Students and staff at New Ulm Area Catholic Schools took part in special activities as part of the National Catholic Schools Week during the week of Jan. 26 to Feb. 1. The events are part of the 40th anniversary of the nationwide celebration of Catholic education. This year's theme is 'Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service,' which highlights the schools' focus on faith development, academic excellence and dedication to community service. The theme encompasses several concepts that are at the heart of Catholic education. Not only are schools communities themselves, they're part of larger communities of home, church, city and nation. Faith, knowledge and service are integral components of a Catholic education and the measures by which any Catholic school may be judged.
We appreciate the support we receive from the community, and we encourage our students to give back through service projects all year. As part of their religion class, students in grades 9-12 are expected to volunteer ten hours each quarter. One example of service at work in our school system is the National Honor Society sponsoring a Bloodmobile visit the week of Thanksgiving each year. Students arrived at 6 a.m. to assist the Red Cross with hauling their equipment and setting up for the blood drive. They register donors, escort them to the canteen area, serve refreshments and, most amazingly, a total of 47 students donated blood this year. It is God's will that we continually reach out to those in need and it is happening within our Catholic schools.
St. Anthony students take part in numerous service opportunities during the year. Each fall the elementary students take part in a "Marathon of Service" targeting real needs within our community. First through third grade students visited local rest homes and senior centers in September. They did projects, played Bingo and sang songs for the elderly. The outings provide an opportunity for youth to experience the joy of doing for others. A food drive is held as an annual Lenten service project. Thanks to the time and effort of our students and staff, a total of $1,990.35 worth of groceries was donated to our local food shelf this past Lent. Simple acts of kindness have a great impact in our community. Our students learn and recognize their ability to act on this at a very young age. These examples represent the planting of seeds in our youth as to the importance of caring for all of God's people.
Students celebratedthe week with various dress-up theme days. In addition there were a variety of academic and faith centered activities planned, including a Spelling Bee, a God Given Gifts show, a Math Counts meet, Adoration led by the NET Ministries team and tthe All Schools Mass. This week offers an opportunity for students, staff and families to celebrate their choice in Catholic education.
At a Catholic school, God's presence among us is recognized and embraced in everything we do. We are privileged to witness students, teachers, parents, and staff living out the theme of 'Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service,' on a daily basis. Good things are happening throughout our Catholic school system. As the sign located in the entry of our high school reads, 'Jesus is the reason for this school.' NUACS serves students in grades PreK - 12. For more information, call 354-2719 or visit www.nuacs.com or find us on Facebook.