Advent is a beautiful season where we prepare our hearts for the coming of Jesus. In this third week the theme is waiting. Here at Holy Redeemer School as we wait for the coming of Jesus we have several activities that we do to help our students understand this time in our Church year.
During this past week our Holy Families, which are mixed groups of students in grades Pre-Kindergarten through eighth grade, met and decorated gifts to take home. On these gifts each student committed to four things they will do to serve the people in their family. These service activities will be our gift to Jesus. Also, our students in grades three through eight attended the sacrament of Penance which was our opportunity to confess those times when we did not do our best and commit to doing better.
In the classrooms I visited, I saw a great deal of evidence that the teachers are doing preparation activities with their students. In Preschool they have a bulletin board titled “We shine when we are kind” where the teachers acknowledge all of the kind acts they see happening daily. They are also reading books which discuss the real, true meaning of Christmas. During their religion discussions they focus on what we can do for others instead of focusing on what they want for Christmas. Of course, there are traditional Christmas crafts of Santas, gingerbread men and Christmas trees being made, and they are learning Christmas songs to sing at their upcoming Christmas party. In addition, this month they are celebrating the authors Kimberly and James Dean who have written the Pete, the Cat books.
As I entered the Pre-Kindergarten classroom they were singing Christmas carols and decorating their own Christmas tree. In addition, they are reading The Advent Story, and each day the Special Helper adds another piece to the manager scene so by Christmas the scene will be complete. They also have a Sparkle Box where they place a slip with a child’s name each time they “catch” them being kind. During their learning centers, the students were painting candy canes, building gingerbread houses and working with Mrs. Porterfield.
Next week I will share even more Advent/Christmas practices that I am seeing as I move through the building.
If you would like to learn more about our school or schedule a personal tour, please call the office at 962-8989. We will be hosting an Open House on Sunday, January 26, from 10-1pm. All are welcome.
“Finding JOY through a Grateful Heart”
We just finished another successful Scholastic Book Fair, and I would like to send a BIG Thank You to the many parent volunteers who made this fair possible. There were countless hours of planning, building of an igloo, hosting a breakfast for grandparents, parents and our youngest students, plus hosting a library lock-in for our second and third graders. It is our dedicated, hard-working parents who give so much of their time and talent that makes Holy Redeemer such a special place to be. We are grateful!!
As I have mentioned before, we are beginning a two-year School Improvement process. Shortly, I will be sending a survey to parents so we can identify the things we do well and those areas where we can improve. The last question on the survey asks the parents to reflect on what they can personally do to make Holy Redeemer even better. Recently, I held a virtue/prayer circle in each of the middle school classes. As the leaders of our student body and the future leaders of our Catholic Church, I asked the MS students the same question. I was both pleased and amazed with the thoughtfulness they gave to their answers. I will share just a few of the many answers given.
I can make a Holy Redeemer a better place by:
*Be kind to everyone.
*Don’t judge others harshly.
*When others are struggling, try to lead them to the answer.
*Understand what others are going through.
*Respect your teachers. They spend a lot of time preparing for you.
*Be yourself no matter what anyone else does.
*Stick up for others.
*Do more service/volunteer more outside of school.
*Don’t bicker about small things.
*Be helpful in group projects.
The list goes on and on. It makes me feel grateful and hopeful for the future of our community when I see so much good in our students.
If you would like to learn more about Holy Redeemer School or schedule a personal tour, please contact the school office at 314-962-8989 or use the form below.