Eight students from the St. Mary’s Band program, performed as part of the 26th Mid-Hudson Valley Catholic School Honor Band. The concert was held at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic High School on March 7, 2010 and consisted of students from twenty-three different Catholic schools in the Hudson Valley. Mr. Lou Varuzzo of the Paul Effman Music Service conducted the band. Mrs. Lisa Bellino and Mr. Nathan Brewster also of the Paul Effman Music Service head the band program at St. Mary’s School. An amazing job was done by the students and the band directors preparing for and performing in the concert.
The St. Mary’s Science Fair was held during the last week of February. Students in third and fourth grade are encouraged to participate, but not required. Students in fifth through eighth grade are required to participate in the fair as part of the Science curriculum. In addition to performing an experiment, the children are required to provide a research report relating to their project. On the day of the Science Fair, the students present their projects to the judges, which help the students develop public speaking skills. Awards are presented to the top four projects for each grade.
Every Friday during Lent, the students and teachers, first through eighth grade, of St. Mary’s spend part of the afternoon in the church participating in a Stations of the Cross service and Benediction. This is just one of the many ways that our faith is practiced during the school day.
The Mothers’ Guild hosted a family bingo day for the families of St. Mary’s School. The students, their siblings and parents who came had an enjoyable afternoon playing bingo with friends.
As part of the writing portion of the seventh grade English curriculum, Ms. Kent has the students create and illustrate a children’s book. Each student is required to come up with and original story idea and write a short story based on this idea. This is just one of the many writing projects that helps develop the children’s creativity.
As part of the school curriculum, each grade is asked to conduct a community service project. As the third grade’s community service project each student provided funds to go toward purchasing items for Toys For Tots. The class was able to purchase seven items to donate. The seventh grade class provided school supplies to provide as stocking stuffers for local children in need.
Mrs. McCoart’s third grade class read The Keeping Quilt, which is a story that centers on family and tradition. As a class project each child brought in a piece of fabric that represented them. The fabric squares were then sewn into a Third Grade Keeping Quilt in which all the children of the third grade were represented. This quilt will be on display in the third grade classroom during Catholic School Week. Please stop by and take a look.
Each school year, a value for the year is chosen. This year’s value is optimism. The students and teachers are encouraged to try to live out this value through their work and interaction with others. To reinforce this value a monthly value in encouraged. Empathy, compassion and humility are three of the monthly values stressed so far this year.
Every Monday, during the season of Advent, the faculty and students of St. Mary’s participate in an Advent Wreath Service. Everyone gathers together in the school gym to celebrate the approach of Christmas. Eight grade students are assigned the task of lighting the wreath candles and reading a scripture from the Bible. Mrs. LaRose reads a short prayer and then everyone sings a verse of a Christmas Carol.
St. Mary’s Select Choir welcomed Santa Claus to the Poughkeepsie Galleria on Saturday, November 14th. They sang several Christmas songs. Santa and all the children enjoyed their performance. The Select Choir is open to school children in the 6th, 7th and 8th grades and is directed by Mrs. Carol DiMaria, the music teacher.
In preparation for the Sacrament of First Eucharist, Mrs. Harvie’s second grade class is attending noon Mass. Every Wednesday, that school is in session, the second grade participates in the noon Mass. This helps reinforce the prayers and responses of the Mass, with the children. By the time the children receive First Holy Communion, in May, they are well prepared for participation in the Mass.
Each year, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic High School sponsors a Scholastic Olympics. OLL invites the Catholic Elementary Schools to send representatives from their 8th grade class to compete in various academic areas. St. Mary’s sent twelve student representatives. The students earned St. Mary’s third place overall. Justin Buyes placed 3rd in Religion, Briana Lorenzi placed 2nd in Science, and Esosa Oghide placed 3rd in Social Studies.
As part of the 7th grade religion curriculum this year, Mrs. Wisniewski is stressing “Putting Your Faith into Practice.” Every month the students are assigned an item to bring in, to be donated to the food pantry. The children are asked to provide a food item that would be appropriate for someone their own age. Last month a box of cereal was requested. For November, the students were asked to provide juice boxes.
The kindergarten class along with their 8th grade buddies spent a warm October morning pumpkin picking. The children enjoyed a hay ride out to the pumpkin patch. Once there, the 8th graders helped their buddies search for and find the perfect pumpkin to bring home. Everyone piled back on the wagon for the hay ride back to the buses. Although adult chaperones are present, this outing like many other kindergarten/8th grade functions help the kindergarteners have an older student in the school to look up to, and the 8th graders become more responsible individuals.
The 8th Grade participated in Respect Life Day at St. Martin’s. Eighth graders from all the Catholic schools in Dutchess and Ulster Counties participated. The day opened with Mass celebrated by Monsignor Sullivan. Many other priests, including Monsignor Bellew, concelebrated the Mass. A Respect Life Magic Show was presented by Father Magic, and everyone was left wondering “where did the duck go?” Mr. Lyons spoke with the students about the importance of respecting life and sharing their God-given talents with others. The day was designed to teach important messages to the 8th graders in a spiritual and fun way. The students really enjoyed themselves.
Mrs. Wiejaczka heads an Art Club after school throughout the year. The children can work on a variety of projects during meetings from etching designs to painting pictures.
Mrs. McCoart’s third grade class completed an Adventure Project. Each child needed to find a picture showing a real life adventure. The children wrote a short paragraph describing the picture they chose and whether they thought they would try the adventure or not. Some of the adventures chosen were going into space, NASCAR racing and cliff diving.
St. Mary’s School started the school year by welcoming two new teachers - Ms. Sharon McCarthy our kindergarten teacher and Ms. Amy Harrison our new first grade teacher. A school Mass was held on Friday with a special prayer service in memory of those who lost their lives as a result of the September 11 attack eight years ago.