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HOW NCEA OFFERS GREAT IDEAS TO CELEBRATE CATHOLIC SCHOOLS WEEK & YOUR PARISH JANUARY 30 - FEBRUARY 5, 2022! (762 hits)


For Immediate Release From NCEA!


SUNDAY: Celebrate Your Parish

Catholic schools benefit all year long from the religious guidance, prayers and support parishes provide. Many parishes join in the National Catholic Schools Week celebration by devoting a Mass to Catholic education. Schools start the week by inviting parishioners and community members to parish-centered events and school open houses that feature their outstanding academic programs, religious education and service opportunities.

TIP: Even if you are not a parish school, reach out to local parishes early in the year to see if you can be part of a Mass during CSW. This is a great way to reinforce the shared commitment of faith and academics forming the whole child. A sample letter is available in the Tools and Templates section.

Ideas for Celebrate Your Parish

Involve students and teachers in the liturgy when celebrating Mass by offering the readings or speaking.

Invite families or groups of students to welcome parishioners as they arrive for the CSW Mass.

Encourage random acts of kindness by distributing written prayers for others.


COVID Tips

Whether in-person Masses or livestreamed, ask the parish priests to announce it is Celebrate Catholic Schools Week, January 30 – February 5, at each Mass.
In the bulletin, online or printed, invite parishes to pray for Catholic schools, yours especially. And don’t forget to invite parishioners to be sure to visit when it’s safe to do so again.

Tag your parish on social media with a Canva-inspired post and use #CSW22.
Download the “Snaps” from the Catholic Schools Week Kit and post them on your website and social media, in addition to including them in a bulletin or school e-newsletter.
Share a parish’s Mass that is utilizing livestreaming on Facebook Live.


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MONDAY: Celebrating Your Community

A central aspect of Catholic education is learning the importance of service to others. When students take part in service activities – both local and beyond – they demonstrate the values and faith they gain through their Catholic education and learn how to make the world a better place. When they observe how others serve the community, they gain an appreciation for how they can continue to serve others their entire lives.

TIP: Many schools have service hours and service projects already planned for the year. Don’t have time to plan something else? Find a way to incorporate what you already do into your CSW celebration, such as an assembly that shares total service hours or other real-time updates, or recognize those who have gone above and beyond the minimum requirement.

Ideas for Celebrating Your Community

Donate educational materials for students in underserved communities.
Host an awards assembly recognizing students and teachers who have demonstrated outstanding community service.

Have students put together care packages to send to active duty military. If students or families in the school have active duty family members, create a package for them with personalized notes or other items.

Write notes, make posters or decorate treat baskets to deliver to community leaders, local service organizations or local children’s hospitals.

Write notes, make posters or decorate treat baskets to deliver to neighbors and local businesses around the school. Thank them for being great neighbors!

Host a dress-down day fundraiser, asking students to donate $1 toward a Catholic charity or service organization to earn an out-of-uniform pass.

Invite members of the community into the school for muffins or other appetizers, or a student-led tour or event. This is an opportunity for both community members to talk with students and students to interact with members of the community.


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TUESDAY: Celebrating Your Students

Schools celebrate students during National Catholic Schools Week by planning enjoyable and meaningful activities for them and recognizing their accomplishments. They encourage students to reflect on the benefits of Catholic education and how the grounding in faith, knowledge and service it provides will help them throughout their lives.

TIP: All students contribute to your school in ways big and small. Share stories on your school’s social media and/or website or create a special newsletter that recognizes current student accomplishments as well as alumni accomplishments. This is a great marketing tool for national fundraising days such as #iGiveCatholic, Many Gifts, One Nation: A Day of Giving to Catholic Schools or your own fundraising events.

Ideas for Celebrating Your Students

Line school halls with student work emphasizing the themes of CSW.

Have a door decorating contest between classrooms. Set a theme for the friendly competition, and let students invoke their creativity and work with their teachers and each other to design and create the best classroom door decorations.

Schedule times for older students to read aloud or partner on special projects with younger students.

Have older students dress as saints and prepare skits to teach younger children about them. Consider having saint stations for groups of younger students to move between.
Start a pen pal program with another Catholic school.

Let your students show off their technology skills by creating videos to help promote the school.

Share a list of colleges and universities at which your graduates matriculate.


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WEDNESDAY: Celebrating the Nation

On National Appreciation Day for Catholic schools, students, families, educators and other Catholic school supporters communicate the value of Catholic education to government leaders. They share information with leaders on the significant contributions Catholic schools make to the nation and their role in preparing students to be good citizens. They pray for the nation and recognize all those who serve.

TIP: As Catholics, we believe that parents have the right to choose the appropriate education for their children, and that they should not be limited in exercising this right due to cost of education. Learn more about how your school can get involved in the conversation about parental and school choice issues at www.NCEA.org/publicpolicy.

Ideas for Celebrating the Nation

Share school news and events on social media platforms.
Submit an article to diocesan and other local newspapers highlighting CSW events.
Use Catholic school infographics (found in the Tools and Templates section) to share information about Catholic education.

Invite local leaders to your school to share how their Catholic education prepared them for life.

Host a flag raising ceremony. Invite members of the community, veteran parishioners and members of your local VFW post. Include both students and community members in the flag raising and the singing of the national anthem. Consider inviting members of the media to cover the ceremony for your local news program or newspaper.

Write letters to local government officials to encourage them to issue proclamations in honor of CSW.


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THURSDAY: Celebrating Vocations

By focusing on faith, knowledge and service, Catholic schools prepare children to use their God-given talents to the fullest later in life. National Catholic Schools Week offers an opportunity for students to explore the many life paths that enable them to use their talents well in the service of God and others.

TIP: Teach students what a vocation is and how it relates to your school. This is a great opportunity to publicly educate others on and reaffirm your school’s founding charism or tradition by sharing a brief history at an assembly or special event.

Ideas for Celebrating Vocations

Host a “career day” where local professionals – both religious and non-religious – can share how their faith guides them in their work.

Incorporate a research lesson where students can explore and present on the different religious orders.

Provide Eucharistic adoration, asking for prayers for vocations.

Encourage interviews of pastors, priests, sisters, brothers and deacons for the school newspaper or parish bulletin – focusing particularly on the topic of “discerning the call.”
Create a page on your website or blog with information about vocations.
Have a public recitation of the diocesan vocation prayer at Mass.


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FRIDAY: Celebrating Faculty, Staff and Volunteers

Teachers are the backbone of Catholic schools. On this day, schools honor teachers, as well as administrators and staff who support teachers in their important work, and thank the parents, grandparents, alumni, parishioners and school board members who provide volunteer service.

TIP: Recognize an outstanding teacher by awarding him or her with the opportunity to attend a professional development event or conference such as the annual NCEA Convention & Expo. If the funds are not already allocated in the school budget, encourage parents, friends and alumni to contribute toward the cost of registration and accommodations. Look into acquiring Title II funding. The attendance of one teacher can have a great impact on the entire school, as they will return with ideas and reenergized motivation to share with the entire community.

Ideas for Celebrating Faculty, Staff and Volunteers

Hang a sign on each classroom door to recognize each teacher personally.

Host a breakfast or offer a travelling “coffee cart” for teachers and administrators.

Hold an assembly to recognize teachers and volunteers for their dedication and hard work.
Invite parents and community members to your school to teach students practical life skills.
Host a fun teacher versus student trivia contest.

Invite parents to lead a creative project activity where each student can make something for their teacher or a staff member, or for their favorite teacher/staff member. Allow this to be a project for students to create something that reminds them of their teacher or staff member.


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SATURDAY: Celebrating Families

Parents, guardians and other family members play a vital role in Catholic education. Not only do they volunteer at the school, they instill values and expectations for academic excellence in their children at home. We acknowledge the role of families in Catholic education and celebrate their contributions to the success of our schools on the last day of National Catholic Schools Week, and all year long.

TIP: Many schools often seek tips on how to get parents involved in their school life.

Families often want to be more involved, they just don’t know how. The answer is simple: schools should provide clearly articulated, meaningful and impactful tasks. Be specific and share the results of their efforts. Let the success of your Catholic school be owned and shared amongst everyone!

Ideas for Celebrating Families

Celebrate academic excellence by hosting classroom visits for families and friends.
Organize a family picnic or potluck.

Create a large-scale family tree celebrating all the families in the school. Make a spiritual tree of baptisms, marriages and ordinations – including the name of the parishes where family members took these sacraments.

Create a bulletin board or other display that highlights each family in the school. Include pictures, quotes or testimonies from each family or student.

Host a family welcome night for families new to the parish to meet members of the school community.


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Planning Tools: https://www.ncea.org/csw/Planning%20Tools/...
Posted By: agnes levine
Sunday, January 23rd 2022 at 1:16PM
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