SFDS Celebrates Catholic School Week
Last month, schools across the nation celebrated Catholic Schools Week. The theme this year was, Catholic Schools: A+ for America, which emphasized the impact Catholic schools have had in our country throughout the years. The mission of Catholic schools is to provide strong moral values while excelling in high academic standards. St. Francis de Sales School is proud to have been serving the residents of the Rockaway peninsula for almost 100 years. One could say the theme of St. Francis’ Catholic Schools week celebration was St. Francis de Sales: A+ for the Peninsula.
Current students, faculty and parents enjoyed a variety of fun-filled activities that spanned one full week. To kick off the week, students enjoyed game day, where older students visited the younger grades and played many of their favorite board games. The junior high students who excelled academically were inducted into the National Junior Honor Society at a special ceremony. The fun continued for students with a dress down day, and students showing their creative side by sporting their homemade crazy hats.
As always, Family Bingo Night, run by the Home School Association, proved to be a huge success. Parents and children packed the gymnasium to take a chance at shouting out the famous phrase, “BINGO!” The faculty ran and directed a student talent show. Whether it was a kindergartener doing a solo singing performance, a dance routine, or the show stopping hula-hoop performance by a first-grader, talent was an understatement for some of these acts.
A highlight of St. Francis’ Catholic Schools Week celebrations is the traditional Blue and Gold Day at which students from K to 8 compete in a variety of athletic competitions. For those Harry Potter fans, Blue and Gold Day can be compared to the competitions of the famous houses at Hogwarts School for Wizards. Students are separated into two teams each gaining points throughout the week to see which color balloons will be lifted toward the sky in victory. If anyone was anywhere on Beach 129 Street on Blue and Gold Day, no it wasn’t an earthquake, it was the students of the SFDS Gold team relishing in their success.
Of course, during the week the entire school community gathered together in the celebration of the mass. This year the mass was dedicated to Kathy Farragher, a beloved teacher and parishioner of St. Francis de Sales. Farragher, who taught at SFDS for 18 years, suddenly passed away at the beginning of this year. Her fifth grade students performed a song titled, “Angels Among Us” in sign language for the congregation. It was a beautiful tribute to a truly beautiful, dedicated teacher.
During the week students in all grades were asked to write a brief response to, “What does it mean to attend a Catholic school?” One second grade boy wrote, “By going to St. Francis I am learning to do good things for others just like Jesus did. When we start our day with our morning prayers, I know that Jesus is helping me with all my work that day.” It was a wonderful week full of memorable moments.