Here are five ideas for celebrating our nation during Catholic Schools Week. While the NCEA (National Catholic Education Association) website has many great ideas for the other days of the week themes, this one seemed to be mostly about writing to representatives and fundraising, which are good and important things, but are not the way we’ve ever really celebrated this theme at our school. We tend to do more ways that our students can celebrate our nation.
1. Wear red, white and blue to school.
Our students love any chance to be out of uniform. For this day, an easy way to increase student buy-in is to let them dress patriotically. Some years we have also added camouflage to the list to celebrate those who serve our nation.
2. Do a project to support military families.
There are many easy ways to support military families, but two we have tried so far are to write Valentines to soldiers (the timing of Catholic Schools Week works well for this), and also creating care packages for people recovering at local veterans hospitals and their families too.
3. Have a formal flag salute.
Sometimes we’ve gathered at the outside flag pole and saluted the flag together and sung the national anthem, and in years where the weather made that extremely unpleasant we’ve had a small assembly in the gym. It’s great if there are students involved with scouts at your school, because most troops have a color guard ceremony that the students can lead the school in.
4. Catholic Wall of Fame
Make posters of Catholics who have positively impacted our nation’s history. Some ideas could include: Elizabeth Anne Seton, Dorothy Day etc. or you could go the pop culture route with Stephen Colbert, Mark Wahlberg etc.
5. Celebrate alumni serving their country
Instead of famous Catholics, your wall could celebrate alumni from your school serving in the military, Americorps or other service organizations. If you can, it would be great to get a quote from alumni about how their time at your school prepared them for the current service.
Have more ideas? I would love to hear from you! Share in the comments!