St. Joseph celebrates 2019 Catholic Schools Week

Photos submitted to Times Observer St. Joseph School will celebrate Catholic Schools Week Jan. 27 to Feb. 2.

National Catholic Schools Week 2019 (CSW) will be observed in dioceses across the country from January 27 through February 2. This year’s theme, “Catholic Schools: Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed,” focuses on the important spiritual, academic, and societal contributions through living a Christian life of virtue in an ever-changing society.

In January of 2018, the St. Joseph School was the recipient of a DART Foundation Grant of $330,000. The purchase of 50 new iPads and cart, 54 new computers, 12 new smart TVs, five laptop computers, student desks, classroom rugs, and classroom bookshelves were made possible by this grant. New resources in Science and Language Arts have been introduced this school year.

St. Joseph Catholic School is thriving in many ways. The outpouring of support from our parent volunteers is commendable. The excellent teaching performed by our highly qualified teachers is reflected by how well our students do, not only in national norm-referenced testing but also when they feed into our local public school system. The school has enjoyed the addition of a sixth grade and continues to grow in student enrollment annually; so much so, that for the first time in many years, the school will be capping the incoming number of kindergarten students to 30, due to future space concerns.

St. Joseph has much to celebrate during this year’s Catholic Schools Week. Each day of the week has a unique theme, beginning with Sunday’s “Celebrate Your Parish” week. The student-led Mass on Sunday will include a reading of the Catholic Schools Week proclamation by Warren Mayor Maurice Cashman. Many events are planned at the school during this week, starting with the 10:45 a.m. Youth Mass on Sunday, followed by the school’s open house from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Student work will be displayed throughout the hallways.

Monday is “Celebrating Our Students” day. Students will enjoy wearing pajamas to school for the day while eating a hot breakfast meal for their lunch, provided by parent volunteers. They will relax and enjoy a read-in on their pillows and blankets that they are permitted to bring to school that day.

Tuesday is “Celebrating Our Vocations” Day. St. Joseph will have Fr. Mike Polinek, Diocesan Director of Vocations, visit for the day. He will be visiting each grade level of students to discuss his own journey to becoming a priest, to explain vocations, read a story to younger students, and answer student questions.

Wednesday is “Celebrating Our Communities.” Mayor Maurice Cashman will again read the Catholic Schools Week Proclamation after the school Mass and will be speaking to the 5th- and 6th-grade students about the importance of taking pride in and serving our communities.

Thursday is “Celebrating our Nation” day. Students will wear red, white, and blue shirts with their uniform pants/skirts to show their patriotic spirit. Jennifer Wortman will visit classes in the morning to discuss Catholic Heart Work Camp and the value of serving others. The students will enjoy a board game hour in the afternoon.

Friday is “Celebrating our Families” Day. Students will wear their favorite team jersey and bring a can of soup in to be donated to local persons in need. Students, staff, and school volunteers will be treated to a contemporary Christian music concert early afternoon. The school will hold its inaugural family dance from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday.

There are many benefits to Catholic schools, not only to the children who attend but to the communities in which they exist. Students are taught that it is important to follow the example of Jesus Christ by living a life of service to others, by leading others to know God, and by learning all that they can in order to become successful servants of God. They are encouraged to strive to be the ‘best versions of themselves’ in all that they do. It is estimated that Catholic schools save our nation’s taxpayers over 20 billion dollars annually.