Students Celebrate National Catholic Schools Week Through ‘Actions, Not Words’

Oak Knoll’s coeducational pre-K to grade 6 Lower School didn’t let the major snowstorm earlier this week deter their efforts to celebrate its Catholic education during the 47th annual national celebration of Catholic Schools Week.

Modeling events after Oak Knoll School Founder, Cornelia Connelly’s mantra, “Actions, not words,” the Lower School celebrated their Catholic education through many different COVID-friendly activities, focusing on prayer, service and fun.

“This year, more than ever, it is important to have opportunities to celebrate as a community our values and ideals as a Holy Child School during Catholic School Week,” said Leslie Smith, Grade 6 level leader, social studies teacher, and coordinator of the Catholic Schools Week activities.

Despite the shortened school week due to snow, the Lower School was still able to celebrate Catholic Schools Week.

On Wednesday, students returned to the classroom sporting new fashion including crazy hair and socks, while writing thank you cards to parents.

On Thursday, they held a, “How many candies are in each jar?” guessing game. The winner took home the jar of candy and all students received a bag of hot chocolate Hershey kisses.

On Friday, the fourth grade class representatives ran a special prayer service over the Lower school intercom while each homeroom dressed up according to their theme day (sports, beach, animals, etc.) while enjoyed a movie party with candy and popcorn.

Christine Spies, Lower School Division Head, also donated basket raffle items including wrapped candy gifts, stuffed animals and various arts and crafts. Teachers were able to hand out tickets to their students this past week as incentives to enter.

The Lower School also celebrated one of Oak Knoll School’s core values of service as the Student Council began a basket collection of goods to benefit the St. Vincent de Paul food pantry at St. Mary’s Church in Middletown, NJ. Students also crafted cards for seniors at living in the assisted living facility at Sunrise Senior Living in Mountainside, NJ.

“We celebrate Catholic Schools Week because it is important for kids to have some fun, all while celebrating our faith,” said Lila Anderson ’27, Lower School Student Council president. “For our younger students, it reminds them to celebrate what OKS stands for, ‘faith, wisdom, and service.'”