The last week of January, we celebrated National Catholic Schools Week along with the nearly 6,500 Catholic schools nationwide.
In an email to staff, Kathleen Balko, CSF Religion Coordinator wrote, “Please keep the focus of the week on what a gift it is to attend and teach at a Catholic School, especially the Catholic Schools of Fairbanks where our chapel is the center of our schools and we are family. It’s time to celebrate! We are blessed we can pray and worship together, talk about God and our faith, and teach the whole person–body, mind, heart and spirit.”
Kathleen and her committee planned an activity-filled week starting with a kick-off party on Sunday, January 28. School families gathered to help prepare for the week by making banners, decorating donation boxes, and writing prayers. They prayed together and watched the movie Toy Story. The MP Room was filled with blankets and pillows that families brought from home to make movie watching more comfortable. To top it off, popcorn and cotton candy were served.
A Jesuit pillar was highlighted each day of the week:
Monday: Committed to Doing Justice. The entire school met in the gym to form a prayer chain.
Loving was Tuesday’s focus. Students wrote thank you cards and thought about what it means to be a loving person in the community and in our families.
Wednesday’s theme was Religious. Students from grades K through 12 gathered in the Holy Family Chapel to celebrate Mass with Bishop Chad Zielinski. After, students enjoyed lunch with Bishop, priests, and religious of our Diocese.
Thursday: Intellectual Competence. We celebrated our students with ice cream treats.
Friday: Open to Growth. To wrap up Catholic Schools Week, students and staff gathered in the gym to play dodgeball. Then, students in PreK through 6 performed a dance to the song, “I’m better when I’m dancing,” by Meghan Trainor. What a fun way to bring the community together!
“Catholic Schools Week is a week to celebrate God as the center of our schools, our lives and our hearts. Our school is different and we, having God’s light and love in our hearts, can make a difference in this world,” says Kathleen.
Speaking of making a difference, our students are learning the importance of community service and giving back. Throughout the week, students and their families collected donations of all sorts–from books to canned food and personal hygiene items–for distribution to the following agencies: Literacy Council, Fairbanks Community Food Bank, The Door, S.O.A.P., Rescue Mission, and ICC Soup Kitchen.