MARTINS FERRY - Catholic Schools Week kicks off across the nation today as area parochial schools prepare to celebrate their faith-based education and the advantages it provides.
This year's theme is "Catholic Schools: Raise the Standards."
According to the National Catholic Educational Association, the theme supports the recent launch of the National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools, that ensure the effective operation and responsible governance CAtholic schools across the country.
STUDENTS AT St. Mary’s Catholic Elementary School in Martins Ferry are ready to “Raise the Standards” during Catholic Schools Week which begins today across the country.
The idea is to promote high academic standards and Catholic identity.
While each school has its own unique blend of activities and events planned, Catholic Schools Week generally consists of masses, open houses and other events for students and their families along with parishioners and other community members.
St. Mary's Elementary in Martins Ferry is kicking the school week off Monday with a volleyball tournament and a free dress-down day for its students.
A daytime mass including students is set for Thursday while Wednesday will features the championship game of the volleyball tournament, along with a canned food or cash drive for Catholic Charities.
Students can bring either two cans of food or donate $1 in order to dress down for the day while helping out Catholic Charities.
Thursday, Bishop Jeffery Monforton from the Diocese of Steubenville will be stopping by for a visit, along with a game of Family Feud.
Friday will be a movie day at Marquee Cinemas for the students. The cost is $6 will the school picking up the cost of the bus transportation. It's a Black and Gold Spirit Day dress down as well.
Bishop Monforton will also be paying a visit to St. Mary's in St. Clairsville on Thursday to join in for the school's celebration of the 100th day of school.
In St. Clairsville on Friday, the students will have a fun day and movie day planned. It's also a super bowl dress down day.
Friday will also serve as the kickoff to St. Mary's month-long canned for drive, also benefiting Catholic Charities.
St. John Central High and Elementary Schools, along with St. Sylvester in Woodsfield have similar activities planned.
Another boon for catholic students who happen to be hockey fans is a promotion being put on by the Wheeling Nailers.
On Friday during the Nailers' 7 p.m. game at WesBanco Arena against the Reading Royals, the Nailers are offering a special fundraiser through the game for all parochial schools. The ticket cost is $10, with $5 of that going back to the student's home parochial school.
The Catholic school that sells the most tickets (based on the ratio of students to tickets sold) will win a $250 prize for the school.
Catholic Schools Week began in 1974 as a joint project between the NCEA and the United States Catholic Conference. It annually begins the last Sunday and January and runs all week. It began being promoted nationally in 1992.
Hughes may be reached at email@example.com