Students at Catholic schools around the Diocese of Rochester have planned a wide range of activities for the annual observance of Catholic Schools Week, which is sponsored by the National Catholic Education Association and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and runs from Jan. 29 to Feb. 5 this year. The national theme for 2012 is "Catholic Schools: Faith. Academics. Service," although schools are also free to choose their own themes and activities. The following schools notified the Catholic Courier of their CSW plans:
Immaculate Conception School, Ithaca, is hosting a pasta dinner; distributing notes of appreciation to parishioners at Sunday Masses; presenting an informational session at St. Catherine of Siena Church; collecting food items for local charities; and scheduling a T-Ball game, reading night and open house with a "luau" theme, book fair, Father Leo’s Quiz Bowl, scavenger hunt, Visit a Catholic School Day, parent/student basketball game; Reading in Pajamas Day; Morning at the Museum; and Friday Football Frenzy.
Scheduled highlights at Holy Family Elementary School, Elmira, are a special Mass with the middle school at St. Mary Southside Church, with students from both schools participating in readings and music; Bump Up a Grade Day; Theme Day with each class dressing according to a theme chosen by the class; registration and open house; Bring a Friend to School Day; Wear Your Favorite Sports Jersey Day; and Wear Your Pajamas to School Day.
Holy Family Middle School, Elmira, has a slate of activities including a combined Mass with the elementary school; School Pin Day; Favorite Sweatshirt Day; Catholic Schools Trivia Day; spelling bee; Dress Down Day; and a Puppy Love Dance to benefit the local Humane Society. Francis Devine, principal, noted that there also will be a faculty retreat with employment-related presentations because this is the school’s final year of operation.
St. Mary Our Mother School, Horseheads, has scheduled a book fair; faculty and staff volunteering at Food Bank of the Southern Tier; Birthday-in-a-Bag project; Trail Mix Train; 9/11 Memorial and Museum initiative; Dress Down Day; craft creations; spelling bee; Student Fun Day; open house, community fair and registration; character-education presentation; special teacher award; Dress Down Day; gifts for parish priests; and a Living Rosary.
At St. Patrick School, Owego, the roster of events includes school parents speaking at Sunday Masses with attending students wearing their school sweatshirts; taking Hats Off to Catholic Schools by wearing a favorite hat; open houses and registrations; Mixed Up and Backwards Day, which is an out-of-uniform day featuring mismatched, backwards and inside-out clothing; Hawaiian Day with Hawaiian attire; Family Dessert Night; and First Friday Mass.
St. Ann School, Hornell, has scheduled a pancake breakfast and open house following Sunday Mass; Pajama Day with afternoon movies and popcorn; Beach Party Day with students wearing summer attire and featuring a play by third- and fourth-graders; Favorite Team Day with sports jerseys and hats worn over school uniforms; spelling bee; First Friday Mass with grandparents followed by coffee/hot chocolate hour; and a bowling outing.
St. Agnes School, Avon, is featuring a Kindergarten Round-Up for incoming or inquiring families; additional information meetings and open houses; a prayer service to kick off the week; Red & White Day (wearing red and white to school); a roller skating party; Favorite Sweatshirt Day; bingo; Pajama Day; potluck supper and talent show with students and their families providing the entertainment; snow tubing; and a bowling event.
All Saints Academy, Corning, hosted a coffee hour after 11:30 Sunday Mass on Jan. 29 with free coffee and pastries and guided tours of the school. All Saints has scheduled additional open houses and registrations along with tours, as well as its annual International Sharing Supper on Jan. 31, with each grade being assigned a different area of the world to prepare ethnic food. The free dinner is open to the public.
Activities at St. Joseph School, Auburn, include a proclamation being made by Mayor Michael Quill; Special Persons Day; a jumping jack contest; food pantry collection; students teaching middle-school classes; writing patriotic songs; making cards for the VA Hospital; creating collages promoting the school; making cards for the priests; a beach party; career day; reading buddies/partners with younger students; closing Mass and open house; a thank-you project for faculty/staff; and a book fair.
St. Mary School, Canandaigua, celebrated a week-opening Mass, coffee hour and open house; an Open School Day with registration while classes are in session; Community Recognition Day with cookie trays being delivered to supporters of the school; cultural lunch with a Mexican-food theme and students dressed in the green, white and red of the nation’s flag; and a volleyball tournament for seventh and eighth grades.
Highlights at St. Francis-St. Stephen School, Geneva, include the school choir singing at a weekend Mass; a family dance; Gym Fun Day with students and teachers taking part in games and races; Ice Cream Parlor Day; School Bingo with older students assisting younger ones; an information meeting for new parents; Souper-Super Bowl earning the right to dress down if they donate one can of soup; and a week-long book fair.
Among the Catholic Schools Week goings-on at St. Michael School, Penn Yan, are Funny Hat Day; Guest Reader Day; Bowling and Sweatshirt Day; Beach Party Day featuring summer clothing and ice cream sundaes; and Grandparents Day with students’ grandparents visiting the school for Mass and lunch. In addition, an open house for prospective kindergarten parents was set for Feb. 4.
Ss. Peter and Paul School, Auburn, scheduled appreciation breakfasts and lunches for parishioners, students, faculty and staff; Silly Sock Day; Crazy Hat Day; ice skating; Favorite Sports Shirt Day; each student taking home a candle from a Divine Liturgy Feb. 2; Groundhog Day raffle; Beach Party Day; Family Feud; and bottle and can drive. Funds raised during the week will benefit Amelia Weed, a student at the Ukrainian Catholic school who recently had surgery.
At Christ the King School in Irondequoit, students kicked off a "Pennies for Patients" fundraising drive, which will raise money for leukemia and lymphoma patients through the end of February. Students will donate $1 to the effort Thursday to dress out of uniform. On Tuesday, students wore wear crazy socks, which will be followed by spirit shirts on Wednesday and favorite team colors on Friday. The school opened the week with a Mass Monday morning and presented Presidential Physical Fitness Awards to students. New families can walk through the school Tuesday from 9:30 to noon and from 1 to 2 p.m. The faculty and sixth graders will face off in a volleyball game Tuesday afternoon. Wednesday, students will complete an activity with their prayer partners, and students will roller skate Thursday and Friday. An open house Thursday evening and Donuts with Dad breakfast Friday morning cap the week.
At St. Lawrence School, students attended a Parish Mass and coffee hour afterwards on Sunday, Jan. 29. Monday, students were roller skating and wore their favorite jersey or sports logo for Crazy Fans Day. Tuesday, students celebrate Country Western Day with square dancing and line dancing; later, the school hosts family night. Wednesday students are celebrating Hawaiian Day, and will stop, drop and exercise at various times. Thursday, students will celebrate book and pajama day and will take part in Jazzercise. Friday, the school will have a Mass, dress-up day and Game Day.
A special guest will come to St. Louis School in Pittsford Wednesday to help the school focus on the theme "Catholic Schools Make a World of Difference." Gena Heraty, who works with an orphanage in Haiti run by the international charity Our Little Brothers and Sisters will share how St. Louis School children have made a difference in Haiti. Students will also wear clothing or colors that represent their cultural backgrounds and bring in cans of soup for the Pittsford Food Cupboard. The school began Catholic Schools Week with an open house Sunday. The school scheduled a family ice cream social for Wednesday and Thursday will celebrate the Feast of the Presentation with a school Mass. Friday, students will dress in their favorite team colors, and Father Bob Ring will bless their throats in honor St. Blaise.
At St. Rita School in Webster, students took part in a morning prayer service and trivia Monday. Wednesday, classes will come together to complete a faith project, and Bishop Matthew H. Clark will celebrate a 7 p.m. family liturgy with a social hour following. Students also were scheduled to celebrate the week by wearing pajamas on Monday, patriotic colors in honor of members of the military on Tuesday, slippers on Wednesday, wacky outfits on Thursday and favorite sports team colors on Friday. Students will go bowling throughout the week, and the school will collect soup cans for Ronald McDonald House. The school will close out the week with a prayer service and a movie Friday.
At St. Joseph School in Penfield, the school is celebrating the week with the theme of "Sowing seeds of Faith." During the opening liturgy Sunday, students thanked the parish and Father James Schwartz for their continued support. A coffee hour and open house followed. During the week, students are writing letters to thank their teachers and area businesses, which also received fruit baskets, and volunteers are being honored with certificates and mementoes. Wednesday, the school will celebrate a prayer service and will have an ice cream social. Homes of St. Joseph families will feature luminarias outside Wednesday evening to spread the light of Christ in the community. Prospective families can walk through the school from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Wednesday and during an open house from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, which will also feature presentations of science and social studies projects. Students will dress out of uniforms and will go bowling Friday.
At St. Pius Tenth School in Chili, the school is celebrating the theme of Learning in Faith, Hope and Love. The week began with coffee hours after Sunday Masses and students wore uniforms, which earned them passes to dress down once during the week. Monday, students learned about vocations from staff members, and made cards and wrote letters to former student Andrew Montanaro, a seminary student at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. The school celebrated Mass together Tuesday morning. Wednesday, students and teachers will make cards for new parishioners, the newly baptized and those who are sick as part of a new card ministry at St. Pius Tenth Parish. Thursday, the school will have its annual open house and ice cream social for current and prospective families from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, students will play relay races and games with buddies. Throughout the week, the school is collecting hygiene items to donate to Catholic Family Center.