There are two things that just make me happy, glitter and jingle bells. (I mean the little hand bells, not the song). I have had several occasions to be happy the last two weeks.
We celebrated Catholic Schools Week Jan. 30 through Feb. 5. Students participated in all of the weekend Masses. The kindergarten through fourth grade “cherub choir” sang at the 10:30 Mass.
On Monday, Fr. White opened the week with a special prayer and blessing. Mayor Bowers came to school to read the proclamation proclaiming Catholic Schools Week. Cheryl Leugers from the Rosary Altar Society presented the faculty with a new coffee maker. In order to start the week off with a bang, or perhaps I should say a pop, bubble wrap lined the halls and the students had a great time jumping on it. Who doesn’t love popping bubble wrap! The first of the two parent/grandparent lunches was also on Monday. The clothing theme for the day was favorite color day.
On Tuesday, the sixth-graders traveled to Sidney Lehman high school to tour the school. The clothing theme for the day was hat day. The students arrived in a variety of hats from team wear to just plain silly.
On Wednesday at 10 a.m. all the bells in all the churches of the archdiocese were rung in celebration. At St. Mary’s we like to go the extra mile. The preschool through fourth-graders rang hand bells and jingle bells as the church bells rang. The older students joined by playing other rhythm instruments. Talk about a joyful noise unto the Lord. After the ringing of the bells the students and staff gathered for a special speaker, Tom Sparough. Mr. Sparough and his wife performed a two-person play about St. John Bosco, the patron saint of Catholic Schools. Don Bosco, that’s Italian for Father Bosco, was not only a holy man, but a very talented juggler. The speaker is also a talented juggler and as he told the story of John Bosco, he amazed the children with his juggling. The clothing theme for the day was pajama day, the hands down favorite of one and all.
The younger children joined their big buddies on an Academic Scavenger Hunt on Thursday. The older buddies searched the school for questions and wrote the answers. The younger buddies cheered them on. The second parent/grandparent lunch was held. After lunch the families made cards for the elderly of the community as the families at the first lunch on Monday had done. The clothing theme was NFL.
Friday was “Special Person Day.” Students invited special people such as aunts, uncles, baby-sitters to join them for Mass and a reception afterwards. The Cherub Choir led the music. After Mass, the students and their guests enjoyed donuts, bagels and beverages. Later that morning, the big and little buddies got together to play Bingo. In the afternoon the students and staff gathered to watch the movie “Inside Out” and eat popcorn. It was a very nice, but unusual Catholics Schools Week. It was one of the few that didn’t have events postponed or rescheduled due to weather!
This Tuesday was Mardi Gras. It is our custom to celebrate Mardi Gras by wearing beads and eating King cake, and at the end of the day burying the Alleluia. My classes make masks to wear on Mardi Gras. I don’t know how familiar you are with Mardi Gras masks. They are purple, yellow and green. They are decorated with feathers and glitter, lots of glitter. Remember I said glitter makes me happy, well custodians, not so much. I’m afraid my room looked like the inside of a snow globe, a purple, green and yellow snow globe. To make matters worse, I had a special Lenten art project. Every year my class makes crosses to display in the classroom. I have the children write what they are doing for Lent on the back of the crosses. Right before the Easter break, we take the crosses down and decorate them with flowers and butterflies to transform them into Resurrection crosses. One of the challenges of teaching a double grade is that I have to vary the project. I have made crosses from burlap and sandpaper. This year I decided to have the children cut out the crosses from cardboard, cover the cardboard with glue and pat sand on the crosses. The crosses turned out very nicely. However, I noticed that when Mr. Bingham swept out the classroom there was quite a pile of glittery sand. (I really thought we’d gotten it all up!) I think my class and I may have to do something extra nice for him, like maybe lay off the glitter for a month or so!
A final thought- Smile, spring is almost here!