Schools celebrate Catholic Schools Week

Schools celebrate Catholic Schools Week

Next week, Jan. 31 through Feb. 5, Catholic Schools Week will be
celebrated across the country. Since 1974 the National Catholic
Education Association has annually sponsored jointly with the U.S.
Conference of Catholic Bishops a week set aside to make the public
aware of the importance of Catholic education in the United
States.
This year’s theme is

Catholic Schools-an A+ for America.

Next week, Jan. 31 through Feb. 5, Catholic Schools Week will be celebrated across the country. Since 1974 the National Catholic Education Association has annually sponsored jointly with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops a week set aside to make the public aware of the importance of Catholic education in the United States.

This year’s theme is “Catholic Schools-an A+ for America.” It calls attention to the fact that “Catholic Schools are an added value (‘an A plus’) for the nation. Because of their traditionally high academic standards and graduation rates, all supported by strong moral values, these schools and their graduates make a positive contribution to American Society.” Giving back to the community and helping others are values instilled in their students.

According to statistics for 2010 released by the NCEA, the Roman Catholic Church operates 7,094 schools with a total enrollment of 2.1 million students in grades pre-kindergarten through 12. Catholic Schools are surprisingly diverse, with nearly 30 percent ethnic minority students and almost 15 percent non-Catholic students.

Although many South Valley students attend Catholic high schools in Salinas, Watsonville, San Jose or elsewhere, three elementary schools are located locally and invite the public to join in their Catholic Schools Week celebrations.

Gilroy: St. Mary School, 7900 Church St., (408) 842-2827

St. Mary has a strong community connection. Established in 1871, it will celebrate its 140th anniversary next year.

Students are currently involved in a Community Thank You project honoring nine organizations that serve Gilroy residents, like the police and fire departments, the public library, and the animal shelter. Students will make books with photos and letters that the school’s room mothers will deliver to each organization during the week.

This year’s fund-raising auction features a Dr. Seuss theme, and community members, especially former students, have been invited to visit classrooms to read these books to the students.

Students are also busy creating Valentine cards and gift packages to be sent to members of the armed forces serving overseas.

At 5 p.m. Sunday, a special Liturgy will be presented at St. Mary Church to kick-off the Catholic Schools Week celebration. Students from the school will take prominent roles in the Mass, and the public is invited to attend.

From 10:45 a.m. to noon Tuesday, there will be an Open House. Parent volunteers and student council members will serve as guides for campus tours, including classroom visits.

Morgan Hill: St. Catherine School, 17500 Peak St., (408) 779-9950

St. Catherine will host several events to mark Catholic Schools Week. On Sunday, students will be leading the 5 p.m. Liturgy at the church.

The public is invited to an Open House from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday, when they can tour the school and see the students in action. That evening, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., more tours of the school will be conducted with a chance to ask questions of students, teachers and other staff members.

From 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, a special celebration will honor grandparents and other “special people in their lives” invited by the students.

Hollister: Sacred Heart School, 670 College St., (831) 637-4147

A Children’s Mass at St. Benedict’s Church will be held at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, followed by an Open House at the school beginning at 2 p.m. with staff available for questions.

Monday, Jan. 31, the students will receive a special blessing from Father Rudy Ruiz, Pastor of St. Benedict.

The school will also be holding a Scholastic Book Fair all week.

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