By ANDREW NELSON, Staff Writer | Published February 16, 2012
Catholic schools held special events as their communities celebrated national Catholic Schools Week, which was held the week of Jan. 30 to Feb. 4.
From serving the poor to celebrating the faith, here are reports about activities in the schools:
Many schools promoted service opportunities for students.
Seventh-graders at Christ the King School, Atlanta, led the recent food drive for the Midtown Assistance Center. Students at the school have served the organization for some 26 years.
Students this year collected donations from the school community at the morning carpool line. More than 300 bags of groceries were given for the effort, which was a record collection.
The students delivered the food and worked at the center to sort and shelve the items.
And at Holy Redeemer School, Catherine Spencer, center, religious education coordinator, Alex Kler, left, and Skylar Hamilton stand among the more than 3,500 food items donated and collected by Holy Redeemer School students during a Catholic Schools Week food drive. The food items will go to support the St. Vincent de Paul food pantry at St. Andrew Church, Roswell.
Huzzah to Josh Forbes, who attends eighth grade at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic School and was recently named a Davidson Scholar.
To become a Davidson Scholar a student must score in the 99.9th percentile on a qualified talent and/or IQ standardized test. In addition, a portfolio of work showcasing the student’s performance two to three grade levels above his/her peers may also be required.
Josh is a member of many school clubs, from the math team and student council to honors band and playing football for the St. Pius X middle school team. He volunteers weekly at Holy Cross Church for the children’s liturgy.
Philanthropists Bob and Jan Davidson founded the Davidson Scholar Program in 1999 to support profoundly intelligent young people. As a scholar, Josh has been given the help of a personal consultant to support him as he pursues his various interests.
Josh has several ideas for career pursuits, perhaps to become an astrophysicist or studying to become an architect or an attorney like his father.
Eighth-graders gather for an annual Archdiocesan Mass annually during Catholic Schools Week.
Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory, 14 pastors, chaplains, deacons, high school and elementary principals and more than 900 eighth-graders and their teachers gathered Feb. 1 at the Cathedral of Christ the King to celebrate Mass.
Honored guests included high school students from St. Pius X, Blessed Trinity and Our Lady of Mercy, whose schools are preparing to receive the class of 2012 in August.
In preparation for the celebration, each school created a stained glass window and a belief statement to present and share before Mass. The sanctuary steps were lined with 23 magnificent windows, displaying the faith of the communities gathered.
Archbishop Gregory’s homily reminded the students that their windows, like those in every cathedral in the world, displayed the faith story of the people who built them.
Following Mass, the pastors and principals enjoyed lunch in Kenny Hall, while the students enjoyed lunch and fellowship in the school gym before heading back to their schools.
St. Jude the Apostle School helped students in impoverished countries as they put together some 10,014 meals.
With assembly line precision, students as young as kindergarten up to seventh grade packaged the meals as part of a program run by a nonprofit, Stop Hunger Now (www.stophungernow).
“These kids here packaged meals that will go to a kid just like them in a developing nation,” said Kyle Galenski, the Atlanta program manager.
The students bagged a rice/soy-based meal, along with dehydrated vegetables and a vitamin package containing 21 vitamins and minerals.
The packages, like those put together by the students, are shipped out in 40-foot shipping containers and delivered to a country where students are in need of food.
At Holy Spirit Preparatory School, among the activities were a talent show, a trivia bowl and a pep rally.
The younger grades at the independent Catholic school were entertained at the pep rally to celebrate the community and active lifestyle of the school.
The junior high cheerleaders, Eddie the Cougar and chaplain Father Jason Brooks entertained the kindergarteners through sixth-grade classes with the help of varsity athletes on Tuesday, Jan. 31.