STRATFORD—Students and staff at St. Mark School will take a break from their normal routines during the week of January 30 in order to celebrate National Catholic Schools Week.
The annual weeklong celebration focuses on the value Catholic education provides to young people and its contributions to our church, communities and nation. This year’s theme is “Catholic Schools: Faith. Excellence. Service.”
Students do not have to be Catholic to attend St. Mark School. “There are a number of students who are not Catholic,” shares Principal Melissa Warner. “However, many do practice their faith inside and outside of the school day. In fact, 34 students participate as altar servers at weekend Masses, weddings and funerals.”
The week kicks off on Sunday, January 30, with the school’s annual preschool-grade 8 open house. Student ambassadors will showcase the school to prospective families by providing them with tours and their personal experiences and testimonials. Students also read essays at Mass on what their Catholic education means to them.
Some of the highlights of the school week include dress-down days, community service projects, making valentines for seniors, no-homework days, and fun-filled surprise activities aimed at celebrating students, parents, faculty and staff.
“Our students look forward to Catholic Schools Week,” states Janet Rodriguez, grade 4 teacher and coordinator of the Catholic Schools Week activities. “The whole school gets involved with the planning. It’s a really fun week which encourages students to reflect on the benefits of their Catholic education and how the grounding in faith, excellence and service will help them throughout their lives.”
Despite declining Catholic school enrollment, Diocese of Bridgeport Catholic Elementary Schools have experienced a growth of 10 percent over the last year. At St. Mark School alone, it increased by 18 percent this year with many classes at wait-list status.
The current enrollment of 234 is an all-time high for St. Mark School!
“We are proud of the work we do educating the whole person,” comments Warner. “We have wonderful students and so much to celebrate!”