Service projects took center stage during Catholic Schools Week creating an environment of giving at the Huntersville school. St. Mark Catholic School celebrated Catholic Schools Week January 30 through February 5, 2012. While the week is traditionally filled with faith, fun and academics, this year’s celebration at St. Mark payed special homage to the service work done by the school students.
From kindergarten through 8th grade, each grade has or will focus on at least one major service project for the year. With multiple service projects taking place, students at all grade levels are constantly donating food, money, time and other items to help those in need. Service projects by grade are:
- Kindergarten and 8th Grades: Collected, organized and sold more than 25 boxes of books during the St. Mark Christmas Bazaar. They raised nearly $350 and donated left over books to the Torrence Creek Elementary School technology fundraiser.
- 1st Grade Angle Tree: First grade classes adopted a family from the St. Mark Catholic Church Angel Tree. First graders earned “Chores for Change” to learn about sharing and to raise money.
- 2nd Grade Christmas Card Project: Students created and sent cards of encouragement to those in need of support during the Christmas holiday.
- 3rd Grade Coat Drive: Students collected more than 200 new and gently worn coats for children and adults in the Charlotte area.
- 4th Grade Corporal Acts of Mercy: Students worked on a huge initiative to collect and distribute food and clothing to area charities.
- 5th Grade Advent Service Project and Coins for Cameroon: In honor of St. Lucy, students collected new and used eye glasses. They also collected money to donate to the needy in the African nation of Cameroon.
- 6th Grade Room at the Inn: Students collected and donated personal care items to give to the residents of Room at the Inn, a shelter for single, homeless pregnant women.
- 7th Grade Shad’s Landing History Project: Students will visit residents of Shad’s Landing, a Charlotte senior community center, where they will provide residents with companionship and interview them about their lives. This gives the residents an opportunity to tell their stories and share their memories with the students.
- 8th Grade 30 Hour Famine: Students will participate in this global initiative to raise money to fight hunger and poverty.
- Kids Walk to Cure Diabetes: All-school event to raise money to donate to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
- Seminarian Collection: All-school collections to create and mail care packages to seminarians from the Diocese of Charlotte who are studying throughout the United States.
- Dress Down for $1: On the first Friday of every month, for $1, students can wear regular street clothes rather than the school uniform. All monies collected are donated to a different charity each month.
In addition to learning how to help others, the students were treated to an action-packed week of events at St. Mark Catholic School. There will be “Wacky Races” for students, a luncheon for faculty, treats served to parents as well as daily fellowship and prayer.
The CSW theme was “Catholic Schools – Faith. Academics. Service.” which focused on three priorities Catholic schools establish to make them stand out from other educational institutions. Children are taught faith – not just the basics of Christianity, but how to have a relationship with God. Academics, which in Catholic schools are held to very high standards, help each child reach his or her potential. Service, the giving of one’s time and effort to help others, is taught both as an expression of faith and good citizenship.