November blessings to you during this time of giving thanks. Student learning is alive and well at Saint John Paul II Catholic Academy! New techniques for improving teaching are being used this year and students are eager to learn. Reading and Writing Coaches have been actively working with students, teachers, and principals. A new professional, volunteer tutoring program is in operation on all campuses. Both are new endeavors at SJPIICA. We are expecting great results in our academics this year and growth will be measured in the months ahead. Please continue to monitor at-home nightly assignments and encourage extra reading time in the evening. Let teachers or principals know if you need books for extra reading time at home and we will provide them. Our goal for all continues to be striving to be “the BEST that we can be.”
The drama program is in full swing! The popular “Lion King” is being prepared and will be presented this year. Students from all campuses are involved in this production, which is great. The High School Night at Lower Mills Campus was very well received and attended. Middle School students and parents had the opportunity to learn about many Catholic high schools in the Boston area as well as other high school options. Thank you to all who took advantage of this opportunity and to those who prepared it.
As you know during the past few years two of our buildings, Columbia and Neponset, have been renovated. Both schools are now “state of the art.” Plans are in process for renovations to begin at the Lower Mills school building during Christmas break. Details will be forthcoming for parents. We look forward to our “new look.” These renovations have been made possible through many generous financial gifts from our “donor friends” through the Campaign for Catholic Schools. We are most grateful to them. As we have been gifted by donors, we have been graced as an Academy to “gift others.”
It was necessary for us to provide storage space at the Regional Office for educational materials that will be coming from the Lower Mills renovation. In the meantime we learned from Fr. Stanley, who is doing spiritual development at Mattapan and Lower Mills campuses, of a great need for books, school supplies, and furniture in Haiti. We were able to donate our surplus materials for a school just being built in a poor, rural area in southern Haiti. Only 55% of the children in Haiti have the opportunity to attend school. At the end of October supplies from SJPIICA left on a cargo ship from Boston to Haiti. As we have been given, in a small way we have given to others. This is the discipleship of Jesus –people helping people! Campaign donors helping SJPIICA and SJPIICA helping children in Haiti to be able to attend school.
The Prayer of Saint Teresa beautifully expresses Jesus’ call to discipleship:
Christ has no body now, but ours.
No hands, no feet on earth, but ours.
Ours are the eyes through which
Christ looks compassion on this world.
Ours are the feet with which Christ walks to do good.
Ours are the hands with which Christ blesses the world.
Sister Ellen Powers, CSJ