I hope this email finds you well! Students have been very busy lately. I have been doing formal teacher observations and loving spending 45 minutes in each class. The children are very engaged and active participants in the learning process. The rapport between students and teachers is very nice to observe. Children are taking a more active role in the learning process than in our day. I noticed a unique model of a cross in the back of Mr. Limmina’s room. It was created using math manipulatives, and he has no idea who created it. It started as a small block and then piece after piece was added to create the cross you see. Only in a Catholic school!
The classrooms are bright, welcoming, and organized. The children are interacting with technology and teaching lessons of their own on the SMART Board. A variety of assessments are being offered, in addition to the typical book test provided at the end of the chapter. The use of iPads is increasing steadily in middle school. I have to give a special thank you to our ever-supportive Home and School Board. They have approved the purchase of additional iPads at their expense. I hope you are able to join them for their annual Technology Beef and Beer next weekend.
During the month of March our new Parable is the Parable of the Rich Fool (Luke 12:16-21). It is a story that can easily apply to most of our lives, when simplicity is not our goal. We are a society always in search of more. We are often not satisfied with the numerous blessings we have. We yearn for more: more money, a better car, a larger house, a more prestigious job, and more recognition for our good works and deeds. Surprisingly, once we get that new car, bigger house, and better job, we almost instantly are not impressed anymore. These new things lose their appeal and are simply not enough for our satisfaction. Our students also often feel like they don’t have “enough.” I think they will be able to identify with this parable. In it, Jesus describes the Rich Fool like we could describe ourselves most days. He had a barn that was full of grain. We can imagine that as the barn was overflowing with grain, he still was not satisfied. He had fertile land and a marvelous harvest so abundant that it required several barns. However, he did not show mercy on those around him and share this wealth with his neighbors. He basically hoarded his wealth for himself to be sure he would live a long and prosperous life. He was selfish and ultimately did not live a life long enough to enjoy even half of his hoardings. We are asked to reflect on how that story could have been much different. Imagine the satisfaction he may have felt had he opened his farm and welcomed friends to enjoy his delicious harvest – a Thanksgiving of sorts. During Lent, we draw the attention of our children to the Missions and to sharing even the smallest change from their piggy-banks with others. This weekend we celebrate your children’s generosity throughout the year, as our school is recognized at St. Helena’s for your generous contributions to the Missions. I am so proud of our children! As adults, we also tend to be more generous during Lent. It is a great feeling to share our “wealth” with others, whether our abundance refers to our time, talent, or treasure.
The Easter Solemnity is rapidly approaching. This is a 50 day festival of our Christian faith that begins with the days of the Paschal Triduum. The Triduum is the absolute highlight of the Church year. I will give more details in our next communication, but please take the time to read Father Nick’s “Easter Message- 2016.” It was mailed to parishioners, and I will happily make it available to all parents. Father reminds us that “Supporting one’s parish has always been a tangible way of participating in the spiritual benefits of its mission.”
I most recently attended our Senior Boys basketball tournament. For those of you who do not know about this team, it is comprised of high school students who still wish to maintain a connection with their grade school. This particular team had several high school seniors playing. This group of gentlemen was one of the most ornery to come through St. Anthony’s five years ago and one of my favorites because of their honesty and loyalty to each other over their nine years together. To see them play in our “Tiger” uniforms at Fournier for the last time before moving onto college was very emotional for them and me. I was thrilled to hear that most of them would be staying close to home, attending the University of Delaware and Penn State. I love that we have quite a large and mighty St. Anthony contingency at UD. We hope to keep our students involved long after they graduate through sports, the Italian Festival, altar serving, Via Crucis, school visits, and much more. I hope that you know your students are genuinely loved when they walk through our front doors and that they remain in our hearts forever.
Terra Nova – Next week, March 7th – March 11th, is testing week for our school. Please make sure your child gets to school on time because testing starts right away in the morning. Students should bring in extra number 2 pencils, an eraser, a water bottle, and healthy snack to help them during the day.
8th Grade Pasta Dinner– On Friday, March 4th, the 8th Grade class will host a Pasta Dinner in the Ballad Room from5:00 – 8:30 P.M. to raise money for their class trip to New York City. The cost is $10 for adults/$5 for children, and includes pasta with sauce/gravy, salad, beverages, bread, and dessert. Tickets may be purchased in advance by contacting Shari Muzzi (email@example.com) or Susan Schneese (firstname.lastname@example.org). A limited number of tickets will be available at the door. Grazie per il vostro sostegno! (Thank you for your support!)
Congratulations to Luke Burdett and Madison Rieger for being selected to represent our students on the first ever YAC Student Advisory Board! I look forward to hearing all of the details from YAC President Pam Everman. She keeps me informed on a regular basis and tells me many stories of good sportsmanship and great character exhibited by our students. I have been unable to attend most athletic events this year other than a few basketball games. I am always proud of our young men and women and how they handle themselves in confrontations.
Congratulations to the following students who qualified for the Knights of Columbus Free Throw Finals at St. Peter’s New Castle gym on Sunday, March 13th at 1: 00 P.M. Zachary Brelick (9 year old co-winner), Christian Butler (9 year old co-winner), Collin Trzepacz (10 year old winner), Michael Brelick (11 year old winner), Luke Swift (12 year old winner), and Daniel Piergalline (13 year old winner). Way to go, boys!
Thank you to Mrs. Orensky for conducting the competition during her physical education classes!
Congratulations to our February Franciscan Spirituality Award Winners! The virtue for February was mercy. Congratulations to Dominic Arters (PreK 3), Raphael Arias (PreK 4), Chase Williard (K), Patrick Martino (1st), Kiera Martino (2nd), Ayden Hoggard (3rd), Julian Arters (4th), Kyle Reynolds (5th), Leah Rizzo (6th), Paige Johnson (7th), and Luke Schneese (8th).
Scholastic Book Fair – The Scholastic Book Fair will start on March 15th in the Ballad Room and will conclude with the Parish-wide Easter Egg Hunt and Social which will be held on Palm Sunday, March 20th. Students will come down at a scheduled time with their class for shopping. If you would like to volunteer to help at the book fair during the school day, please contact Shari Muzzi at email@example.com. Volunteer times are flexible.
NEEDED: Host Families for our Italian visitors in May! – Please consider hosting a teacher or a parent and child from Italy! This is a wonderful cultural opportunity for your child/children. If you host a family this May, you will be able to visit Italy next year and stay free for 7-10 days in one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen, Olevano, Italy. I cannot say enough about the kindness and hospitality of my Italian hosts and the many hosts of the past. They outdo us every year. You are treated like royalty there and are made to feel like a part of the family and small town of Olevano. When hosting a family here, you and your children are invited to join them for their many exciting activities, ranging from trips to New York City and Philadelphia, to local government offices and gardens. The bonds of friendship span generations. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested or have any questions. Grazie!
Dine at Red Robin and Help St. Anthony’s – Red Robin has a program called “Burgers for Better Schools”. Every time you eat at Red Robin and provide your card, our school can earn money. You can sign up at the restaurant or online atwww.redrobin.com/betterschools
for their royalty card. You will also earn rewards and coupons for your family. If you eat at Red Robin, please consider signing up. Thank you for your support!
Dine out for St. Anthony’s – We are having a school restaurant day on Wednesday, March 16th at Café Napoli and Cantina di Napoli. Flyers will be sent home on Monday, March 14th. Café Napoli is located on Kirkwood Highway in the Kohl’s shopping center. The phone number is 302-999-7553. Cantina di Napoli is located in Trolley Square. The phone number is 302-777-3300. This event lasts all day and is good for dining in at the restaurant or for take-out. Please mention St. Anthony School with your order and our school will receive a portion of the proceeds. Come out and enjoy a delicious meal and support our school. We hope to see you there!
Evening of Sacred Music – On Thursday, April 14th, the Antonians will be participating in the Diocesan Evening of Sacred Music. This event will be held at St. Elizabeth’s Church beginning at 7:00 P.M. Elementary school choirs from around the Diocese will be performing sacred hymns and songs. Please join us for this lovely event.
Home and School Association/YAC News
Home and School Soft Pretzel Day Fundraiser – On Wednesday, March 16th, Home and School is offering a mid-morning snack for all students from Philly Soft Pretzel Factory. Order forms will be going home shortly. The cost is $1.00 per pretzel for a fresh, warm soft pretzel to be delivered to your student on Wednesday, March 16th for them to enjoy during their snack. All orders are due, with payment, by Friday, March 11th. If you choose not to order a pretzel for your student, please don’t forget to pack them a snack that day.
Technology Beef ‘n’ Beer – On Saturday, March 12th, from 7:00 P.M. to midnight (doors open at 6:30 P.M.) in the Ballad Room, St. Anthony’s Home and School Association will be holding a Beef ‘n’ Beer to benefit St. Anthony of Padua Grade School for continued technology needs. This event will have a St. Patrick’s Day theme with light appetizers, a fabulous dinner, desserts, wine, beer and soda, as well as dancing to DJ Brian Lee, unique and fun raffle prizes, elimination board, and much more. Tickets are on sale now for $30.00 per person. All ticket sales are final, there will be no refunds. To purchase tickets, please contact Carole Trzepacz at email@example.com or purchase directly online at http://mkt.com/st-anthony-of-padua-church-grade-school-home-and-school-board/beef-beer-ticket
. Please join us for an evening of good food and good fun!
Designer Bag Bingo – Sunday, April 3rd at 2:30 P.M. (doors open at 1:30 P.M.) in the St. Anthony of Padua Grade School Gym, the Home and School Association will be hosting Designer Bag Bingo. Tickets are $25 for a packet of 20 cards for 20 Bingo Games. Price also includes one raffle ticket for the chance to win a Coach quilted chain tote and wristlet. Food and drink will be available for purchase. All proceeds benefit St. Anthony of Padua Grade School. All ticket sales are final, and there will be no refunds. For additional information or to reserve tickets, please contact Christina Ceresini at (302) 893-3428 or firstname.lastname@example.org . You can also purchase directly online at http://mkt.com/st-anthony-of-padua-church-grade-school-home-and-school-board/home-school-designer-bag-bingo-ticket
. Please note, no one under 18 will be permitted. Please join us for an afternoon of Bingo fun and the chance to win some fabulous designer handbags, wristlets, wallets, and totes!
Parish Easter Egg Hunt 2016 – St. Anthony’s Parish & Family Life Committee is sponsoring the annual Easter Egg Hunt, which will be held on Palm Sunday, March 20th, in the Grade School following the 11:00 A.M. Mass. All participants & their families are invited to attend 11:00 A.M. Mass and bring their Easter Baskets to Mass where they will be blessed. The participants will gather in the Ballad Room. The Hunt will feature categories for children up to age 2, children ages 3-5, and children ages 6-10. Donuts/pastries, tomato pies, coffee, and juice will be available for all participants and their families, as well as others who wish to attend to enjoy refreshments. The annual Scholastic Book Sale benefitting the Grade School library will be open during the event. A perfect place to pick up an Easter gift that will also help our school! Please RSVP with number of children, children’s names and ages, and a contact phone number or e-mail to Anthony Albence via e-mail to email@example.com or via phone to (302) 983-3200 by Thursday, March 17th. (Please leave voicemail with information if no answer.)
Business Office News
VISION FOR THE FUTURE EDUCATION FUND 2016-2017 Tuition Assistance – Reminder, the deadline for applying for the diocesan tuition assistance through FACTS is March 7, 2016. FACTS must receive the application and required documentation on or before March 7th. Late or incomplete applications cannot be considered.
Tax Statements Available Through FACTs –Families using the FACTs program can quickly and easily create a payment summary of their account. This is especially helpful to our Preschool families. By simply clicking “View Printable Payments Summary” on the Payments tab, you can retrieve and print a summary of payments for the 2015 year or any other specified timeframe. Each payment summary contains the date range, family name, subaccounts, and the school’s Federal Tax ID number.
Transportation Refund – We have received notification from the State of Delaware that our transportation refund this year will be $77.81 for each family who completed the Transportation Form at the start of this school year. To process the reimbursement in a more efficient manner again this year, we will apply the funds to the final tuition payment for the 2015-2016 school year rather than processing individual checks. If you are a family on Tuition Plan A or B, a check will be issued to you over the summer. Plan A and B families, if you would like to have your reimbursement credited to your 2016-2017 school tuition, please contact Lisa Serio at 421-3707 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upcoming Important Dates
- March 4th – End of Trimester 2
- Stations of the Cross – Church – 2:00 P.M.
- 8th Grade Pasta Dinner – Ballad Room – 5:00 – 8:30 P.M.
- March 7th – March 11th – Terra Nova Testing
- March 9th – YAC Meeting – Ballad Room – 6:00 P.M.
- Home and School Meeting – Ballad Room – 6:30 P.M.
- March 11th – Stations of the Cross – Church – 2:00 P.M.
- March 12th – Home and School Beef and Beer – Ballad Room – 6:30 P.M.
- 7th Grade Placement Test – Padua Academy – 8:30 -11:30 A.M.
- March 13th – 7th Grade Placement Test – Padua Academy – 1:00 – 4:00 P.M.
- March 14th – Student Council – Preschool Room – 3:00 – 3:30 P.M.
- First Eucharist Meeting – Ballad Room – 6:15 P.M.
- March 15th -18th – Scholastic Book Fair – Ballad Room
- March 15th – Reconciliation – 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade – Church – 9:30 A.M.
- March 16th – Reconciliation – 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th Grade – Church – 9:30 A.M.
- Report Cards sent home
- St. Anthony’s Night at Café Napoli/Cantina di Napoli
- March 17th – Rocky Reading Challenge/Rocky Bullwinkle Visit – Ballad Room – 1:30 – 2:30 P.M.
- 5th Grade Field Trip – Franklin Institute – 8:30 A.M. – 2:15 P.M.
- March 18th – Stations of the Cross – Church – 2:00 P.M.
- March 19th – CYM Pilgrimage – 10:00 A.M. – 3:00 P.M.
- March 20th – Parish Easter Egg Hunt – After 11:00 A.M. Mass
- Book Fair – Ballad Room
- March 21st – Student Council Meeting – Preschool Room – 3:00 – 3:30 P.M.
- March 22nd – Trimester 2 Honors Assembly – Gym – 1:30 P.M.
- March 24th – April 3rd –School Closed – Easter Vacation
- April 3rd – Parish Social – Ballad Room – After 9:00 A.M. and 11:00 A.M. Masses
- Home and School Designer Bag Bingo – Gym – Doors open at 1:30 P.M.
- April 4th – Student Council Meeting – Pre-School Room – 3:00 – 3:30 P.M.
- Confirmation Registration Meeting – 6:15 P.M.
- April 7th – Door of Hope Presentations – 7th and 8th Grade
- April 9th – 7th Grade Placement Test – St. Elizabeth’s – 8:30 A.M. – 12:00 P.M.
- April 10th – Home and School Designer Bag Bingo – Gym – Doors open at 1:00 P.M.
- April 11th – Student Council Meeting – Pre-School Room – 3:00 – 3:30 P.M.
- Confirmation Registration Meeting – 6:15 P.M.
- April 12th – 1st Grade Field Trip – Hagley Museum
- April 13th – YAC Meeting – Ballad Room – 6:00 P.M.
- April 14th – Evening of Sacred Music – St. Elizabeth’s Church – 7:00 P.M.
- Community Builders – Gym – 10:00 A.M.
- Kindergarten Field Trip – Winterthur
- April 18th – Student Council Meeting – Pre-School Room – 3:00 – 3:30 P.M.
- April 20th – Noon Dismissal – Professional Development
- April 21st – Panera Bread Spirit Night
- April 24th – April 27th – Middle States Visit
- April 30th – Home and School Spring Fling
A few reminders
Tobacco-Free Campus – Please remember that our entire campus (including Fournier Hall gymnasium) is a Tobacco- Free campus. Please refrain from smoking/chewing tobacco on school/parish property. If you are volunteering to work at an event or school activity and have signed the volunteer covenant, you have agreed to honor this policy.
Parking at Drop-Off and Pick-Up – As most of you know, safety is my top priority! I have been blessed this year by not having to observe too many morning drop-offs. Please remember to pull forward, drop off, and then proceed with caution into approaching traffic. The front of school is a no parking area in the morning (and technically, all day). Please remember that the other side of the street is clearly marked as a DART Bus zone. Do not park on the opposite side of the street. This makes it extremely difficult for city buses to pass and it creates a visibility/safety issue when children and parents are crossing the street. Please use the large parking lot we have available. After school, the first parents to arrive are welcome to park (and remain with their cars) on the school side of the street. If you will be leaving your car or remaining after dismissal for any reason, please be courteous and use the parking lot. At no time should anyone park on the city sidewalk. We have been working hard to maintain the sidewalks. Furio Casale has done a beautiful job fixing uneven bricks and concrete. Please do not park on them.
Please remember you are always welcome to join us on Fridays for Mass at 8:00 A.M., Stations of the Cross at 2:00 P.M., and/or Via Crucis at 7:00 P.M. These all take place in our beautiful church.
“The world tells us to seek success, power, and money; God tells us to seek humility, service, and love.” ~ Pope Francis