National Catholic Schools Week, a celebration of Catholic education in the United States, ran from Sunday, January 27, to Saturday, February 2, 2019. This year’s theme was “Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed.”
Service, a core value at Oak Knoll thanks to its Holy Child heritage, punctuated the week as students held a schoolwide series of collections by selling Skittles, lollipops and gold necklaces, as well as participating in a “Hoops for Cancer” game.
In all, these efforts, spearheaded by the Student Council, raised $1,020 to fund Comfort Carts for patients at the Summit Medical Group/MD Anderson Cancer Center in Florham Park. The carts will include books, magazines, candy and other items for patients and families receiving treatment at the center.
Throughout the week, grades 1-3 students also collected enough non-perishable food items for nearly 50 meals for families served by St. Joseph’s Parish in Jersey City.
“Since service is at our core at Oak Knoll, this week’s outreach by our students was unsurprising, but nevertheless inspirational,” said Dr. Michele Dahl, Lower School religion coordinator. “Throughout the week amid all the fun costumes and special treats, you could see each student embracing compassion and a desire to help those less fortunate.”
Earlier in the week, Sr. Elsa Jeronimo, C.S. JB. from Saint Vincent de Paul Parish, in Stirling, spoke to third and fourth graders about the importance of vocations, noting that such a calling is not limited to priests or nuns, but anyone.
The week also included a series of dress down days and other special activities, including a concert featuring children’s musician Ray Andersen, a presentation on electricity and gas by the Liberty Science Center, and lunchtime treats.