From wacky outfits to service projects to career explorations, area schools have packed schedules for Catholic Schools Week, which runs from Jan. 25-31.
The event, which is celebrated nationally by the National Catholic Educational Association, celebrates learning in Catholic schools, boosts school spirit and kicks off registration for the 2015-16 school year.
This year’s Catholic Schools Week also is being celebrated nationally on social media. Those participating can use the #CSW15 hashtag on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest to share celebrations with the public. The NCEA announced that the theme for the week — Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service — will be used for several years to ensure consistency in ongoing school marketing efforts.
During the week, many Catholic schools in the Diocese of Rochester are hosting open houses or tours by appointment; contact individual schools for details.
Here are the ways local Catholic schools are celebrating Catholic Schools Week:
* Holy Cross School, Charlotte, will have a basketball game, free-throw contest and cheer exhibition (Jan. 26, 6:30 p.m.) to raise money for a preschool scholarship in memory of preschooler Ashley Nagel, who died of a brain tumor. The school is planning: beach- and spirit-wear dress-down days; to go to Horizon Fun F/X; to honor accelerated readers; a pep rally; “Jump Rope for Heart” for the American Heart Association; an open house at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 29; a service project with buddies; to celebrate Mass Jan. 30 and to give out responsibility awards; a discovery day and “mix-it-up” and pizza lunches.
* St. John Neumann School, Rochester, will host prayer-partner activities; will have an open house and state of the school report at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 27; and will have academic sports frenzy. There will be coffee with the principal at 8:30 a.m. Jan. 29 and a Mass at 9:15 that day. Students in kindergarten through sixth grade will go bowling and preschoolers will be visited by the Zoo Mobile on Jan. 30.
* St. Joseph School, Penfield, kicked the week off on Jan. 23 with bowling with buddies and will celebrate Mass at 8:30 a.m. Jan. 28 with Bishop Salvatore R. Matano. There will be mismatched sock day; school spirit day; an open house at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 29; an ice cream social; a “Soup-er Bowl” on Friday for the Penfield Ecumenical Food Cupboard; a lunch for the staff and thank-you gifts for school supporters.
* St. Kateri School, Irondequoit, will have a fundraiser at Bill Gray’s Sea Breeze location from 4 to 8 p.m. Jan. 27. The school is also having a prayer service led by the prekindergarten students; crazy sock day; dressing in class colors and in team colors; storytelling with Jay Stezer; dancing for school choice; a trip to Horizon Fun F/X; donuts with dad; a “Soup-er Bowl” Friday; bingo and greeting-card making with prayer partners.
* St. Lawrence School, Greece, will have its students serve at four locations in the community: Shorewinds Nursing Home, Edna Tina Wilson Learning Center, Greece Community Center, and InterVol. Additionally, there will be: roller skating day; a family night with science fair; dress like your favorite book character day; crazy hair day and dress up day.
* St. Louis School, Pittsford, will present the fifth grade musical, “Pirates – the Musical,” Jan. 27. In addition to the students making their acting debut, the school will host a Mass at 9:10 a.m. Jan. 26; an open house from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Jan. 27; crazy hat day; mismatched day; bus driver appreciation; an ice cream social and “Souper Bowl” dress down event.
* St. Pius Tenth School, Chili, will challenge its students to do acts of kindness as part of the Great Kindness Challenge. Also, during the week the school will have kick-off and wrap-up assemblies; a Mass at 9:30 a.m. Jan. 27; mismatch/buddy game day; all tied up in kindness day; and an ice cream social and open house at 7 p.m. Jan. 29.
* St. Rita School, Webster, will collect canned soup for the Ronald McDonald House for its “Soup-er Bowl” on Friday. It will also have opening and closing prayer services; slipper day; school spirit day; bowling; Mass at 9:15 a.m. Jan. 28; buddy class activities; an open house from 10:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Jan. 28; and wacky outfit day.
* Seton Catholic School, Brighton, will take part in a service project to bring happiness to the homebound. The school will also have a prayer service; a mobile dome; crazy hat day; books, board games and buddies; Zumba exercising; Sundae Funday; an open house at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 29; a “Soup-er Bowl” on Friday; movies and popcorn; a chess tournament and winter carnival Saturday.
* Siena Catholic Academy, Brighton, will raise funds for scholarships via dress down events all week long, including dressing in hoodies, ties, Disney or comic book characters, “retro” outfits, and sports jerseys. Students will “mix-it-up” at lunch tables and will have a “Soup-er Bowl” on Friday. There will be a faculty-student volleyball game, and bus drivers will be thanked Thursday with a bagged breakfast.
* St. Mary School, Canandaigua invited students and school families to participate in a Sunday Mass and coffee hour on Jan. 25, and families also were invited to a prayer service in the school’s gymnasium on Jan. 26. Faculty and staff will offer guided tours of the school on Jan. 27, and on Jan. 28 students and their parents will assemble and deliver trays of cookies to the school’s supporters throughout the community. Seventh- and eighth-graders will participate in a volleyball game Jan. 29, and the next day students can choose to ice skate or watch movies at school.
* St. Joseph School, Auburn encouraged students in preschool through eighth grade to bring in diapers and wipes Jan. 26 for the school’s collection for the Pregnancy Care Center of Cayuga County. On Jan. 28 the school will welcome Auburn’s mayor, Michael Quill, who is scheduled to proclaim this week Catholic Schools Week in Auburn. The school also has scheduled a jumping jack contest, art projects, church tours, Career Day and Special Persons days for each grade level.
* St. Francis-St. Stephen School, Geneva planned a Jan. 24 liturgy followed by a family dance. On Jan. 26 eighth-graders were to switch places with faculty members for one period, and the next day the whole school planned to drop everything and read for 30 minutes. The school also scheduled an ice-cream party; a bingo game; a day for students to wear silly hats and socks; and another for them to dress down in sports-themed apparel.
* St. Michael School, Penn Yan students are scheduled to enjoy a funny hat and crazy hair day; a crazy socks and slippers day; a favorite sports team day; and a beach party complete with ice cream. They will go bowling Jan. 29, and on Jan. 30 will invite their grandparents to join them for Mass, lunch, board games and card games.
* All Saints Academy, Corning, has scheduled a Sunday kick-off Mass with students singing in the choir; Community Service Day at Meals on Wheels, junior-high students helping younger ones write valentines for soldiers in Kuwait; Ice Cream Sundae Day; upper-grade students reading stories to younger children; a Mass led by the staff; Meet the Principal family supper with James Tauzel, the school’s new principal, as guest of honor; Sports Shirt Day; and a cheering contest.
* Holy Family School, Elmira, is featuring Mismatched Day, with students wearing “mismatched” items to school; Moving Up Day, with youths moving up one grade level for a visit; a Mass Jan. 27 at St. Mary Southside Church (public invited, 9 a.m.); Superhero Day, with students dressing as their favorite superheroes; Color Day, with each classroom wearing attire with a specific color; an ice cream sundae bar; and students creating and performing an original Holy Family song.
* Immaculate Conception School, Ithaca, has scheduled a pasta dinner, Catholic Schools Week Sunday Masses at Immaculate Conception and other area parishes; parents’ pancake breakfast; Future Career Day in which students dress up to represent their hoped-for careers; open houses; bowling outing; classroom showcase; Community Thank You Day; obstacle course; special liturgy with children’s choir; pizza picnic; and winter carnival with outdoor games.
* St. Agnes School, Avon, is holding a prayer service; Dress Down Day; roller skating; Grandparents’ (or Special Relative/Neighbor) Afternoon; Dady Brothers concert Jan. 27 in St. Agnes Church (public invited, 12:45 p.m.); Pajama Day including reading with students’ "Big Brothers" and " Big Sisters"; Souper Bowl Thursday with donations of canned-food items, wearing sports-team attire and pizza lunch; potluck dinner and talent show; and a bowling or sledding outing.
* St. Mary Our Mother School, Horseheads, is featuring a Winter Reading Rally; book fair; Sunday Mass with students in uniform; Birthday-in-a-Bag; Trail Mix Train; donations for charities; dress-down days; spelling bee; student fun day; donated items for service animals in training; CYO basketball games; Scouts leading the Pledge of Allegiance; open house/community fair; gift for Father Christopher Linsler, pastor, during Friday Mass; Living Rosary; and Trike-A-Thon.
* St. Patrick School, Owego, is holding a Mass at St. Patrick Church; Favorite Sports Team Day, for which students wear T-shirts and hats representing their favorite teams; School Spirit Day, with students wearing their uniforms and anything else with the St. Patrick logo; Service for Others Day, with each class doing a service project and all students wearing red, white and blue; No Uniform Day, with youths wearing their clothes mismatched, backwards and inside out; and Faith Bingo.