In celebration of Catholic Schools Week, observed nationally this year from Jan. 30 to Feb. 5, Sacred Heart Model School has focused its celebration outward on the community.
It’s one of 48 schools in the Archdiocese of Louisville observing the national celebration that highlights the value of Catholic education.
The Model School’s efforts are focused on service, one of the themes of this year’s celebration, as well as a key theme of Scripture and one of the Ursuline core values. Ursuline Sisters of Louisville sponsor the school.
“When you’re Catholic, you help others to make their lives better,” said Debra Sistrunk, a seventh-grader who serves on her grade’s leadership committee.
She and her classmates conceived of and initiated a project to collect and bundle socks for homeless men served by St. John Center in downtown Louisville. Each pair of socks they collected was bundled in a hand-written note.
“We’re doing this because it’s the right thing to do,” said Debra, noting that the project reflects the school’s Catholic identity. “It’s service for us, but it helps others.”
Dr. Michael Bratcher, Sacred Heart Model School principal, said, “This year, we had students come to us with what they wanted to do. Level seven leadership committee students said this is what they’re passionate about. The project has been well received. Every single student has participated in it.”
Bratcher estimates they collected, bundled and will donate 150 pairs of socks to St. John Center.
Seventh-grader Jackson Kempf said the students decided to do a sock drive for St. John Center because they learned that socks are in short supply among the men it serves.
“At one of our planning meetings during lunch one day, we got the idea to write notes to wrap around the socks so when they get their bundle they’ll have a nice note with it,” he said.
In addition to the sock project, the school also:
- Held a canned soup and can opener drive to benefit Paula’s Pantry and Louisville area community ministries.
- Collected loose change to benefit three organizations supported by the Ursuline Sisters — St. Mary’s Center, House of Ruth and Water with Blessings.
- Made Valentines for veterans at the Louisville VA Medical Center.
In addition to Sacred Heart Model School, the Archdiocese of Louisville’s 47 other Catholic schools are taking part with a host of activities under the theme “Catholic Schools: Faith. Excellence. Service.” Following is a sampling of activities that schools shared with The Record ahead of the celebration.
Students from Bethlehem High School, Bardstown, Ky., on Jan. 31 held a breakfast to honor first responders and Feb. 1 participated in a scavenger hunt focused on the school’s history. Thursday, Feb. 3, students will write notes of gratitude to priests and grandparents. Friday, Feb. 4, teachers will have a faculty luncheon.
On Saturday, the school planned to collaborate with the Basilica of St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral youth group to host a “Souper Bowl of Caring” chili fundraiser to benefit the St. Vincent de Paul Bread for Life Community Food Pantry in Bardstown. Bethlehem is donating chili to the fundraiser which will be held in the St. Joseph Parish parking lot at 4:30 p.m.
St. James School, Elizabethtown, Ky., held a breakfast for businesses on Feb. 1 to promote the value of a Catholic education and build relationships with community members. Following the breakfast was an alumni panel for fourth- through eighth-grade students to learn about life after St. James. On Saturday, students and faculty planned to tumble a domino-style display of cereal boxes students have donated for local and regional food banks. According to the school, if families collect and tumble 6,500 boxes, it will break a Guinness World Record.
Holy Trinity School, 423 Cherrywood Road, is hosting a week-long drive to support victims of the December tornadoes in Western Kentucky. Throughout the week, students are participating in decades day; crazy hair day; red, white and blue day; and pajama day.
Students also added items to the school’s time capsule, wrote thank you notes to veterans and elected leaders, had an eighth-grade vs. faculty volleyball game and played school-wide bingo.