Catholic Schools Week

This week our school, along with 6,684 other Catholic schools around the United States, celebrates the 40th anniversary of Catholic Schools Week.    The theme for this year, and really the model for our schools at all times, is Faith, Knowledge, Service.   All schools strive for knowledge, and I think most schools support service.  Catholic schools also teach about our faith.  So, in addition to learning to blog (knowledge) and organizing a middle school dance to support Water for South Sudan (service), we also go to Mass every week, take religion classes, and pray together daily.

To mark this occasion, let’s connect with some Catholic Schools!  Here is the link to another school named Epiphany.  It is in Miami.   There is also a  school named Epiphany in New York City.  You can visit these schools and write an email to a teacher letting them know something you found interesting about the school.  What do they do differently than we do?  What is similar?

St. John Vianney in Racine, Wisconsin, started this bulletin board on Padlet for schools to share their CSW activities.

Check out their board and see all the fun activities schools have planned for the week.  Some favorites of mine are: Pajama Day,  Spirit Day,  Twin Day,  and Color Day.  Visit the website of St. Raymond School in Joliet and write an email, or read one of the student blogs at St. John Vianney and leave a quality comment.

If you’d like, visit our blogging buddies in Mrs. Krebb’s class.  They attend a Catholic school in the Midwest.  Read one of their posts and leave a quality comment.

You can also leave a post-it note on our wall.  Sometimes we need little reminders about what’s good at school.  Leave a note on our wall as a pick-me-up for whenever we need it most.

How does your school promote knowledge, service, and perhaps faith?

Traveling to Nepal and climbing Everest

Photo Credit: Rupert Taylor-Price via Compfight cc
Mount Everest

People travel to wonder at the height of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars; and they pass by themselves without wondering.      ~St. Augustine

Hey kids!

Let’s travel.

Let’s wonder at the majesty of the mountains.

Let’s connect with some real people who live in Nepal or who are planning to climb Everest.  Through the magic of blogging, we can meet some students at the Maya Universe Academy Sagarmatha.  Located in the foothills of the Himalayas, this school serves 26 students.  The Maya Universe Academy runs three non-profit, community run campuses.  They are the first of their kind in Nepal.   According to their website, “In 2011, 90% of private school students were admitted to a secondary educational institution compared to 46% of public school students.”  The Maya Universe Schools began as a community endeavor to provide free, quality education to the rural Nepalese people.  Kids at these schools have lives similar to Sun-jo in our story, Peak.

We are also able to flatten our classroom walls and climb Everest with some mountaineers.  Visit Alan Arnette’s blog for a first hand account of everything Everest.  Mr. Arnette has climbed Everest four times as well as completed the Seven Summits.  His blog has tons of  information, videos, photos, and links to other Everest bloggers.  He can show you all his gear, break down the cost for climbing Everest, give you training tips, share some fun Everest facts for kids, and, most importantly,  relay his experiences climbing Mount Everest.  Mr. Arnette’s is the Everest of blogs!  You can spend hours climbing through his posts, reading and learning.

Today we will visit Nepal and climb Everest vicariously through blogging.  After you travel to the Maya Universe Academy and climb Sagarmatha, leave a note for the students and climbers you encounter.

People with goals can do incredible things, like open schools and climb mountains.

Like St. Augustine, let’s marvel at the people we meet and the people we are.

What did you learn by visiting  the Himalayas and Sagarmatha?





Roland Smith’s Peak

Roland Smith’s award-winning novel, Peak, lends itself to thought provoking discussion in multiple disciplines: philosophy, history, politics, religion, science, ethics, and education. As we read about the adventure of the protagonist, aptly named Peak, we will have opportunity to share our thoughts on these topics.
After just reading the back of the book, or watching the trailer below, I immediately questioned the ethics of not only allowing, but encouraging, a 14-year-old to climb Mount Everest, the Earth’s highest mountain. Stunningly, this feat was accomplished in real life by an American teenage mountaineer, Jordan Romero, on May 22, 2010.

Watch the trailer. Watch the National Geographic video.  Watch the interview with Jordan Romero.  Then decide…

Would you climb Mount Everest?

(Write a quality comment.  Yes or no is not enough.)

13-year-old attempts to summit Everest