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DeSales celebrates Catholic Schools Week

Catholic Schools Week will take place this week, with a variety of events and activities for students at DeSales to participate in.

The 2013 celebration will feature an open house, pep rally and school-wide service project. This year’s theme is “Catholic Schools Raise the Standards,” which focuses on the attention Catholic educators pay to increasing learning and growth in faith of all students.

DeSales will kick off the week with an open house from noon to 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27. This is open to interested new students and their families, along with all community residents.

Those attending can meet with teachers, get a tour, speak with parents and school administrators and learn more about enrolling in the 2013-2014 school year.

During the week, student will have the chance to help with a service project. Director of Marketing and Admissions Ellen Roth said this year DeSales selected St. Francis de Sales Catholic School in Belle Harbor to support.

This 100-year-old elementary school was devastated by Super Storm Sandy last November. There was damage to the school building and many teachers and students had their homes destroyed or damaged in the wind, rain and fire on the Rockaway Peninsula. Many of the families at the school have been living in hotels or with family and friends since November.

DeSales students and teachers will collect gift cards and cash donations to help the families of St. Francis de Sales replace all of their everyday household items and school supplies.

Anyone wishing to support this effort can send or deliver gift cards from any national retailer, or cash donations to DeSales at 6914 Chestnut Ridge Road, Lockport.

To help encourage students to give back, DeSales Principal Dr. Scott Fike has set a donation goal of $4,000 in gift cards and donations. If students reach this target, Fike will serve as the “target” for his students in a dunk tank during their annual field day festivities on June 18.

For the students, each day during the week will also bring an exciting activity.

“It’s a lot of fun,” said eighth-grade student Ella Kroening. “Everyone is really excited throughout the week.”

Eighth-grader Emelia Sullivan said all of the students really look forward to the end of the week pep rally.

“There are a lot of people that really have a lot of school spirit,” she said.

Activities during the week include a kick-off assembly, jazz ensemble performance from Mount St. Mary Academy in Buffalo, I Love New York Day, which will show support for those affected by Super Storm Sandy, where students can dress in New York City gear. On Thursday, students will dress miss matched for Clash Day and Friday there will be the pep rally, featuring music and games.

Throughout the week, the cafeteria will also have a special “Under the Sea” menu in honor of the upcoming Disney’s “the Little Mermaid, Junior” production.

“Every day there is something different going on,” said fourth-grader Delaney Adams. “It’s a lot of fun.”

To go along with the theme “Raise the Standards,” every grade level has been assigned one aspect of Catholic education — such as academics, community service and spirituality. Classroom doors at DeSales will be decorated to symbolize the many ways Catholic schools help to increase the expectations and achievements of all students.

The week will end with a family mass at 4 p.m. Feb. 2 at All Saints Parish on Church Street. All DeSales students, parents and alumni are encouraged to attend.

Catholic Schools Week is a joint project of the National Catholic Educational Association and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

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