Late January in Catholic schools across the country brings a plethora of open houses, community service activities, schoolwide assemblies, special breakfasts with grandparents and the ever-popular dress-down day.
It also brings freezing rain, sleet and snow, and the cancellation of activities.
This year, the National Catholic Educational Association introduced a second week for Catholic schools to shine a light on their faith-based, educational and leadership values. Named “Discover Catholic Schools Week,” the national initiative invited schools to connect with families, donors and community members at a time when families are looking for the right school for their children.
Sacred Heart of Jesus School in Lancaster was one of the schools to take advantage of the week, Nov. 17-23, kicking it off with the “Sacred Heart Showcase” after Sunday Mass. The event featured a display of student excellence, as well as registration information for prospective and returning families.
“The Sacred Heart Student Showcase was a wonderful way to bring together parishioners and school families after Mass to kick-off Discover Catholic Schools Week,” said Marcie Brody, a Sacred Heart School parent.
“Highlighting the students’ artwork, writing narratives, science projects, etc., while providing a social setting for all of the Sacred Heart community to be together was a great way to show what makes Catholic schools special,” she said.
Additional activities during the week included a visit from students at Lancaster Catholic High School, student activities with their 2020-2021 teacher, and an opportunity for students to bring a friend to Sacred Heart for the day. The school also hosted socials and activities that encouraged parents to bring a non-Sacred Heart parent to visit the school and interact with teachers and Sister Danielle Truex, IHM, principal,
“Discover Catholic Schools Week was a great opportunity to engage our parents, parishioners, and friends in promoting the mission of Catholic education with those outside our everyday interactions,” Sister Danielle said.
“Sacred Heart’s education for life was on full display at our opening Showcase of Student Excellence and continued throughout the week with personalized parent-led tours, presentations for parents to support the formation of their child/children, and opportunities for all to join us in prayer and service,” she said. “Collaboration with Lancaster Catholic High School enhanced our week as students and parents were able to experience the full promise of Catholic education in Lancaster through fun and educational activities.”
Discover Catholic Schools Week is part of an ongoing, year-round approach to marketing Catholic schools. The 46th annual Catholic Schools Week is Jan. 26-Feb. 1, 2020. For information on Catholic schools in the Diocese of Harrisburg, visit www.gocatholicschools.org.
By Jen Reed, The Catholic Witness