Upstate schools make the most of Catholic Schools Week

ANDERSON — Catholic Schools Week is an annual opportunity for St. Joseph Catholic School to showcase its campus, its K5 to fifth-grade curricula and the quality of its education. Principal Mary Ann Groves and her faculty plan an ambitious week.

“We start our open enrollment at that time,” Groves said. “We take advantage of Catholic Schools Week to let people know we’re having a good year.”

The administrator said that interest in Anderson County’s only Catholic school grows every year, and enrollment continues to inch up as people learn to appreciate the value of a Catholic education. St. Joseph kicks off CSW with a cross-curriculum fair that involves every class in making projects on the continents and displaying them for school parents and prospective parents.

“On Tuesday, we celebrate an all-school Mass and then hold a teacher appreciation luncheon,” Groves said. “Wednesday is the actual open house and Thursday all the classes will be making rosaries for the missions.”

Friday is Student Appreciation Day, the day that is the culmination of the celebratory week and a fun day — for the kids, at least. Everyone goes on a field trip that includes bowling and a movie.

At Our Lady of the Rosary School in Greenville, festivities started before the snow and ice came to town with a daughter-mom basketball game Jan. 28. That game was followed by the eighth-grade boys playing against their fathers. The lower grades played each other before the big games.

“We’re making a big deal of (Catholic Schools Week),” said eighth-grader Belle Host, who has been at OLR since first grade. “We have assemblies planned all week and have special speakers coming in. And we’re having a ’50s Day on Friday. My friends and I are dressing up as the Pink Ladies.”

Host, who is a non-Catholic, appreciates the education she has received at Our Lady of the Rosary. She said the prayers said by everyone in the morning, before and after lunch and at the end of the day make the school different than public schools.

“I’ve gotten a good education, but it’s been a challenge,” she said.

At St. Anthony School in Greenville, CSW celebrations included a public prayer service on Jan. 31, a big basketball game, poster contest and the mother of all field trips to end the week.

“The K3, K4 and K5 kids are going to the circus Friday,” said Demitrius Morris, school secretary. “It’s the first field trip of the year for our 3-year-olds.”

The circus is the famed Barnum and Bailey at the Bi-Lo Center.