Saint Joseph Parish School (SJS), along with other Catholic schools in the nation, will be celebrating Catholic Schools Week Jan. 29 through Feb. 4. This National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence kicks off the week by inviting the community to its open house from 9 a.m. to noon on Jan. 29.

"We invite the community to spend some time with us to meet our staff and learn more about the benefits of attending SJS," said Carrie DePasquale, principal. "Our students and alumni do wonderful things for this community and beyond due to the values nurtured while receiving a Catholic education."

During Catholic Schools Week, SJS students will be participating in a number of activities that align with a daily theme. The daily themes this year celebrate:

parish;

community;

students;

nation;

vocations;

faculty, staff, & volunteers; and

families

"A daily focus on each theme provides the students time to reflect and understand how these groups make an impact on their lives," DePasquale stated. "The activities tied to these themes nurture the students' sense of gratitude toward the people in their lives as well as their sense of obligation to being a productive member of these groups. Of course, there is also some fun weaved into these learning experiences."

DePasquale is referring to SJS's support of Louisiana Disaster Relief for the theme "nation appreciation." Pastor Father Jared has agreed to let students duct tape him to a wall to raise awareness and money for this cause. A small donation buys a student a strip of tape. SJS is partnering with the HALO Foundation on this effort.

Other activities at SJS for Catholic Schools Week include: all school academic challenge; scheduled sessions with City Councilwoman and St. Joseph alumni, Mary Ellen Pyke; pastries with parents; and an all-school retreat themed "We Are Children of God."

According to the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA), National Catholic Schools Week is the annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States. It starts the last Sunday in January. The theme for the National Catholic Schools Week is "Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge, and Service." Schools typically observe the annual celebration week with Masses, open houses, and other activities for students, families, parishioners, and community members. Through these events, schools focus on the value Catholic education provides to young people and its contributions to the church, communities, and the nation.

Saint Joseph School, a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence, currently serves more than 240 students and is part of Saint Joseph Parish. Saint Joseph Church is located at 1761 Second St. in Cuyahoga Falls and Saint Joseph School is located at 1909 Third St..

For more information on Saint Joseph Parish, visit http://www.saintjoe.org/. For more information on the NCEA and Catholic Schools Week, visit http://www.ncea.org/ .