections were given this year at Holy Trinity Church by Brianna Tucciarone, an 8th grade student; at St. Helen's by Noreen Wickwire, a kindergarten teacher; and at Our Lady of Lourdes by Barbara Oberding, a parishioner and grandmother of two HTIS students. The special masses were followed by Open Houses at each campus.
Open Houses - Each campus held an open house to give tours to those looking to learn more about the school. This year also featured a moving talk by St. Helen's pastor Fr. Michael Saporito on "Why Catholic Education is Still Relevant in our Modern World".
The 2012 celebration continued Monday through Friday with many of the perennial favorite activities including:
Faculty Appreciation Breakfasts - We always take a few hours before the bustle of the week starts to give a little back to our hard-working faculty. Faculty at each campus enjoyed a breakfast, a quiet few moments before the start of a jam-packed week.
Faculty vs. Varsity Girls Volleyball - This year for the first time in recent memory our 7th and 8th grade girls defeated the Faculty team in a three-game match. The Faculty came to win and was supported by a screaming student body, with most from grades 1st to 8th routing on their teachers. While the Varsity team seemed to be the underdog in their own gym, they came back from an early deficit, demonstrating the skills they've built up over the season. Go Braves!
Grandparents & Special Friends Day
- The students in the school's early
childhood program at Our Lady of Lourdes campus always enjoy the day when their grandparents and other
close friends come to visit to see what’s its like to be a Pre-k or Kindergarten student. The adults
spent time in the student's classrooms, played games and did projects with the children and finished
the celebration with a pizza party. More than 200 grandparents and guests were on hand to share the
day with their grandchildren.
Scavenger Hunt - The Lower School also enjoyed a fun scavenger hunt in Our Lady of Lourdes church -- and perhaps without realizing it learned about the parts of the sanctuary.
The NED Show
- A new addition to the week this year was an energetic school assembly program promoting
positive attitudes, better behavior & academic achievement. NED inspired our
students to Never give up, Encourage others,
Do your best -- all while learning how to yo-yo.
Retreats - Grades 1-4 took part in a joint spiritual retreat on campus, while the upper grades did various service projects. For example, the 7th grade spent a fun morning playing bingo and singing with the retired religious who live at Mount Saint Mary's campus in Watchung before a retreat at St. Helen's church. The Pre-K students and Kindergarteners learned about what patriotic service is, meeting some National Guardsmen and getting to climb aboard a Guard truck.
Indoor Olympics - Competition was stiff again for our annual spirit-filled athletic competition.
Ice Cream Parties - Both the upper and lower schools enjoyed ice cream parties, because who doesn't love ice cream with your friends.
Roller Skating Party - Friday of CSW is usually a half-day with the afternoon turned over to fun. As has been the case in recent years, hundreds of our students and parents headed to a local roller rink for an afternoon of fun.
The Annual Student Talent Show - The show is usually held during CSW, but this year it will be held later in the school year: just something to look forward to.
Classroom Visitation - The week also offered a chance for parents at the Westfield Campus to observe their children's classrooms in action.
But there was more. Students again had their teachers sprinkle in surprises like contests and door decorating.
It went by fast, but don't despair: Catholic Schools Week 2014 starts January 26.