Lenten activities, sports and outdoor fun keep students busy in Renfrew County Catholic District School Board’s Arnprior and Calabogie elementary schools.
The St. Joseph’s school community in Arnprior has been very busy since returning from Christmas break, says Vice-Principal Derek Lennox.
On February 9, school council hosted a pancake supper serving both school and community members.
The student group that participated in WE Day this year has been busy with a number of initiatives including a used battery collection and a Share Lent project.
For the Share Lent project students are busy organizing a Minute to Win It activity to raise money for the Free the Children campaign. An afternoon of activities will include games as seen on the television show with students donating small change to assist with the global fundraiser.
On the local side of the Lenten journey the grade 7 class has organized a food drive to support the Arnprior and District Food Bank.
Students are also busy with winter carnival activities including a skating day for the kindergarten classes, bowling and swimming activities for the primary students and skiing, snowboarding and tubing at Mount Pakenham for junior and intermediate students.
The gymnasium is always full of activity—grade 7 and 8 boys and girls have been practicing for upcoming basketball and badminton tournaments.
This year, students underwent a process of nicknaming the school St. Joseph’s Guardians. “The new nickname can be seen throughout the school on the new school wear as well as in our gymnasium where it is proudly displayed on our new protective equipment,” says Vice-Principal Lennox.
At St. Joseph’s Catholic School in Calabogie, Lenten season began with the annual Shrove Tuesday pancake meal reports Principal Rory Donohue. Students in all grades enjoyed mini pancakes made by Mr. Cavanagh’s grade 5–7 class. Mrs. Sellars’ grade 2–4 class led the Liturgy of the Word at Ash Wednesday Mass celebrated by Father Ric Starks.
Father Starks stressed that while we all look forward to the joy of Easter, we must first walk with Christ through the suffering of the crucifixion. Our prayers of the faithful focused on the many ways and opportunities to exhibit mercy.
St. Joseph’s has started a LOVE program (Let Older Volunteers Educate). Currently three women come in on Thursday mornings to read with the students. “It is wonderful to have members of the community, particularly seniors, interacting with the students,” notes Principal Donohue.
The school also just started a healthy snack program.
Students just completed the second annual ski clinic, which will culminate with a full ski day on March 1.
“Once again it is incredible to watch the transformation in the kids over the four weeks as they gain the skills and confidence to successfully navigate down the slopes. Kudos to Mrs. Hanniman’s kindergarten students who are so determined and so excited to be learning this incredible sport,” says Principal Donohue.
Continuing an emphasis on outdoor education, Rick Klatt is teaching students about safe and responsible practices when going onto lake ice for ice fishing. Mr. Klatt brought special guest Ashley Rae, a fishing expert who currently graces the cover of Ontario Out of Doors magazine. “Going to school in an area that provides such incredible opportunities for kids to go outside to play and learn is a tremendous blessing. We are also very grateful for the Outdoor Education funding, and especially to Paul Murphy, Mike Strauss and Krista Smith at Calabogie Peaks who have been incredible partners in making skiing accessible to students. We appreciate and look forward to strengthening the partnership between the Peaks and our school,” concludes Principal Donohue.
At St. John XXIII Catholic School in Arnprior students and staff celebrated Shrove Tuesday with a pancake snack by the hard working school council. The gym was transformed into a restaurant where students were able to eat and chat with friends. Students and staff celebrated Ash Wednesday with Mass at St. John Chrysostom. Fr. John Burchat led the celebration and reminded everyone that during Lent we are called to give, fast and pray.
Part of the annual Lenten journey at St. John XXIII includes raising money for our sister school in Antonci, Dominican Republic. “We believe Lent is a perfect opportunity to practise almsgiving and share with those less fortunate than ourselves. Our fundraising efforts are well underway with a mini sticks day and music over the PA system. We are going to have a popcorn day and a dance too,” notes Principal Heidi Fraser.
The Campbell’s worked with the grade 3-4 class introducing the new robotics program. “It was a hit!” says Principal Fraser.
On February 26, primary students had their annual winter carnival, going to the movies and engaging in a variety of events at the school, while the junior group had a great day of skiing and snowboarding at Calabogie Peaks.
At St. John XXIII the arts have always been an important part of instructional practices. This year is no exception—for a week in April, Tina Le Moine will work with students in creative multimedia workshops. St. John XXIII will hold the For the Love of Art Show in May. Local artisan Lesley McMann will work with all classes to create artworks to display for the school community.
“At St. John XXIII, we strive to make a difference in the lives of those we teach and we believe the diverse spiritual, academic and physical activities we include in our school year do just that,” sums up Principal Fraser.
February 29, 2016
For further information please contact:
Michele Arbour, Director of Education
Renfrew County Catholic District School Board
499 Pembroke Street West, Pembroke, ON K8A 5P1
Phone: 613-735-1031 or 1-800-267-0191