Although icy weather caused a two-hour delay Monday morning, students at St. John Regional Catholic School in Frederick still participated in day-of-service projects.
The projects, part of national Catholic Schools Week, were chosen by the eight parishes the school serves, said Sheila Evers, the director of development and marketing for the school.
The school — located on the north side of Frederick, with 584 students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade — participates in the week each year through a variety of events, including the service day, a student appreciation day and spirit nights.
“This year, we went and reached out to our eight parishes — one representative to each one of those churches,” Evers said. “We grouped the tasks age appropriately and deliver what needs to be delivered to representatives on Friday.”
In addition to the day of service, Monday was also silly tie and sock day, Evers said, so the halls of St. John were filled with vibrant colors among the uniformed students.
Students in pre-kindergarten through the eighth grade each participated in projects, such as collecting school supplies, food or diapers as well as a hands-on activity, such as making rose pens by attaching an imitation rose to a pen for retired nuns at St. Catherine’s Nursing Center in Emmitsburg.
Fifth-grade religion teacher Cheryl Churilla’s class was hard at work Monday morning making the rose pens, which would be given to the nuns, along with a rosary representing all of the continents of the world and some homemade baked goods.
She said she enjoyed watching the students participate in the event and help make such a nice gesture for the retired nuns.
“It makes me feel good to see them (helping out),” Churilla said. “We’re trying to teach the kids that it’s nice to do something like this for people who’ve dedicated their life to the church.”
The students were enjoying the activity, too. Kevin Cottrell, 11, said he enjoys the annual service project in his classes.
“It feels good to help in different ways,” Kevin said. “I love helping people that maybe need a little more help.”
Classmate Chris Weaver, 10, agreed.
“If you know they’re in need, and you can help, it makes you feel good — almost jumpy,” Weaver said, laughing and bouncing in his seat for emphasis.
Classmates Isabella Nartker, 11, and Bridget Scherer, 10, both said they liked how happy it made them to help out the retired nuns.
“It makes you happy to help those around you,” Isabella said.
Meanwhile, eighth-grade classes were participating in the Holy Family Parish Backpack program, which will donate backpacks with food for weekend meals for Frederick County Public School students who qualify for free and reduced-price lunches.
Students helped collect pudding cups and other foods for the backpacks and spent part of their class time Monday making prayer cards to be included with the food and backpack.
The students wrote a prayer on the foam cards and foam crosses and then decorated them before including them in the backpacks.
Angel Haller, 13, said she loves the annual service project and likes knowing it has an effect on the recipients.
“I like the variety,” Angel said. “We’re not just helping people close by, we’re making people happy somewhere. We don’t know who they are, but we know they’re out there.”