All Saints celebration
All the students at Marquette School in Virginia celebrated All Saints Day by dressing up as their favorite saints. This is an annual event at the school. Students learn about the saint they represent and become closer to the saints as a result. The students participated in a parade in the school’s gym for family and Holy Spirit Church parishioners to show off their costumes. Parents also joined the children in the classrooms as students celebrated the day.
Children of Blessed Sacrament parish Sunday school in Hibbing, ages three through sixth grade, participated in a celebration of honoring all saints in its annual Festival of Saints in conjunction with All Saints Day. The festival gives the children the opportunity to learn more about the saints, to ask for their prayers and to grow in their own friendship with God. Some of the activities during the festival included the Fishing Game, reminding the children of Jesus’ words to his disciples that they would be “fishers of men”; St. Anthony’s Seek and Find game; Walk with the Saints game (similar to a cake walk); Matching Patron Saints game; Saints Bingo and coloring Bible scenes. Prizes included holy cards, medals and other religious items.
Father Kunst sings Johnny Cash songs
What happens when the pastor of a school challenges the students to raise an amount of money he assumes they can’t and offers to perform a concert if, in fact, they do? That’s just what happened to Father Richard Kunst at St. John the Evangelist School in Duluth. He told the students, assuming they’d never reach the goal of $24,000, that he’d do a Johnny Cash concert for them if they did. The students had the last laugh. They actually exceeded the amount for the annual pick-a-thon fundraiser held every autumn. With the help of some very generous parishioners and community members, they forced Father Kunst to make good on his challenge. On Nov. 12, he performed two songs by his favorite singer, Johnny Cash, before an audience of parishioners, family members and students. For those in attendance it was noted that it probably was his favorite thing he’s had to do to raise money for St. John’s School. It surpassed dressing as a Green Bay Packer fan a couple years ago. Who knows? Maybe next year he’ll offer to sing Dean Martin.
Cooperating teacher model offers a difference
The teachers at Holy Rosary School in Duluth, Primary Department, are working together in cohesive partnerships this year. The Primary Department is fortunate to have co-teaching teams in kindergarten, first grade and second grade. During core academics (reading and math), collaborative teaching strategies are utilized. Collaborative teaching allows differentiated instruction, assessment of student achievement and development of a cohesive classroom. Students are taught in small groups of one to nine students. Groups are dependent upon the skills being taught and the individual needs of the students. Cooperating teachers observe, assess and adjust instruction to meet the needs of all students.
New Scholars Program
One of the new middle school offerings this year at Holy Rosary School in Duluth is a Scholars Program for students in grades seven and eight. The purpose is to offer an enhanced academic experience for students seeking to challenge themselves above and beyond the standard curriculum. Fifteen students completed the application process and are working with an advisory teacher in a defined area including humanities, religion, science and math. For example, a literary lunch is one of the opportunities offered. Another project will support the work of the Mission Advancement Office by connecting with the school’s alumni and creating a photo archive and electronic timeline. Other students are reading biographies of scientists and mathematicians and bringing them to life in presentations to their classmates.
The Catholic schools of the diocese extend an invitation to everyone to enjoy the spirit of the season at their Christmas programs. Contact the schools for additional information.