Sacred Heart Catholic School is in the second year of a three-year program called Virtues in Practice, which emphasizes faith, hope and love in successive years.
This year is about hope.
According to Angela Larkin, counselor at the school, Sacred Heart plans to repeat the program every three years; which, along with the yearly theme, concentrates on a different virtue each month.
To start the school year off, the first virtue was also the year’s theme -- hope.
“It really has a parent component to it, with monthly projects that can be incorporated at home as well as cross curriculum, where all the teachers can incorporate it into the lesson,” said Larkin about the program.
Larkin said that the teachers had really embraced the program, sending home reminders and bookmarks.
“We talk about these terms -- faith, hope, love -- but they can be terms that are hard to interpret. We think we know them, but we also need to know how to practice them, to show others our love for Christ,” Larkin said.
This year, along with the curriculum in the classroom and the project ideas sent home, Sacred Heart expanded the virtues program to recognize students that demonstrate the virtues. The recognition will be monthly, to go along with the monthly emphasis.
For September, students were recognized for how they had demonstrated hope in a school assembly.
One child was selected because she had been praying for her mother, who has cancer. Another child was chosen for her actions after not having the best start to her first year of school -- she was unhappy every morning about leaving her mother. The little girl decided to pray and ask God to help her get adjusted.
Another student helped others in class, while an older student was selected for his help during the school’s fall festival planning and his hope for the community.
Larkin said that the teachers chose the awards based on their experiences or essays that the children were asked to write.
“Kids are so honest, it is hard to explain hope and then we see it so clearly, with a child who is praying to God and isn’t worrying anymore because they have turned things over to God.
The children were applauded at the assembly by their peers and by the staff at Sacred Heart, and all look forward to working on next month’s virtue -- studiousness.
“It’s about having God moments, moments when you know that God is working in your life,” Larkin said.
Alline Kent can be reached at 396-2467 or email@example.com.