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St. Mary’s School...
February Parish News & Events

I would like to wish you a belated Happy Valentine’s Day. I hope you enjoyed your day as much as we enjoyed ours. Even Mother Nature gave us a valentine in the form of road conditions that were good, or bad depending on your point of view, for a two hour delay. I have often written about our “buddy” program, in which younger students are paired with older students. On Valentine’s Day, the kindergarteners and their fourth grade buddies got together to ice and decorate valentine cookies. The third graders and their junior high buddies did the same. During the classroom parties, the buddy classes exchanged small gifts. All the students enjoyed classroom parties in the afternoon. In my classroom, the children did a valentine craft, made ice cream sundaes and watched “Gnomeo and Juliet”. After the movie, we had a little extra time, so we had a dance party. Some of my students can really dance. Of course no dance is complete without the Chicken Dance.

The last week of January was Catholic Schools Week. I predicted snow for that week, since in all my years as a teacher in a Catholic school, I can remember very few Catholic Schools Weeks in which we didn’t have a least one snow day. Well, I feel just like a TV weatherman. Was I ever wrong! We got to enjoy every day of Catholic School’s Week, and it was a very good week.

We began the week with the children participating in the weekend Masses as lectors, gift bearers and ushers. Each Mass began with a special procession. The Offertory procession was very moving as the children brought up symbols of light, peace, shelter, and food as the congregation sang “Christ Be Our Light”. On Monday, Father White led the school in prayer to open the week, and Mayor Bowers came to school to officially proclaim Catholic Schools Week in Greenville. He returned on Thursday to visit each classroom and answer the children’s many questions. The questions in my room ranged from “Do you like being mayor?” to “What’s your dog’s name?” Move over Woodward and Bernstein! Do we ask the tough questions or what? The mayor was a very good sport and patiently answered the children’s questions.

Our families are a very important part of our school, so on Monday and Wednesday parents and other family members came to school to eat lunch with the students. After lunch the families made valentines for soldiers. The children wrote thank you notes to their mothers and fathers the week before Catholic Schools Week. On Tuesday the students took the mothers’ notes home with “muffins for Mom”, and on Thursday they took home “pretzels for Pop” with the notes.

On Thursdays we always have spirit day, on which the students can wear jeans and school spirit wear. On Wednesday of Catholic Schools Week, the students and staff wore their

red Catholic Schools Week shirt for “Holy Spirit Day”. We also wore the shirts on Friday to Mass to close the week. Because it was the feast of St. Blaise, we had our throats blessed. (And just in time, everyone on staff has been passing around the faculty cold!)

Service is also an important part of Catholic education. Besides making valentines for the soldiers who are currently serving our country, the children got together with their buddies and made valentines for the veterans who have served our country. As admission to the movie and dance that were held on Friday, each student brought a nonperishable container of food. The food was donated to the local food pantry.

During the week, the third through eighth graders challenged each other in a game of religion Jeopardy. On Friday the staff and students faced one another in a Brain Quest. At first, it looked as if the staff would win, but in a sudden death round, with the questions worth ten points, the students snatched the victory. (I hang my head in shame!)

The parents of the First Communicants met on February 1. They received information about First Communion, the Jesus Day retreat and the material for their children’s banners. On the same day the eighth graders visited Greenville High School for Career Day. On the following Monday, Ms. Sue Houston came to school to counsel the class about possible career choice and the course of study needed to pursue them. On January 24, Athan Whitney and Isabelle Rammel represented St. Mary’s School in the city spelling bee.

You may be thinking, “My! What an exciting month! I bet those teachers are ready for some quiet and routine.” Oh yes! However, Mardi Gras is this coming Tuesday and that means King Cakes and the burial of the Alleluia. There is never a dull minute at St. Mary’s School!

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