Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302
Catholic Schools Week is Jan. 28-Feb. 3: ‘The Good News in Education’
by Mitch Finley, Inland Register staff
(From the Jan. 18, 2007 edition of the Inland Register)
To be observed Jan. 28-Feb. 3, the official theme for Catholic Schools Week this year is “Catholic Schools. The Good News in Education.” Catholic schools in the Diocese of Spokane are on board with plans to celebrate.
All Saints School, in Spokane, will observe Catholic Schools Week on each school day. Monday will include a peanut relay race, the beginning of an all-week food drive, and a participation in the Knights of Columbus pro-life essay poster contest. Tuesday morning, there will be an all-school Mass in the Primary building, plus this will be classroom door decoration day, with each class using a theme appropriate to the week. On Wednesday morning the door decoration contest will be judged and winners announced. During lunch on this day there will be a basketball free throw contest in the gym.
Thursday at All Saints will be Crazy Tie Day, and the culmination of the school’s participation in Catholic Charities’ 100 Ways in100 Days program will be celebrated with an all-school Mass at Our Lady of Fatima Church. Friday, each class will wear, with uniform pants, a shirt or top in the class color. Friday will also include a relay race during lunch-time, in the gym. Right after the race there will be a brief Catholic Schools Week “wrap-up” assembly.
Spokane’s Assumption School will invite notable individuals from the local community to visit the school to read books or short stories to the students. Among the guests will be Dr. Duane Schafer, Superintendent of Catholic Schools, a few graduates of All Saints, and members of the fire and police departments. There will also be an all-school Mass to honor volunteers, who will receive a token of appreciation. At another time, the Home and School Association will serve a luncheon for school staff. During the week the 8th grade students write a speech reflecting on the Catholic school education, and students will be selected to present these speeches after each Mass the weekend of Jan. 27-28. On another day the school will host a luncheon for the Senior Citizens of the parishes. A highlight will be student presentations. One day will be Student Appreciation Day, including chocolate milk served with lunch, a special treat in the afternoon, and no homework for the day.
Assumption School in Walla Walla plans to observe Catholic Schools Week in unique ways each school day. Monday will be Pajama Day with students invited to bring their favorite stuffed animal. On Tuesday, Crazy Dress or Favorite Sweatshirt/Tee-Shirt Day, “students will dress accordingly. Wednesday will be Class Color Day, with students dressing in their class colors. Thursday will be Hero or Hawaiian Day, again with students dressing accordingly. On Friday, there will be an all-school Mass at Assumption Church, with students invited to “dress up.”
Each day at Walla Walla’s Catholic elementary school will also be a day to bring donations for Catholic Charities of Walla Walla. Instead of “100 Ways in 100 Days,” Assumption is doing “101 Ways in 5 Days.” Monday will be the day to bring supplies for babies (shampoo, lotion, wipes, diapers, and so forth). Tuesday, students will bring toilet tissue and facial tissues. Wednesday the items to bring will be soap and shampoo. Thursday, students will donate mac-n-cheese, pasta, and rice. Friday’s items will be peanut butter and jelly.
At Cataldo School, in Spokane, there will be a classroom door decorating project with religious themes assigned to each room. Sunday will be Parish and Priest Appreciation Day, and student speakers will attend all Masses in the three parishes that participate in the school, namely, St. Augustine, Sacred Heart, and Our Lady of Lourdes. Monday will be Volunteer Appreciation Day, and all school volunteers will be invited to attend a musical presentation by the kindergarten students, followed by a reception hosted by teachers and staff. Teachers will write and give notes of appreciation to volunteer “room moms.”
Tuesday will be Community Appreciation Day. Each class will choose a community service to be carried out on that day. Wednesday will be Teacher and Staff Appreciation Day, with an off-campus luncheon to be hosted by the school’s volunteer parents. Thursday will be Family Appreciation Day. All school families will be invited to a family-themed Mass, during which a distinguished graduate of the school will be announced, and the student choir will sing a special song. Also on Thursday, the 7th grade class will host Family Bingo Night and, and no homework will be assigned on this day. Packets of popcorn will be sent home with thank you notes to all families.
Friday will be Spirit Day and Student Appreciation Day, with events being planned by the Student Council and the staff. This will be a free dress day with students encouraged to wear the school colors, blue and gold. All day Friday there will also be a food collection for the Second Harvest Food Bank.
Guardian Angel/St. Boniface School, in Colton, will celebrate with dress-up days, with daily prizes for best dressed from each classroom. The dress-up themes will be: Pajama Day, Sports/College Sports Day, Hillbilly/John Deere Day, Guardian Angel/St. Boniface Spirit Day, and Guardian Angel/St. Boniface Pride Day. Parish organizations will provide hot lunches each day during the week.
Other activities include a pajama party and board games, on Pajama Day; “Buddy” Activity Day, which refers to pairings of older and younger students; a Teacher Swap, during which teachers rotate, taking a turn for a brief time in each classroom; Student vs. Faculty Sports Games (grades 1-4 vs. Staff, then grades 5-8 vs. Staff); and a talent show.
Friday includes the school’s traditional First Friday celebrations. So as usual on a First Friday the whole school will attend Mass and Benediction as well as having a monthly awards assembly. The latter recognizes students in the Character Education program.
At Clarkston’s Holy Family School, all of Catholic Schools Week will be a Spirit Week. Students will dress according to special themes each day. Tuesday will be Contest Day,” when the students will spend the whole day working on all the spring poster contests, including the Dogwood Festival, the Eagles Club’s “What I Like About My Hometown,” and poster contests sponsored by the Catholic Daughters and the Knights of Columbus. On Wednesday, students and families will be invited by the faculty to swim at the Asotin County Aquatic Center. Families will bring snacks to share. On Sunday, Jan. 28, members of the Student Council will serve as lectors, Eucharistic ministers, and other liturgical roles.
Typically, at Spokane’s St. Aloysius School, each Monday morning all students and teachers gather in the school gymnasium for prayer. During Catholic Schools Week, this will become a daily event. Also, each school day during the week will be a “Recognition Day” for groups important in the life of the school. The groups to be recognized are teachers, students, parents and volunteers, the community at large, and special people, i.e. grandparents and others. The latter groups will be invited to attend a Recognition Mass and Luncheon on Friday.
The school will have special dress days, including a Free Dress Day for teachers. On community day students will dress in ways that reveal their future careers. The week will also include a Catholic Charities-sponsored “100 Ways in100 Ways” project which will consist of some form of outreach to the wider community (specifics not yet finalized as of this writing). Tuesday will be Student Appreciation Day and will include no home work, and students may come to school dressed to celebrate their favorite sports teams. On this day the younger children will watch a movie. The upper grades students will watch a video of the Gonzaga University game from the night before. On Parents and Volunteers Day, all students will write letters to volunteers and parents thanking them for their support of the school. On Sunday of Catholic Schools Week, students and teachers will express thanks to St. Aloysius Parish for its tremendous support for the school.
St. Charles School, in Spokane, will have Catholic Schools Week observances on each school day. Monday will celebrate the parish community with a pancake breakfast in the morning. The school halls will be decorated to show school spirit. Tuesday will be a Day of Reflection, with three prayer services in the course of the day and an Open House from 10:30-11:30 a.m. followed by a prayerful reflection in the parish church.
Wednesday will be Student Appreciation Day and a free dress day. There will be an all-school Mass in the morning and roller skating at Pattison’s Skating Rink in the afternoon. Spirit Day will be the theme for Thursday, and this day will be a “crazy hat, socks, and tie day. At a school assembly there will be speakers and a student talent show, a performance by the school swing choir, and the cheerleaders will also perform. Ice cream will be served, too. Friday will be Faculty/Staff Appreciation Day and will include a brunch in honor of faculty and staff members.
Last but in no way least, all during Catholic Schools Week students at St. Charles are encouraged to “Fill the Sills” of the school’s hallway windows with cans of soup that will be donated to the residents of Catholic Charities’ Delaney Apartments, a facility in downtown Spokane that houses some of the lowest income folks who rely on Catholic Charities for housing. This is yet another creative way that a Catholic school is participating in Catholic Charities’ annual “100 Ways in 100 Days” project.
At St. John Vianney School, in Spokane Valley, the 8th graders are planning a Spirit Week. There will be religious activities of a fun nature all during the week. This will segue into school participation in the St. John Vianney Parish Sunday liturgies. There will also be a Family Night which will include a meal prepared and served by the school’s staff under the guidance of staff from Hu Hut, a Mongolian barbecue-style restaurant in Spokane Valley.
On Sunday, students and teachers from St. Mary School, Spokane Valley, will be present at all the parish Masses to celebrate the school. Each day during Catholic Schools Week one group important in the life of the school will be recognized and honored. For the school’s participation in the Catholic Charities “100 Ways in100 Days” observance, each classroom group will choose what to collect to help Catholic Charities, and this will go on throughout the week.
Students and teachers at St. Paschal Catholic School, in Spokane Valley, will enjoy a Student Spirit Day. This will include free dress based on a theme to be chosen, a classroom door decorating contest, and – most popular of all – no homework on that day. There will also be a Pastor Appreciation Day which will include an all-school Mass during which a representative of each class will read a statement of appreciation for the pastor of St. Paschal Parish, Father Patrick Hartin. There will also be a Family Day, which will include a reception for parents before school begins and no home work on that day. Also, the school will send home that day with each student resources for a family activity that evening, including a packet of popcorn to pop and share.
On the Sunday of Catholic Schools Week, St. Patrick School, Pasco, will begin its observance at the 11 a.m. Mass in the parish church. All students are invited to participate in the choir. Students from the 2nd grade class will serve as lectors, while 4th graders will be altar servers and bring the gifts to the altar. School staff members and parents will serve as Eucharistic ministers.
Pasco’s Catholic elementary school will observe Community Day on Monday, with the 1st, 6th, and 7th grades in charge of organizing activities. Organized by the 3rd and 5th grades, Tuesday will be Nation Day, with all students and staff invited to wear red, white, and blue clothing. There will be a special presentation honoring the military, the government, and so on. Wednesday will be Student Day, including no homework, free dress, and a movie with popcorn, all organized by the kindergarten and 8th grade. On Thursday, Vocation Day will be celebrated. The entire school community will travel to St. Joseph Church, in Kennewick, to join the other area Catholic schools for an All Catholic School Mass. Friday will be Faculty, Staff, and Volunteers Day, beginning with a continental breakfast for volunteers and teachers, followed by “special treats” for them throughout the day. The school’s administration will organize this day’s activities.
St. Patrick School, Spokane, will observe Catholic Schools Week, first, in the parishes that support the school, St. Patrick and St. Francis Xavier. At the Masses on Sunday, Jan. 29, students from the school will prepare liturgies, and the school choir will sing. Each school day, various Spirit Week activities will take place. Monday will be Mismatch Day, and there will be an all-school prayer time. Tuesday will be Crazy Hair Day. Wednesday will be Classroom Buddy Day, and Thursday will be Green and White Day, when students wear the school colors. Thursday will also be Classroom Cheer Day. Friday will be Special Persons Day, with Mass in the morning, a Door Decoration Contest, and finally a Pep Rally.
Students and faculty at St. Thomas More School, Spokane, will focus during Catholic Schools Week on the history of Catholic schools. On Monday morning, there will be a special presentation by students that will be broadcast over the school’s public address system. Following that, the school’s cheer leaders will visit each classroom to give an additional presentation on the history of St. Thomas More School itself. Tuesday will be Grandparents’ Day, and grandparents will be invited for a pizza lunch. There will be a Dress Up Day when students will be invited to wear apparel either representing their favorite college or a design for what the student thinks would be the ultimate Catholic school uniform.
Wednesday will be Charity Day and the culmination of the school’s participation in the “100 Ways in 100 Days” campaign for Catholic Charities. Thursday there will be a “100 Days in100 Ways” all-school Mass, and the regular all-school Friday Morning prayer service will include a reflection on appreciation for St. Thomas More School, specifically.
The newest Catholic high school in the diocese, Tri-Cities Prep, in Pasco, plans to celebrate Catholic Schools Week on Sunday with a locker-decorating project by the Parents Club. Each locker will be decorated to emphasize the student’s strengths and personal traits, with a focus on the student’s growth and commitment to his/her Catholic faith.
Each day of the week the school will have all-school prayer that will include recognition of Catholics schools in general and Tri-Cities Prep, in particular. Tuesday will be Student Appreciation Day at Tri-Cities Prep. The Associated Student Body will sponsor homemade ice cream and recognition of each class’s service projects during the first semester. On Thursday there will be an all Tri-Cities K-12 at St. Joseph Church, in Kennewick. Thursday will also be a no-homework day, and Friday will be Parent/Prep VIPs Appreciation Day. Letters of thanks will be sent to parents and supporters of the school.
Spokane’s Trinity School will observe Catholic Schools Week with a week-long collection of items for the poor. There will be a Free Dress Day, and celebrity guests will visit to read aloud to students from their favorite books. There will be a Board Game Day with kindergarten and 8th grade students paired up to play together. The upper grade classes will compete at various fun physical activities, such as a three-legged race, for the coveted KFC rubber chicken (dressed in a little school uniform), while the other students cheer them on. One day there will also be a special lunch with an extended recess following. Also, there will be a special all-school Mass during the week to honor school volunteers and the pastors from the parishes to which the school is related, St. Anthony and St. Joseph, on Dean Ave. Themes the school community will focus on during Catholic Schools Week are prayer, gratitude, patriotism, exercise, and sharing the Gospel.