Week-Long Celebration of Catholic Schools January 28-February 3

January 24, 2007

Dozens of events, including Mass with Washington’s Archbishop (Feb. 2) and a principal who literally will go “hog wild for the poor” (Jan. 31) have been planned for schools throughout the Archdiocese of Washington to celebrate National Catholic Schools Week, January 28-February 3. This annual celebration highlights the contributions of Catholic schools through faith, service and academics.

Different events will be held every day, including service projects, Spirit Days, volunteer and teacher appreciation days and more. Students at Father Andrew White School in Leonardtown will collect teddy bears all week to give to police stations, hospitals, fire stations and other community groups that help kids, while students at St. Mary Star of the Sea in Indian Head are organizing a coat drive.

Nearly all of the schools will hold Open Houses for prospective students, parents and the community. School contact information, and open house dates and times are online at www.catholicschoolswork.org. Among the events:


Parade of Floats, 10:00 a.m.
St. Mary of Piscataway, 13407 Piscataway Road, Clinton
(contact: 301-292-2522)

Every grade of this elementary school is deep into designing and preparing “floats” that represent each classroom’s identity (e.g., kindergarten will be sunflowers). The floats (which have red wagon bases) will be on display at all Masses on Sunday, and paraded around the school grounds on Monday.

“Helping Hands Spread the Good News,” 10:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
St. Mary, 13735 Notre Dame Place, Bryantown
(contact: 301-932-6883)

Students will team up (older kids with younger) to make angel bookmarks and other crafts as gifts for hospice patients and Children’s Hospital, and cards for the service men and women in Iraq. That night school families will gather for pizza night at the Charlotte Hall Ledo’s.

Making Books for Kids in Need: Kindergarten-2nd Grade Students Get Creative AND All-School Noah’s Ark
1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m.
St. Bernadette, 80 University Boulevard East, Silver Spring
(contact: 301-593-5611)

Students from Kindergarten to 2nd grade will put their creativity to work drawing and making ABC and number books for the foster children at St. Ann’s Infant and Maternity Home and children helped by the Gabriel Project, a state-wide parish ministry that supports pregnant women and mothers in need.

In the gym, an all-school project highlighting this year’s school theme, The Peaceable Kingdom, will be on display all week. Students have made a Noah’s ark, with each class creating animals (two of each, of course) that will be set up to “walk” towards the ark. Students and staff also have received doves decorated with the gifts of the Holy Spirit.


Charles County Proclamation in Honor of Catholic Schools, 9:00 a.m.
Charles County Government Building, 200 Baltimore Street, LaPlata
(contact: 301-283-6151)

Students from three Catholic schools – St. Peter, Waldorf; St. Mary Star of the Sea, Indian Head; and Archbishop Neale School, LaPlata, will meet with the county’s deputy commissioner and receive a proclamation in honor of Catholic schools.

“The Dream is Still Alive,” 9:05 a.m.
Mount Calvary, 6704 Marlboro Pike, Forestville
(contact: 301-735-5262)

As an early kick-off to black history month, students will honor the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. Younger students (grades K-5) will recite parts of Dr. King’s speeches as well as poems about his life, while the middle school students (grades 6-8) will deliver original speeches about Dr. King’s life and the lasting effects of his work.

Thanking Our Bus Driver and Volunteers
8:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m.
Little Flower School, 20410 Point Lookout Road, Great Mills
(contact: 301-994-0404)

Students will honor the volunteers and bus driver who help make their school experience wonderful every day by starting this day with an Appreciation Breakfast. An all-school Mass will follow at 10:00 a.m.


“Hog Wild in Helping the Poor,” 8:30 a.m.-9:00 a.m.
St. Martin of Tours, 115 South Frederick Avenue, Gaithersburg
(contact: 301-990-2441)

Sr. Sharon Mihm, principal, will make good on her promise to kiss a live pig if St. Martin’s students went “hog wild” collecting 3,500 canned and dry goods for St. Martin’s Pantry, a parish ministry that provides free groceries to 145 families each week. The 255 students in Kindergarten-Grade 8 did that and more, helping the poor while also ensuring some fun for themselves. Faculty (wearing hog noses) and students (dressed as farmers) will be on hand for the big moment.

Students Hit Capitol Hill for National Appreciation Day for Catholic Schools
11:00 a.m.: Congressional office visits begin
Capitol Hill buildings
(contact: National Catholic Educational Association, 202-337-6232)

More than 150 Catholic school students, including more than 40 from Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Washington – St. Ann’s Academy and Holy Trinity, Washington, DC; St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Riverdale Park; St. John the Baptist, Silver Spring; and St. Jude, Rockville – will get a first-hand look at Capitol Hill as they attend a meeting, take a group photo and visit their legislators’ offices to share information about the accomplishments and contributions of Catholic schools nationwide.

Local author, W. Ralph Eubanks, talks about his book on civil rights
10:00 a.m.-Noon
St. Mark the Evangelist, 7501 Adelphi Road, Hyattsville
(contact: 301-422-7440)

W. Ralph Eubanks, director of publishing at the Library of Congress and author of the acclaimed book, Ever is a Long Time: A Journey into Mississippi’s Dark Past, will discuss his experiences growing up in Mississippi and civil rights with students in grades 5-8.

Science to Amaze and Intrigue, 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m.
Our Lady Star of the Sea, 90 Alexander Lane, Solomons
(contact: 410-326-3171)

It’s all about science! Students will get wowed as staff from the Maryland Science Center lead demonstrations on sound, chemistry, senses, cold, heat and combustion. The following day, engineering moves center stage as fourth graders construct containers to hold raw eggs. Judges from Kindergarten-Grade 3 will determine which container is the most safe.


Drive-Through Doughnuts, 7:45 a.m.-8:15 a.m.
St. Michael, 824 Wayne Avenue, Silver Spring
(contact: 301-585-6873)

Parents will be treated with “drive-through doughnuts.” As they drop off their children, teachers and students will greet them and offer doughnuts as a way of thanking them for all that they do.

“Wax Museum,” 8:45 a.m.-9:30 a.m.
St. Ann’s Academy, 4404 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, Washington, DC
(contact: 202-363-4460)

Fourth graders choose and research a famous person in history, then become that person. When touched the “wax” figures will come to life and explain who they are. Parents will attend.

Blue Sky Puppet Theater on Health and Healthy Living, 11:00 a.m.-11:40 a.m.
Holy Comforter-St. Cyprian, 1503 E. Capitol Street, SE, Washington, DC
(contact: 202-547-7556)

Teaching healthy living can’t start too early! Students in grades K-4 will get some tips about eating healthy and exercise in this entertaining presentation.

U.S. Living History Day: Making the Past Come Alive, 1:45 p.m.
Father Andrew White, SJ School, 22850 Washington Street, Leonardtown
(contact: 301-475-9795)

In this all-school project, students in all grades, from pre-kindergarten to eight, have been researching famous American historical figures, from presidents and First Ladies to athletes, literary and political figures, and explorers. The school will gather for an assembly so they can share their projects. Students will wear costumes and two from each class will give presentations on their American.


Archbishop Wuerl Celebrates Mass: First Visit to a Montgomery County Elementary School
9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
St. Elizabeth, 917 Montrose Road, Rockville
(contact: 301-853-4516)

Washington Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl will celebrate his first Catholic Schools Week in Washington with a Mass for the 500+ students of St. Elizabeth School. After Mass, the students and Principal Vincent Spadoni will surprise him with a basket of fun St. Elizabeth collectibles. Mr. Spadoni also will proclaim the day as “Archbishop Wuerl Day at St. Elizabeth School.”

School-wide Spelling Bee for St. Jude’s Hospital and 1960’s Dress Day, 10:00 a.m.-Noon
St. Thomas More, 4265 Fourth Street, SE, Washington, DC
(contact: 202-561-1189)

Students compete in a spelling bee to benefit St. Jude Hospital for Sick Children. The top three spellers in each class (kindergarten-grade 8) will compete with their classmates in front of the whole school. Sponsors donate $1 for every word spelled correctly in the classroom spelling bee and school final. Students won’t be in uniform this day, but dressed as hippies, with tie-dye, and other 1960’s looks.

Susan Gibbs
Director of Communications
[email protected]