Many parents have shared with me over the years that they think one of the most important aspects of a Catholic school education for their children is the sense of community. We primarily think of school as a place where students learn, grow, and establish friendships, but it is also an opportunity for parents to create life-long bonds of friendship with each other — those who are walking along on the same journey. Parents are the primary educators of their children, and together with teachers, staff, and other parents, we form a great team to support and nurture all of our “Crusaders-in-the-making.”
Volunteering in the classroom, coaching sports, and supervising at lunch are great ways to become involved and learn more about the culture of the school. Another very important way that we nurture our friendships and strengthen our community bond is through social events like Fall Festival and our upcoming Spring Benefit. Throughout the years, this event has taken on many different themes: St. Paddy’s Day Bash, Denim & Diamonds, and the most popular Casino Night. Before the Holy Family Center was built, we used to rent a large tent for this event, which was placed in the parking lot between the Gym and the Parish Center. Planning would take a year, and in addition to the Casino tables, there were literally hundreds of baskets on which to bid. The event has been scaled down a bit over the years, but the experience is the same. It is an opportunity to relax, visit with friends and teachers, dance, and have FUN. It’s been two years since we have been able to enjoy each other’s company, and there are many new families who have joined our school since our last event – we need to get acquainted and re-acquainted once again.
Tickets are $50 per person, which covers the cost of amazing food from Crown Point Catering (the mashed potato bar is my personal favorite!), drinks tickets, and casino chip tickets. With the prices at restaurants going through the roof, this is really quite a bargain. If you haven’t purchased your tickets yet, I encourage you to do so soon. Invite your friends and family as well. Whether or not you are able to come to the event yourself, consider sponsoring a staff member to attend – they would be most grateful for the opportunity. They might even be encouraged to try their luck on the Mechanical Bull!
Of course, the event is also a fundraiser. We are hoping to raise enough revenue to complete Phase II of our Technology upgrade and purchase 14 additional 75” interactive SMARTboard TVs to equip all classrooms K-8. Phase I was completed this year (11 boards), and the teachers and students love this new technology because the devices have revolutionized the way teachers are able to present lessons. The boards are large enough that everyone in the classroom can easily see the lessons and presentations. Students can write on the screens with their fingers, move, rotate, and flip images. Students and teachers can screen share to the boards, and websites and YouTube videos can be downloaded to the screen. The SMART TV is also a digital whiteboard, where teachers can save multiple pages of notes to the display and send them to students as PDF files for future review. We will have a board on display at the Spring Benefit for you to peruse.
There is a time for everything,” and it’s time once again for us to gather together in friendship and community. I do hope to see you all at Casino Night on April 2.