Southern Tier schools celebrate Catholic education with special activities - Catholic Courier
Educator Bree Riesbeck of the Tanglewood Nature Center in Elmira, NY introduces "Sir Snuffles" a Hedgehog to the amazed students at Elmira's Holy Family Catholic School. (Photo by Rick Bacmanski)

Educator Bree Riesbeck of the Tanglewood Nature Center in Elmira, NY introduces "Sir Snuffles" a Hedgehog to the amazed students at Elmira's Holy Family Catholic School. (Photo by Rick Bacmanski)

Southern Tier schools celebrate Catholic education with special activities

What do ice skating, dressing up like grown-ups, a talent show and visiting senior citizens have in common?

Why, Catholic Schools Week, of course.

Thanks to some creative planning at Southern Tier Catholic schools, a variety of activities took place Jan. 28-Feb. 3 featuring service, faith and fun.

Among the highlights at All Saints Academy, Corning, were a Catholic Schools Week Mass at St. Mary Church; St. Francis of Assisi animal-themed day, including animal demonstrations and students bringing in their favorite stuffed animals; St. Thomas Aquinas knowledge-themed day, featuring board and trivia games, as well as students wearing their favorite college or All Saints Academy attire; St. Joseph family-themed day, with a family breakfast and Big Kid/Little Kid reading event; St. Christopher “travel the world” day, with classrooms designing events, snacks and attire after a country of their choice; and St. Sebastian sports-themed day, with students vs. staff games, ice skating and clothing depicting students’ favorite teams.

Catholic Schools Week activities at Holy Family School, Elmira, included Career Day, during which students wore outfits depicting what they’d like to become when grown up; pizza lunch in the gym along with an animal presentation by Elmira’s Tanglewood Nature Center; Comfy Day with students wearing comfy clothes to school; schoolwide Read-A-Thon with students bringing their favorite books to school as well as pillows and blankets; Character Day, with students dressing up as their favorite book character; Movie Day, with classes getting together for a movie and popcorn; and Blast from the Past ice cream social, with students picking a decade and dressing accordingly while also going for an ice-cream treat during lunch.

St. Agnes School, Avon, featured a morning service including prayer and community building; bird feeder service project for the Avon Nursing Facility; Pajama Day and reading with Big and Little Sisters and Brothers; day of showing school pride by dressing down in red and white; roller skating with pizza lunch; potluck dinner followed by talent show; and no school on Friday as the student body engaged in off-site fun activities, including skiing, snowboarding and bowling. Daily themes for the week at St. Agnes were: Wake Up with Jesus! (Monday); Love One Another as I Have Loved You (Tuesday); A Community of Believers (Wednesday); Using the Body Created in God’s Image (Thursday); and Spreading God’s Word (Friday).

St. Mary Our Mother School, Horseheads, held Barnes and Nobles Day; birthday-card making; a cooking competition; buddy class reading; Birthday-in-a-Bag; a guest visit from Anthony Cook, diocesan superintendent of schools; nose warmer fashion show; flag ceremony featuring Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts in uniform and guest participants; fourth-graders visiting Bethany Village to bring rosaries they made for the senior-citizen residents and to recite the rosary together with them; Trail Mix Train; Movie Day; Muffins for Moms/Donuts for Dads; gifts for the parish priests; Trike-A-Thon for prekindergartners; First Friday Mass followed by Living Rosary; winter festival; and students in uniform helping at weekend Masses Feb. 3-4.

In addition to these sites’ respective activities, students from each Southern Tier school — along with faculty and staff — joined schools from the rest of the Rochester Diocese for a special Catholic Schools Week Mass celebrated by Bishop Salvatore R. Matano on the morning of Jan. 31 at Sacred Heart Cathedral.

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