Great Ideas

Prayer Partners

All of our K-8 students participate in a “Prayer Partner” program. Upon entering kindergarten, a student is matched with a prayer partner who is a member of our parish. The students pray for their partners and write letters to them once a month in religion class. The partner’s responsibility is to accept the letters and pray for her or his student partner. A highlight is the Christmas Tea and Social in December, to which the parish prayer partners are invited. -Tami Stewart, principal, Our Lady of Sorrows School, Ladysmith, WI

Communicating Our Mission

We keep families aware of our mission statement and philosophy by including in parent letters a periodic “living example” of how we carry out the school’s mission. For example: “St. Nicholas School will instill a spirit of service within our school and to the community…” (quote from St. Nicholas School philosophy): “Thank you, Grade 1, for collecting 100 food items for the poor as part of your celebration of the hundredth day of school.”-Sr. Leonette Kochan, principal, St. Nicholas School, Zanesville, OH

Bodies in Christ

Early in the school year, have students bring to class pictures of themselves to be used in the creation of an extra cross for the classroom. Glue the pictures collage-style on wood or cardboard, with a representation of Christ at the center of the cross. Coordinate this religious symbol showing that we all make up the Body of Christ with a writing activity on brotherhood, classroom harmony, or another appropriate topic.-Gail Harvey, Most Precious Blood School, Brooklyn, NY

Kindness Box

To encourage acts of kindness, I keep slips of paper and a “kindness box” on our classroom prayer table. When students witness an act of kindness, they write on a piece of paper the kind deed and the name of the student performing it. Every few days, I read the notes aloud and present them to the students to share with their families. Positive, helpful classroom behavior results! -Theresa Pinamonti, St. Theresa School, New Cumberland, PA

Class Address Book

To teach their addresses and telephone numbers, have kindergartners make a class address book. This activity provides added incentive to the children to learn their addresses and telephone numbers. Each child prints his or her name, address, and phone number on a lined sheet of paper, using the remaining space to draw a picture of the child’s residence. Sheets are stapled to a piece of bright construction paper, assembled into a booklet, and bound with brass fasteners.Sr. Mary Ann Carollo, OSB, St Anthony School, San Antonio, FL

Coupon Gifts

The principal presents to the staff a clipand-save coupon offering many different choices. The 30-minute coupons may be redeemed in any of these options: teaching a class, supervising a recess period, reading to the students, taking lunchroom duty. These are often more appreciated than are material gifts. -Sr. Patricia Throener, principal, St. John the Baptist School, Petersburg, NE

Copyright Peter Li, Inc. Aug/Sep 1998

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