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On Tuesday, January 31, Villa Maria Academy Lower School students celebrated the theme of Service for National Catholic Schools Week.
January 31 has been designated as the ‘Service’ day of Catholic Schools Week at Villa Maria Academy. Villa teachers came up with a service project this year that was both fun and timely and is close to home for their students. The project was for prayer partners to create a gift box full of items for the IHM Sisters at Camilla Hall and Villa Maria House of Studies. The Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary are proud supporters of Villa Maria Academy. “We think this was a fun hands-on service project!” said Barb Long, First Grade Teacher at Villa. “Plus the girls were able to spend time with their prayer partners.”
On this day students worked with their prayer partners to decorate a shoe box. Students used wrapping paper, scrapbook paper, construction paper and anything else to make the box look beautiful. During their time together, the girls were given a list of items needed for the Sisters to be brought in and placed in the box. Each prayer partner will be required to bring in a certain number of items for the box such as soaps, lotions, toothbrushes, toothpaste and other various toiletries. Each girl is also encouraged to choose one “fun” item to place in her Valentine gift box such as a deck of cards, a crossword puzzle, a journal or note cards. Once their items have been purchased, the prayer partners will meet one more time to place the items in the box and make a Valentine’s Day card for a Sister.
The Prayer Partners Program is a tradition at Villa Maria Academy that pairs older students with younger children. Students in grades 5 to 8 each have a Prayer Partner in 1-4 grade. This program provides older students the opportunity to gain responsibility while keeping them connected to the younger grades. It also provides the younger students the opportunity to develop a special relationship with an older student who can serve as a role model and friend. Prayer partners, conduct activities including reading together in the classroom, projects and celebrating various holiday activities together.