QUINCY — A pancake. A shark. A plane.
Guesses came quickly when St. Peter’s freshman Gunnar Lair waved the pen during a Pictionary game with his classmates.
“You got it. It’s a plane,” teacher Lori Bertram said. “Good job, first grade.”
A short break from play during the reading workshop provided students with a way to celebrate Catholic Schools Week – and a way for Bertram to keep students on task.
“Remember that you want to be in the next game, so you have to work quietly,” Bertram said.
Special activities at Quincy’s four Catholic elementary schools and Notre Dame de Quincy High School – including Pajama Day and Incompatibility Day at St. Peter’s – add to the fun of the week, which ends with the Saturday evening friends of Catholic education dinner in honor of the Franciscan friars.
First-grader Caroline Reis said the week’s activities are fun and the week is important “because we celebrate the Catholic schools that we all have,” classmate Rory O’Donnell said.
“It’s very important to recognize that what we have here is special,” said St. Peter’s manager Cindy Venvertloh. “We try to do something special so that they recognize that it is a good thing to be part of a Catholic school.”
St. Peter’s activities focus on the theme of “kindness is the key to life,” while St. Dominic’s activities continue the school’s year-round emphasis on discipleship.
“Catholic Schools Week is a great opportunity for our students to celebrate their school, their family, their community,” said Principal Carol Frericks. “Our students have planned this week to take the time to appreciate their Catholic education, to take the time to thank their parents and their parish for the opportunity to go to Catholic schools.”
The week also emphasizes community service, with students from both schools participating in the Souper Bowl of Caring.
“We bring non-perishable food items to school and donate them to Catholic charities,” Frericks said.
St. Peter’s classrooms face off, competing to see which can bring in the most donations to win a week without a dress code.
“Last year we collected 7,000 items,” Venvertloh said. “It’s awesome.”
Back in Bertram’s room, the students alternate class work and games.
“It’s important to take a break from our schoolwork, from our reading, writing and math, to celebrate what a gift our Catholic school is,” Bertram said.
“It’s a place where we can pray, share our faith and learn more about God.”
Across the hall, students from Cheryl Sowell’s class, freshmen Ben Mellon and Gracie Weisenberger played phonetic tic-tac-toe.
They practiced saying words with a long “a” sound, using them in a sentence, and trying to get the right move in the game.
Playing the game was “fun,” Gracie said.
“We have to dress silly,” Ben said. “I wore this to be silly.”