Saint Mary School’s Teachers Choose to Serve

Saint Mary School’s Teachers Choose to Serve

We all know that teachers serve. They serve their students and the families who depend upon them for quality education.

But at Saint Mary School, Swormville, the concept of service goes one step beyond to the wider community. Teachers recently led students in an all-school retreat during which they created over 100 boxes comprised of small gifts for hospitalized children as a part of the Jared Box Project. Jared was a young boy who always carried a backpack filled with toys to his medical appointments while being treated for cancer. Jared lost his battle in 2000, but his inspiration lives on through Jared Boxes that calm nerves, lift spirits and show hospitalized children that someone cares.

The school’s mission to serve was further strengthened on March 15th when faculty and staff gathered together to revisit their core values and commitment to service to the wider community. In addition to distributing the Jared Boxes to Oishei Children’s Hospital, Roswell Park and the Ronald McDonald House, teachers reached out to Spruce Meadow Farm – a local rescue program – to assist in the feeding and care of abused and neglected horses.  “This year’s faculty outreach was unique in that we included service to animals. We are all God’s creatures, and the needy, forgotten and neglected must be served,“ said principal Mary Jo Aiken.

“I think it is a wonderful testimony and example of how a local Catholic school is deeply committed to its mission to serve not only the parish but also to serve and witness to the gospel by reaching out to the wider community as well,” added Pastor Bob Zilliox.

For more information, or to learn how you can help, go to www.thejaredbox.com and www.HelpSaveHorses.org .

 

.

Faculty Professional Development

Faculty Professional Development

ADVERSE CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES (ACEs)

Last week our faculty professional development was focused upon adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and their effects upon behavior, physical and mental health. Based upon a study of 17,000 participants, it is estimated that 64% of the population has experienced an ACE in the form of abuse, neglect, and/or household dysfunction, with a direct correlation to health outcomes that may include obesity, diabetes, depression, and more. For a wonderful insight into the study and how childhood trauma can affect health across a lifetime, please take a look at Dr. Nadine Burke Harris’s TED talk by clicking on Nadine Burke Harris-Ted Talk . As educators, we can help to address all children’s needs (even those who have never experienced an ACE) with Trauma-Informed Classroom Practices, including:

  • Providing Social/Emotional Tools to children:
    • Talking about emotions
    • Use of our SecondSTEP character education program
    • Active listening
    • Actual lessons in how to self-calm for improved self-regulation
  • Building Empathy:
    • Engaging in “read-alouds” to discuss a character’s emotions/feelings
    • Studying the behaviors of literary characters to understand choices and effects
  • Establishing the Classroom as a Peaceful, Healing Place:
    • Building a responsive environment
    • Greeting children at the classroom door each morning
    • Prayer
    • Building trust through consistency/follow-through/honesty

By preparing children for challenges later in life, parents and educators can work together to minimize the adverse effects and risks associated with ACEs and childhood stressors. For more information on ACEs go to CDC Information on ACEs

Circuitry Science

Circuitry Science

Fourth grade is starting to learn about energy and circuitry. Through guided inquiry, our SMS scientists are investigating what kinds of circuits will light the bulb!            

SMS Future City Team Takes Prizes at Engineering Competition

SMS Future City Team Takes Prizes at Engineering Competition

Congratulations to our 3rd Place winners and Engineering Design winners in the 2019 Future City Competition! This year’s challenge, “Powering Our Future”, asked students to design a resilient power grid that can withstand and quickly recover from the impact of a natural disaster. Saint Mary School was the only Catholic School to take a prize in the winners’ circle!  Our team also scored a perfect 5/5 for presentation and poise!

We are truly grateful to our SMS Teacher, Mrs. Julie Leong and St. Mary’s parishioner, Mr. Paul Kluczynski, who was our Engineer Mentor.

All-School Lenten Retreat Day

All-School Lenten Retreat Day

On Ash Wednesday, St. Mary School students attended Mass, received ashes, and participated in service, prayer, and faith activities throughout the day to prepare our hearts for Jesus. Our All-School Retreat Day is now an Ash Wednesday tradition at SMS.

PROJECT LINUS BLANKETS BLESSED

PROJECT LINUS BLANKETS BLESSED

 

Fr. Andrew blessed the cozy fleece blankets that our students crafted for Project Linus.  Mrs. Trigilio’s students at St. Luke’s Mission Homeschool also contributed blankets.  The blankets are distributed through Joanne’s Fabrics to hospitalized and chronically ill children in our area.