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Plum school prepares for Catholic Schools Week activities

Lillian DeDomenic | For The Plum Advance Leader - Lori Lorenzi, a member of the LifeFlight crew, answers questions about the helicopter from fourth graders at St. John's Catholic School. The West Penn Allegheny Health System LifeFlight helicopter was part of the Catholic Schools Week program at St. John's last week.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>  Lillian DeDomenic | For The Plum Advance Leader </em></div>Lori Lorenzi, a member of the LifeFlight crew, answers questions about the helicopter from fourth graders at St. John's Catholic School.  The West Penn Allegheny Health System LifeFlight helicopter was part of the Catholic Schools Week program at St. John's last week.
Lillian DeDomenic | For The Plum Advance Leader - Alex Pampena, a fourth grader at St. John's Catholic School is curious about the West Penn Allegheny Health System LifeFlight helicopter. It was part of the Catholic Schools Week program at St. John's last week.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>  Lillian DeDomenic | For The Plum Advance Leader </em></div>Alex Pampena, a fourth grader at St. John's Catholic School is curious about the West Penn Allegheny Health System LifeFlight helicopter. It was part of the Catholic Schools Week program at St. John's last week.
Lillian DeDomenic | For The Plum Advance Leader - Flight nurse Michael Gillespie, RN, explains some of the equipment used on board LifeFlight to Melena Zabata and Lila Scheer, fifth graders. The West Penn Allegheny Health System helicopter was on exhibit at St. John's Catholic School last week as part of Catholic Schools Week.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>  Lillian DeDomenic | For The Plum Advance Leader</em></div>Flight nurse Michael Gillespie, RN, explains some of the equipment used on board LifeFlight to Melena Zabata and Lila Scheer, fifth graders.  The West Penn Allegheny Health System helicopter was on exhibit at St. John's Catholic School last week as part of Catholic Schools Week.
Lillian DeDomenic | For The Plum Advance Leader - Emily Houston and Alyssa Monroe learn how to test DNA. The eighth graders participated in the University of Pittsburgh mobile lab presentation, part of St. John's Catholic School Week program.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>  Lillian DeDomenic | For The Plum Advance Leader</em></div>Emily Houston and Alyssa Monroe  learn how to test DNA.  The eighth graders participated in the University of Pittsburgh mobile lab presentation,  part of St. John's Catholic School Week program.
Lillian DeDomenic | For The Plum Advance Leader - Wearing their 'crazy hats' and reading a favorite book are Maria Goldstein, Gracie Dopico, Christian Zavacky and Emma Dunn. They are students in Maria LiLonardo's first grade class. Crazy Hay Day was just one of the activities student's at St. John's Catholic School participated in last week.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>    Lillian DeDomenic | For The Plum Advance Leader</em></div>Wearing their 'crazy hats' and reading a favorite book are Maria Goldstein, Gracie Dopico, Christian Zavacky and Emma Dunn.  They are students in Maria LiLonardo's first grade class.  Crazy Hay Day was just one of the activities student's at St. John's Catholic School participated in last week.
Lillian DeDomenic | For the Plum Advance Leader - One of the special days of Catholic Schools Week at St. John's Catholic School is electronics day. Chris Calabrese and Brandon Regan are hard at work on their favorite device.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>  Lillian DeDomenic | For the Plum Advance Leader</em></div>One of the special days of Catholic Schools Week at St. John's Catholic School is electronics day.  Chris Calabrese and Brandon Regan are hard at work on their favorite device.
Lillian DeDomenic | For The Plum Advance Leader - Anna McShea and Isabella DeFilippo browse the books at the Scholastic Bookfair at St. John's Catholic School laast week during Catholic Schools Week.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>  Lillian DeDomenic | For The Plum Advance Leader</em></div>Anna McShea and Isabella DeFilippo browse the books at the Scholastic Bookfair at St. John's Catholic School laast week during Catholic Schools Week.

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Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, 9:01 p.m.
 

Ashley Mariuzza views Catholic Schools Week in a couple of ways.

“It is so much fun, and you learn how to appreciate the privilege of going to Catholic school,” said Ashley, 14, an eighth-grader at St. John the Baptist Catholic School in Plum.

Students and staff at St. John are getting ready for Catholic Schools Week from Jan. 26 to Feb. 1.

The school has 220 students in preschool through the eighth grade.

The week includes both educational and fun activities.

The theme for National Catholic Schools Week is: “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.”

Principal Theresa Szmed said St. John staff and students live the theme each day.

“We are a community of faith, and the entire curriculum is built around including faith and values into every instructional area,” Szmed said.

For example, a lesson in poetry incorporates values, Szmed said.

Szmed said service also is a consideration each day.

Students have opportunities to perform acts of service within the walls of St. John, as well as in the community, she said.

“Students help teach in the preschool, work on fundraisers, volunteer at festivals in the community and work in people's yards,” Szmed said.

Szmed said the activities for Catholic Schools Week are structured to be both educational and entertaining.

“It's fun for the kids and instructional,” she said.

The scheduled activities include things ranging from a lesson in the Pitt Mobile Lab to a presentation by Joe Wos, a cartoonist and storyteller.

The week also includes activities outside the school.

Seventh- and eighth-graders will go on a ski trip. Sixth-graders will go bowling.

Catholic Schools Week coincides with National School Choice Week. Szmed said the two concepts are perfect as celebrated together.

“The Catholic school system is choice,” Szmed said.

Nicolas Schneiderlochner, 11, a fifth-grader, said the activities during Catholic Schools Week help students kick back a bit before standardized testing is conducted in the spring.

“It's a fun time for students to relax a little before the Terra Nova (testing),” said Nicolas, of Plum.

Maria Goldstein, 8, a second-grader, looks forward to bringing her favorite electronic item during Catholic Schools Week.

“I brought my iPad and (Nintendo) DS” last year,” Goldstein said.

Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8753, or kzapf@tribweb.com.

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