Catholic Schools Week to begin Sunday

The National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) has announced that this year’s Catholic Schools Week theme is “Catholic Schools: Faith. Academics. Service.”

Catholic Schools Week, beginning on Sunday, January 29 and running through Sunday, February 5, is celebrated with masses, open houses and activities for students, families, parishioners and the community at local Catholic schools.

According to the NCEA, this year’s theme focuses on the three priorities Catholic schools hope to establish that set them apart from other educational institutions: faith and a relationship with God; academics and the importance of high standards and living up to one’s potential; and service, giving back to one’s community. This year’s Catholic Schools Week marks the 39th anniversary of the program.

Debora Hanna, principal of St. Andrew Avellino School in Flushing, is gearing up her school for a week of fun activities.

“[Catholic Schools Week] is a week of reflection on what a great school we have,” said Hanna.

St. Andrew’s festivities begin with a mass on Monday followed by an open house on Tuesday morning from 9 to 10 a.m. where parents and guests can visit the school to get a behind-the-scenes look. Students can test their word smarts in a spelling bee and flex their cerebral muscles in a game of Trivial Pursuit on Tuesday. Come Wednesday, students can look forward to spontaneous dance parties throughout the day, sponsored by DJ principal Hanna. Kids can show their school spirit and compete against each other in athletic events during Wednesday’s “Spirit Day.” Pupils can bust out their weekend wear and feast at a picnic during Thursday’s student appreciation day, and on Friday, students will come to school dressed in their pajamas for “Bad Hair Day.”

“This week shows that while we have high academics, we enjoy what we do,” said Hanna.

Other local schools have their own events to celebrate Catholic Schools Week.