Beginning Sunday, Catholic schools all over the country will take a week out of their school year to celebrate Catholic schools and the role they play in educating young Americans of all faiths.
The annual celebration organized by the National Catholic Education Association, promotes Catholic education nationwide, but locally every diocese and school has its own way of celebrating it.
“It’s an opportunity for us to say what we are proud of about Catholic schools,” said Tom Chadzutko, superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Brooklyn. “It’s also a good marketing opportunity.”
The theme of this year’s Catholic Schools Week is “Catholic Schools: Raise the Standards.”
During the week, the bishop of Brooklyn and other diocesan officials will visit three schools in the diocese and events, including open houses, will be held.
At St. Clare School, located at 137-25 Brookville Blvd. in Rosedale, students will have regular classes in the morning, then a wide array of fun activities during the course of the day, including a student basketball game, dancethons and a pajama day.
“The students are always very excited about Catholic Schools Week events,” said Principal Mary Basile.
St. Clare, which will soon turn into an academy, is holding its open house on Sunday, Jan. 27 from 1:30 to 3 p.m. and Friday, Feb. 1 from 9 to 10 a.m. Parents and prospective students can come and tour the school and see what is offered.
Other schools will also be hosting open houses for interested families. Most of the open houses will take place on the first day of Catholic Schools Week, with some weekday dates scheduled.
St, Mel School in Flushing will host an open house on Sunday, Jan. 27 from 11:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Monday, Jan. 28 from 8:30-10 a.m. Visitors can see the school — which has served Flushing and Whitestone for over 50 years — and its facilities as well as its Mommy and Me program, Toddler Time and all of its grades from pre-K through eighth. St Mel is located at 154-24 26 Ave. in Flushing.
Most Precious Blood Parish in Astoria will host an open house at its school, located at 32-52 37 St., on Sunday, Jan. 27 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The school will also hold a Student Appreciation Day on Monday, Jan. 28, which will feature fun activities for kids.
St. Helen Parish in Howard Beach, which served as an important relief center in the weeks after Hurricane Sandy, will host its open house on Sunday, Jan. 27 from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and then again on Tuesday, Jan. 29 from 3-5 p.m. and Thursday, Jan. 31 from 7-9 p.m.
St. Helen School will also hold their science fair during Catholic Schools Week. Students will present their science projects as the school’s science fair on all three days: 10:30 to 11 a.m. on Jan. 27; 3 to 3:45 p.m. on Jan. 29 and from 7 to 7:45 p.m. on Jan. 31.
St. Gregory the Great in Bellerose will hold its open house on Sunday, Jan 27 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., right after the 9:15 a.m. Mass.
An open house will also take place at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs in Forest Hills, at Ascan Avenue and Austin Street, on Sunday, Jan. 27 from 2:30 to 4 p.m.
St. Mary Gate of Heaven School, located at 104-06 101 Ave. in Ozone Park will celebrate with Crazy Hat Day, which is a popular event for many schools during Catholic Schools Week. Students come to school wearing a variety of crazy-looking hats.