Catholic schools prepare for open houses, activities in La Grange, Westchester
Eighth-grader Joe Vlcek of La Grange listens to some questions posed by alumnus Kevin Hoffman of LaGrange Park, a Lyons Township High School student working on his AP psychology project. | Jon Langham~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 25, 2013 1:19AM
LA GRANGE — Catholic Schools Week is a chance to shine for parishes in La Grange and Westchester.
Most are kicking off the week Jan. 27 through Feb. 2 with a Mass and open house showcasing academic programs, artistic endeavors, volunteer efforts and a myriad of student activities.
“We’re trying to highlight things we’re doing for prospective parents in the community, parishioners who support the school and our current families,” said Michelle Smith, director of development at St. Francis Xavier School in La Grange.
At a fair in the school gym Jan. 27, visitors will be able to talk with students, teachers and parent volunteers for each grade and for specialized efforts like the art program in which students interpret a work by a famous artist and expand on it in a different medium.
Students also are preparing to walk backward and lead tours of the main campus at Waiola and Ogden avenues and the nearby facility for preschool through first grade in a building at Catherine and Bell avenues.
On the south side of town, St. Cletus School has planned a full schedule following an open house Jan. 27 with themed activities each day. Families plan to appreciate teachers with a special luncheon Jan. 29, followed by a student appreciation day Jan. 31 where children can wear pajamas to school, watch a favorite movie and take a break from homework.
The week culminates with volleyball contests between classrooms Feb. 1 and the Erin Potts Tournament in memory of the St. Cletus graduate and volleyball star, who lost a three-year battle with bone cancer in 2009.
In LaGrange Park, St. Louise de Marillac School will host three open houses to acquaint prospective families with school offerings on Jan. 27, 29 and 30.
To illustrate this year’s theme how Catholic Schools Raise the Standard, students will tackle several service projects, a coat drive, activities at a retirement center and a school and global effort to be determined, said Principal Kelly Zawisza.
“Service teaches kids to help those who are either in need of things or who could use a little boosting up,” Zawisza said.
In addition to showcasing school offerings at an open house, Divine Infant School’s week of activities holds treats for students. Students will see “The Mousetrap Machine Show” at an assembly Jan. 29, and wear casual clothes with crazy socks and hats to enjoy bingo and an ice cream social the next day.
Divine Providence Catholic School in Westchester will host a musical assembly, book fair and relay games as part of the week’s activities and has invited grandparents to celebrate with students Jan. 31.