By EmmaLee Italia | Contributing Editor
Students in St. Paul School, Princeton, got a dose of stardom Jan. 29 when they were featured on Fox 29 Philadelphia’s “Kelly’s Classroom” for Catholic Schools Week.
Airing on the channel’s “Good Day Philadelphia” morning show, the segment that features a new school each week zeroed in on St. Paul’s Catholic Schools Week activity of Religion Bingo, which invited participation from all SPS students in kindergarten through eighth grade.
Morning traffic anchor Bob Kelly, himself a product of Catholic education, stirred the students’ excitement and school spirit as he joined in the Bingo game and high-fived the school mascot, Leo the Lion – played by eighth grader and student council vice president Luke Foley. Kindergartener Naomi Pelikan, wearing a paper birthday crown, was given a birthday shout-out on camera by Kelly as the rest of the school cheered for her.
Kelly teased about a possible snow day with the impending storm forecast overnight.
“I’m in charge for five minutes, not your principal!” he joked to students. “So you’re allowed to go crazy… And if you do a good job, maybe no homework and a day off school tomorrow?!”
Kelly interviewed upper grades religion teacher, Ann Schwimmer, and principal, Kim Clauss, briefly on camera, giving them an opportunity to highlight the school and its Catholic Schools Week celebration.
“This is a great school – we have pre-K through eighth, [with] faith-filled, wonderful families and a great community,” Clauss remarked.
“[For Religion Bingo,] we get to showcase what we’ve learned in religion so far this year,” Schwimmer explained to Kelly. She started Religion Bingo during Catholic Schools Week seven years ago, and since then it’s been a favorite student activity.
Students had the chance to answer grade-level religion questions; each student who answered correctly was allowed a turn on the microphone to call out the number chosen from the Bingo machine cage. Bingo winners picked from an array of decorative pencil prizes.
Representatives from the SPS student council and technology club assisted with the Bingo table and with a camera feed that projected the table action and numbers called onto a projector screen above the gym stage.
Vice principal Shannon Rooney invited Kelly to come to St. Paul’s, through the connection of her husband Joe, who works for Fox 29. Kelly’s Classroom has featured a number of Catholic schools in its three-plus years running, but never before has the show come to Princeton.
“It started as ‘Camp Kelly’ in the summertime – we wanted to feature what kids do the entire day of camp,” said Kelly, who attended All Saints School in Northeast Philadelphia. “When we reached the end of summer, we thought, ‘now what? The kids go back to school.’ So we came up with ‘Kelly’s Classroom.’”
Kelly said that the segment was an important way to connect to viewers through the local community and neighborhoods of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware – each time in a different location.
“It’s a good way to do something positive,” he said, noting that he loves getting the kids fired up and excited. “When we do it live, it’s a chance for the schools to promote themselves – then we post it on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as well.”
To view the Fox 29 coverage of St. Paul School, visit Facebook.com/#KellysClassroom. For more information on St. Paul School, visit www.spsprinceton.org.