Schools raise funds, celebrate family
Students at area Catholic schools recently celebrated Catholic Schools Week 2005, which began Jan. 30 and ended Feb. 5. “Faith in Every Student” was the theme for the week, and although each school celebrated in its own way, most seemed to focus on several common sub-themes, including service and family.
Students at St. Mary’s School in Waterloo and St. Patrick’s School in Seneca Falls came together for a Mardi Gras celebration Feb. 3. For a few pennies, students could play carnival games and purchase carnival food, and proceeds benefitted victims of the Dec. 26 tsunamis in Southeast Asia.
“The kids need to have that awareness that there are others out there that are less fortunate than themselves. It’s real important to instill that sense,” said Principal Diana Oravec. The students have been very generous, already raising $200 through a dress-down day, and that money will be added to the Mardi Gras proceeds, she said.
Students from the two schools also came together for other Catholic Schools Week events, including a visit from a mobile planetarium. It’s important for the students from each school to get to know each other, since they will be classmates when the two schools are merged next year, Oravec said.
Shannon Heller, principal at St. Michael’s School in Newark, helped her students raise money for tsunami victims by shooting baskets for 10 minutes straight Feb. 2. Students’ friends and family members had previously pledged a certain amount of money for each basket Heller made during the first five minutes, and several local businesses had pledged $50 for each shot Heller made from the half-court line. More than $1,080 was raised.
The eighth-grade class at St. Francis-St. Stephen’s School in Geneva turned their school into an ice-cream parlor Feb. 1, serving sundaes to their fellow students to raise funds for tsunami-relief efforts. Students were encouraged to invite their parents and other adult relatives and friends to the event, where sundaes were sold for $1 apiece.
The fundraiser was a success, and the eighth-graders raised $302 for victims of the tsunamis, said Principal Elaine Morrow. The eighth-graders came up with the fundraising idea themselves, and plan to combine the proceeds with those from a student-council-sponsored candy sale later this month, sending a check to Catholic Relief Services for the total amount.
“We’re very proud of the children. They’re very thoughtful about others, and they do a lot of that kind of thing,” Morrow said, citing as an example the check students sent to hurricane victims in the United States in the fall of 2004. Parents, family members and friends loved spending time with the children and seeing what the school is all about, she added.
Parents, relatives and adult friends were also invited to St. Joseph’s School in Auburn during Catholic Schools Week for Special Persons Day. This day gives parents and other adults the opportunity to see the school and what is important to their children, and it encourages positive interaction, said Principal Kathleen Coye.
Several other schools also invited family members to visit the school during the week. St. Mary’s School in Canandaigua invited families to visit during the day Jan. 31 and to attend a family spaghetti supper Feb. 4.
St. Patrick’s and St. Mary’s in Waterloo invited families to attend a meal and talent show at St. Patrick’s Feb. 4. Both schools have a real family atmosphere, Oravec said.
“It’s real important that the whole family gets involved. It’s not just the kids and not just the teachers that are a part of the school family,” Oravec said.