“Catholic Schools: Faith. Excellence. Service” was the national theme of Catholic Schools Week this year, and St. Joseph’s Indian School students tapped into the theme with reflection, antics and purpose. Beginning January 30, the school joined others across the country to focus on Catholic education’s value.
In addition, at St. Joseph’s, each weekday celebrated a different group to which students belong. Monday: Celebrating Your Community; Tuesday: Celebrating Your Students; Wednesday: Celebrating Your Nation or Tribe; Thursday: Celebrating Vocations — Priesthood, Religious and Married Life; and Friday: Celebrating St. Joseph’s Staff.
Along the national theme of “Faith,” a classroom activity directed students to reflect on challenging scenarios they may face within their daily lives through the perspective, “What would Jesus do? (WWJD)”
“This activity ought to put the question in students’ heads for weeks, even years, to come,” said Director of Mission Integration Joe Tyrell. “It provides scenarios that almost any child can find themselves in — peer-pressure, good-versus-wrong choices and reacting on-the-spot to life’s difficult situations.”
Eighth-grade students created mock Instagram profiles for the WWJD exercise, imagining what Jesus would post on his modern-day account.
“It was fun to think about what Jesus would post,” said student William Johnson. He speculated Jesus would include a shout-out to the angels in the biography section.
For “Excellence,” a broader campus activity involved an exercise reminiscent of Flat Stanley to simulate an imaginary visit from Pope Francis. Using the school’s life-size cardboard stand-up Pope Francis, the antics highlighted various places the Pontiff could visit to experience the excellent programs and services at St. Joseph’s and learn about the rich Lakota culture.
For “Service,” students wrote an essay about the personal gifts God gave them and how those gifts make them one-of-a-kind with purpose in the world.
Finally, the week capped off with St. Joseph’s Annual Food Drive. The 4th-6th grade community promoted the school’s mission of service by assisting with the St. James Catholic Church food pantry. Students collected boxes filled with donated food and personal items, which they delivered Friday, February 4.