Catholic Schools Week Begins
Annual event celebrates parochial school education with Masses, activities
Lehigh and Northampton County parochial schools in the Diocese of Allentown are gearing up for open houses, special Masses and various activities as they celebrate Catholic Schools Week from Jan. 30 through Feb. 5.
Begun in 1974, the annual event is a joint venture between the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA) and the United States Conference of CatholicBishops.
During the week, many dioceses and schools encourage parents to visit schools, observe and help celebrate the education that prepares students not only for a secular, but a Christian life as well. This year’s theme is “A+ for America, Catholic Schools.”
“Historically, Catholic schools are known for their high level of academic achievement, moral values and high graduation rates,” says NCEA President Karen Ristau.
“What may not be as widely recognized are the outstanding successes recorded by students of low-income families and students from the inner city. That’s certainly a plus for many portions of the American population.”
Adds Marie Powell, executive director the of Secretariat of Catholic Education at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, “This year nearly 30 percent of the nation’s more than 2.1 million Catholic school students come from minority populations. Enrollment of students who are not Catholic has increased to 14.5 percent, an indication that many diverse families seek the benefits of a quality education with moral underpinnings.”
Locally, schools across the Lehigh Valley have planned a variety of activities and events to celebrate the week. Following is a list of Easton area schools and their agendas:
ST. JANE FRANCES DE CHANTAL SCHOOL, 1900 WASHINGTON BLVD., Wilson
Sunday, Jan. 30 – Mass, 9 a.m.; Spaghetti dinner, 1-5:00 p.m. (last seating); Art Show; School Tours (pre-K to 8), 1-3 p.m.
Monday, Jan. 31 – Help the Hungry & Homeless, Appreciation Bags and Good Neighbor Awards; School registration, 9-11 a.m. and 5:30- p.m.; Souper Night, 5:30-7 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 1 – Spirit Day (wear green/gold attire); Door Decorating Contest; Buddy Get Togethers; Pep Rally; Make-Your-Own Sundaes
Wednesday, Feb. 2 – Sixth Grade Science Fair, 8 a.m.; Fifth Grade Vocabulary Parade, 9 a.m.; Religion Bee (grade 3 vs. 4) and (Grades 1 vs. 2), 10 a.m.; Faculty Game Show Challenge, 12:45 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 3 – Career Day
Friday, Feb. 4 – Mass, 8:15 a.m.; Noon dismissal (no extended care)
NOTRE DAME HIGH SCHOOL, 3417 CHURCH ROAD, Bethlehem Township
Monday, Jan. 31 – Community Prayer Service, 8:30 a.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 1 – Teacher/Staff Appreciation Day
Wednesday, Feb. 2 – Student Appreciation Day
Thursday, Feb. 3 – Volunteer Breakfast
Friday, Feb. 5 – Tribute to Diocesan Festival Participants