St. Patrick students’ spirit on display

Youths celebrate community, faith during Catholic Schools Week

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT
Caption
(Sandy Bressner – sbressner@shawmedia.com)
St. Patrick School seventh-grader Ally Tippett tries to get a ping pong ball to land in a glass of water as classmate Aidan Reynolds looks on during a relay Tuesday, which was part of Catholic Schools Week at the St. Charles school.

ST. CHARLES – Students at St. Patrick Catholic School on Tuesday continued their spirit week with some running, jumping and cheering.

A group of randomly chosen students participated in relays in front of all their peers in the school gym. The relays incorporated dressing up in various articles of clothing, shooting baskets and even running alongside their teachers.

The students’ cheers and claps were fitting for this year’s Catholic Schools Week theme, which is “Enthusiastic Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Services.” National Catholic Schools Week is held every year to celebrate Catholic education in the U.S. Most Catholic parishes observed the week between Jan. 26 and Feb. 1, but St. Patrick decided to hold events this week.

The relay assembly gave students the opportunity to share a fun activity with their teachers and also the larger community, St. Patrick School Principal Joseph Battisto said.

“We always want them to have spirit, academic and social aspects,” Battisto said of the school’s 530 students. “They’ll always remember to keep that proper balance in their life.”

Kristin Dohner was one student who embraced the social aspect of the event. She secured a win for her sixth-grade team by running and slipping into a sleeping bag meant to represent the end of a student’s day, and the end of the relay. Many students screamed with excitement and stomped their feet in the bleachers during Dohner’s win.

“It was fun and nervewracking – I didn’t want to lose,” said Dohner, 12.

This was Dohner’s third time participating in a relay in front of the school. It was eighth-grader Patrick Griffin’s second time, and he started it off by making a basket from half court during his Tuesday relay.

Griffin, 14, said he also enjoyed Monday’s assembly at the school, but for a different reason.

The students were inspired by performances from Misericordia, an organization that offers services and care to residents with developmental disabilities. Students Monday presented the group with a check for just over $4,000 collected from a fundraiser.

Although Tuesday’s relay focused on older students, the parents that attended got to spend time with their younger ones. Parent Dina O’Sullivan sat close to her daughter, Sofia, during the assembly.

O’Sullivan said she appreciates being invited to the school events and volunteers there whenever she can.

“With St. Pat’s, it’s like once you come here, you become one big family,” O’Sullivan said.

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