At Catholic schools throughout the Diocese of Scranton and in Greater Pittston, January means one thing: Catholic Schools Week.
“The kids love it,” said Mary-Ann Paddock Kaminski of Wyoming Area Catholic School. “We’re exhausted by the end of the week, but they love it.”
The annual celebration held at Catholic schools throughout the country will focus on a theme of “Learn, Serve, Lead, Succeed” this year, and Wyoming Area Catholic in Exeter and Holy Rosary in Duryea have their exciting, unique schedule of activities set.
“It’s a week for them (the students) to enjoy themselves,” said Melissa Skutack, principal of Holy Rosary School. “To get out of the routine of constant classwork.”
At Holy Rosary, the week will begin with an open house from noon to 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26.
On Monday, Jan. 27, Holy Rosary students can wear team shirts instead of uniform shirts and participate in Lego building and a Soup Derby race activity. Students can also bring a favorite board game and cans of soup to be donated to the Pittston Food Pantry.
The Lego building and Soup Derby were new in 2019, Skutack said, but the students enjoyed both activities so much the school had to bring them back for 2020.
“They’re getting to the point where they know that Progresso Soup cans seem to be the fastest,” she said. “So they’re donating more of that.”
The “Souper Bowl” collection for the food pantry will continue throughout the week at Holy Rosary. Tuesday, Jan. 28, students will enjoy classroom movie day and pizza provided by the Parent Teacher Organization.
Classroom movies will continue Wednesday, Jan. 29, along with a flea market hosted by the fifth and sixth grade classes.
On Thursday, Jan. 30, at Holy Rosary will be “gym day” throughout the morning with annual students vs. faculty volleyball games starting at 1 p.m., which Skutack said most students eagerly anticipate throughout the week.
“They can’t wait to get to the front line and spike,” she said.
Catholic Schools week will conclude Friday, Jan. 31, with a 9 a.m. Mass at Holy Rosary then an early dismissal at 11 a.m.
Wyoming Area Catholic also will host an open house to kick off the week from noon to 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26. Then, students will participate in a Geography Bee and Math Facts contest at school on Monday, Jan. 27.
On Tuesday, Jan. 28, will be Student Appreciation Day at Wyoming Area Catholic, featuring a S.T.R.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Religion, Arts and Mathematics) fair with physical activities and challenges. For the S.T.R.E.A.M. fair, Paddock Kaminski said each teacher will create an activity or challenge focused on one of the categories within the acronym, and students will work in teams to complete the challenges.
“They will be given a problem and have to find the solution,” she said.
On Wednesday, Jan. 29, will be WACky Olympics in the morning and Family Double Dare Night in the evening.
Paddock Kaminski said the students look forward to WACky Olympics year after year.
“We never take it off the schedule because the kids love it,” she said.
The Family Double Dare Night will invite parents to get in on the fun with their children.
“That’s new,” Paddock Kaminski said. “They’ll participate in different games or be dared to do something … it will be family fun.”
On Thursday, Jan. 30, Wyoming Area Catholic students will celebrate Super Hero Day with students wearing clothes with “service logos” honoring police, fire and EMS departments. The school also will collect donations for the Wyoming Area Kiwanis Club’s fundraising campaign to purchase rifle plated vests and personal first aid packs for police and other area first responders.
Wyoming Area Catholic will conclude the week with a talent show at 9 a.m. Friday, Jan. 31.