Students in St. Catharine School, Spring Lake, recently concluded a six-week humanities’ service project. Faith, Knowledge and Service has been the school’s motto for many years and is now this year’s chosen motto for the National Catholic Educational Association.
Led by music teacher, Karen Burlington, eighth grade students, along with their fourth grade counterparts, collected items for making Easter baskets for The Jersey Shore Dream Center, in Asbury Park. The students brought in toiletries, candy and small gifts to give to needy children in the surrounding municipalities.
Art teacher, Karen Massamillo, engaged the seventh graders in The Pajama Program, a national organization that provides a pair of new pajamas and a new book to underprivileged children. St. Catharine School has collected 417 pair of new pajamas and books. The response from the school community was overwhelming and St. Catharine students experienced their first “Pajama Day,” where they wore appropriate pajamas to school, made a craft with their buddy, and had a reading time with their older peer mentor.
Students in Mercy Sister Carole MacKenthun’s sixth grade class, led the school community in a fundraising project by hosting a “Uganda “store. During recess, the children had the opportunity to buy bracelets that are made in Ugandan, religious items, and Ugandan notecards. All proceeds went towards building a baseball field in the bush area of Alanyi where the rebels had destroyed the village. For the past 13 years, Sister Carole and former students of her Mission of Mercy organization have raised funds to bring quality education and health care to the children of Uganda.
Alexis Kretzmer, and her sixth grade class, collected personal items, candies and small gifts that were arranged for the homebound parishioners of St. Catharine/St. Margaret Parish.
The generosity of the school parents, enthusiasm of the students and the support of school administration and faculty, has allowed St. Catharine School to set an example of the true meaning of “service,” Burlington observed. “Running all of these projects simultaneously only served to motivate the students more. This school-wide effort concluded at an assembly where numerous guest speakers shared with the entire student body the importance of volunteering and the value in getting involved in service opportunities,” she said.