When the holiday break ends and students shuffle through the snow back to school, students at the area’s Catholic Schools at least have one January week to look forward to.
Catholic Schools Week, the Diocese of Scranton’s annual celebration held at all Catholic schools under its banner, kicks off this weekend, and the students and faculty of both Holy Rosary School in Duryea and Wyoming Area Catholic School in Exeter have a host of highly anticipated events planned.
“They look forward to this all year,” said MaryAnn Paddock-Kaminski of Wyoming Area Catholic. “They love the activities we do for the week.”
At Holy Rosary, Principal Melissa Skutack said the students are looking forward to activities that were a hit during last year’s week-long celebration.
“They really enjoyed the Legos and the STEM projects they were doing,” she said. “The eighth graders went down and ran that.”
Holy Rosary students will participate in Lego activities Monday, Jan. 28, in the school’s gym, building mazes for marbles and catapults out of the colorful bricks.
Monday at Holy Rosary also will feature the Soup Can Derby, where students get to race soup cans down an incline to kick off the school’s “Souperbowl” soup collection.
“The Soup Can Derby, that was amazing,” Skutack said. ”We have a winner from each classroom.”
On Monday night at Holy Rosary, the and eighth grade girls and boys basketball teams will each face off for their annual boys versus girls scrimmages starting at 6:30 p.m.
“Eighth grade, because it’s their last year, they really come out,” Skutack said.
Other events planned for the week include dress down days, a cheer contest among the grades, a magician performance and Sunday’s open house, which both schools have planned following Mass on Sunday, Jan. 27, from noon to 2 p.m.
At Wyoming Area Catholic, Paddock-Kaminski said members of the student council will lead tours during the open house.
“Frankie Warren from Magic 93 will be broadcasting live during our open house,” she said.
Paddock-Kaminski said the students always look forward to dress down days, especially crazy sock and crazy hat days.
“If they wear a crazy hat or sock, they donate a hat or socks to give to the needy,” she said.
Items collected will go to the Care and Concern Ministry in Pittston.
New this year, Paddock-Kaminski said the school will host a health fair on Tuesday, Jan. 30.
“The kids are taking part in physical activities and they’ll be taught about nutrition,” she said.
Health fair presenters will discuss topics like preventing sports injuries, nutrition and prescription drugs, and students will receive healthy snacks and lunch.
Students also look forward to competing with students from all grades in the WACky Olympics and the Geography Bee.
Skutack and Paddock-Kaminski said Catholic Schools Week helps students feel connected to their school and peers.
“It’s great camaraderie, being together with their classmates,” Skutack said.
“They will always remember Catholic Schools Week,” Paddock-Kaminski said. “They realize it’s a celebration of Catholic education.”