As we prepare for Catholic Schools Week (January 29th- February 4th), CTN would like to help you make 2017 the best!  I have the pleasure and honor of seeing the schools/academies of the Diocese of Brooklyn continue to work towards greatness!  Catholic schools offer academic excellence but most importantly a faith-filled education.

The theme of Catholic Schools Week is “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge, and Service.”  Each day throughout the week we are called to focus on one of the groups that help us form our Catholic community. CTN has created a bank of resources that are available on our website.  As you plan for this week of celebrating and sharing you school accomplishments, please keep the daily themes in mind as you plan your lessons.

Sunday:  Our Parish– Encourage students to attend mass, learn about the faith formation program and service opportunities in their parishes.

Monday:  Our Community– Service is a central part of Catholic Education. Have them research some people and organizations that serve their communities. (Scouts, CYO, Lectors, Food Pantries, Eucharistic Ministers, etc.)   How can we use our values and faith to serve their communities? Write letters of thanks to leaders, coaches, volunteers, etc.

Tuesday:  Our Students– Celebrate their accomplishments by asking them to reflect on the benefits of their spiritual formation and how they envision their lives with Christ by their side. (Create posters, videos, slide shows where they highlight the great things about their schools! or Interview alumni and  discover what they have gained through their Catholic Education, etc.)

Wednesday: Our Nation–  On this day we celebrate National Appreciation Day for Catholic Schools.  It is a day where we recognize the leaders of our country that support the value of Catholic Education. It is also an opportunity for children to communicate the value of Catholic Education to government leaders.  (Have students write letters to their local representatives, community leaders. Have a classroom prayer service that recognizes those who serve our country and offer prayers for our nation.)

Thursday: Celebrate Vocations–  This gives children the opportunity to explore the many life paths they can choose to  serve God.  Allow children to explore different religious vocations and sacramental callings that make our world a better place.

Friday: Celebrate the Faculty, Staff, and Volunteers–  On this day children are asked to recognize principals, teachers, school staff, volunteers, board members, and parents.  Let the children generate a celebration. Write a song, make cards, write poems, collages, video clips, etc.

Saturday: Celebrate Families–  Remind students that their family members play a major role in their education.  Their parent has chosen this education and sacrifice for them..  Brainstorm ways they can celebrate their family. (family scrapbook project, visit/call relatives, explore the family tree or create one together, etc.)

Please share some of the ways you will celebrate in your schools! Send pictures to: ctn@desalesmedia.org

As a proud Catholic alumni, educator, volunteer, and parent, I thank each and everyone of you for your dedication to serving God and our next Catholic generation. God Bless!

-submitted by:   Laura Hickey, Instructional Media Specialist