Catholic Schools Week, Jan. 27-Feb. 2

Sacred Heart preschoolers Ryker Silver and Nora Harms work diligently on their pinecone bird feeders. Jones County Naturalist Michele Olson spoke to the preschoolers that day about the variety of birds seen in nature. (Photos by Kim Brooks)

The Sacred Heart fourth graders exhibit community support by creating Birthday Boxes for the local food pantry. The boxes contain goodies and homemade birthday cards donated and made by the students themselves.

Fifth-graders at Sacred Heart show off their 3D printer and the ways in which they incorporate the technology into their class curriculum.
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     Sacred Heart Catholic School in Monticello will celebrate National Catholic Schools Week, which runs Jan. 27 through Feb. 2.

     This year’s theme is “Catholic Schools: Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed.”

     CSW actually started nationwide in 1974 as a way to celebrate Catholic education in the United States.

     The week is typically observed with special Masses, open house events, and other activities involving the students, families and church parishioners, and community members.

     Schools use this as a way to focus on the value Catholic education provides to young people and its contributions to the church, communities, and nation.

     Sacred Heart has a full week of events planned during CWS.

Sunday, Jan. 27

     • Sacred Heart Day at La Hacienda from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Good for dine-in and carryouts.

Monday, Jan. 28

     • Celebrating Our Community. Sacred Heart students will be delivering goodies to local businesses.

     • Dress up as your favorite movie character

Tuesday, Jan. 29

     • Celebrating Parents and Vocations

     • Dress up for Mass at 10:30 a.m. with Archbishop Michael Jackels from the Dubuque Archdiocese. Lunch to follow Mass with parents.

Wednesday, Jan. 30

     • Celebrating Our Nation

     • Wear red, white and blue

     • The whole school will take part in the Pledge of Allegiance outside at 8 a.m.

     • Knights of Columbus Spelling Bee from fourth through sixth graders at 9 a.m.

Thursday, Jan. 31

     • Celebrating Students

     • Wear neon colors

Friday, Feb. 1

     • Celebrating Faculty, Staff and Volunteers

     • Wear beach attire

     • The students will go swimming at Camp Courageous from 1-2:15 p.m.

     Sacred Heart School boasts 139 students in grades preschool through sixth.

     Principal Laura Herbers said CSW is a way to honor a local and national legacy. “It’s a week to shine bright and share those special values we hold as a Catholic institution. We celebrate Christ together, and live through Christ together.”

     She said it also goes beyond that to loving your neighbor and treating everyone with kindness.

     “Part of our Christian morals and beliefs is that we welcome everyone,” she said of Sacred Heart’s enrollment. “Families do not need to be Catholic to attend.”

     Longtime school secretary, JoEllen Schlarmann, has been present for multiple generations of Sacred Heart students.

     “It’s so rewarding to see these families want to send their children here,” she said of the generational support.

     Sacred Heart infuses the Catholic faith values into their whole curriculum. The school and teachers strive to develop character and well-rounded individuals with a commitment to community and service to others.

     As part of that service, the students take part in numerous community service projects throughout the year:

     • Food drives for the food pantry

     • Birthday Boxes for the food pantry

     • Valentine, Christmas and thank-you cards for veterans

     • Clean-up at Riverside Gardens

     • Raking yards for senior citizens

     • Making centerpieces for parish dinners

     • Lenten rice bowl collections

     All of the students take part in the Buddy Program, which pairs an older student with a younger one.

     Herbers said the students also learn about the history of their faith at Sacred Heart. She said the families see the value of the school, see Sacred Heart as another family.

     “Every morning after prayer, I tell the students, ‘Let’s make it a great day at Sacred Heart,’” shared Herbers.

     As the school’s new principal, Herbers said she has come to see Sacred Heart as part of her own family. “We come together as one to celebrate our faith,” she said, whether it’s to celebrate or share in tragedy.

     Schlarmann herself attended a Catholic school growing up. Her children and now grandchildren have also gone to Sacred Heart.

     “It does feel like home here,” she concurred.

     Herbers said the Monticello community has also been a huge part of the school’s support team over the years.

     “We continue to thank everyone for the unending support,” she said. “And the wonderful support of our parishioners.”



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