The staff and students at Saint Rocco School last week celebrated what has been a terrific tradition since 1974.
Some folks said last week’s Catholic Schools Week included “excellent educational lessons” that ranged from celebrating the Johnston-based parochial school to honoring the community – and nation – as well as supporting the March for Life and Operation Stand Down.
The six-day schedule seemed to increase with excitement and enthusiasm each day until Friday’s fun-filled Dance Party inside famed Café Rocco, as well as bingo and charades for grades six to eight in their respective classrooms.
In the middle of Catholic School Week was Regina M. “Gina” Hand, who in her first year as Saint Rocco School principal so aptly put it: “As a school we are always trying to connect and support the community that we live in. In this way, we feel like we are truly living the mission of our school – Sharing the Love of the Heart of Jesus.”
Hand, who has had a long-time presence at Saint Rocco School before assuming her now impressive leadership role as principal, went on: “One day our students dressed down in their school colors and wrote their parents letters for their sacrifice of a Catholic education.”
Moreover, Hand said with a smile while praising the entire Saint Rocco School faculty and staff for their unwavering support: “Along with this, our students brought in canned goods to help with our year-long food drive and another day dressed down in patriotic colors and made cards for our local veterans at Operation Stand Down that is located right here in Johnston.”
Perhaps one of the week’s biggest and most meaningful events was what Hand called “our Baby Shower that coincides with the annual March for Life.”
Students again dressed down in colors of pink or blue and brought $1 to school as well important items such as diapers, wipes, formula, bottles and even baby clothes that were placed on the stage inside Café Rocco and kept increasing in numbers throughout last week.
Thus, Hand explained: “The monetary donations and all of the donated items are given to St. Gabriel’s Call a Diocese of Providence program that supports young mothers who choose life and are struggling.”
Students also exhibited what Hand called “great school spirit” in many other ways, such as Crazy Hat and Hair Day, an Ice Cream Social, Dance Party and a virtual production with NED, or “Never Giving Up, Encouraging Other and Doing Your Best.”
Each of the six days’ titles began with the word “Celebrate” and were geared towards Our Community, Our School, Our Students, Our Nation, Vocations and Our Teachers and Staff.
Catholic Schools Week was without question, as ladies like Kim Costa, Hand’s administrative assistant, and Saint Rocco’s icon Robin Okolowitcz, who utilized their photography talents, called “an overwhelming success” and included a myriad of celebrations beginning a Sunday Mass and featured many walks of life from unmatched school spirit as well as hearing from Saint Rocco’s pastor Rev. Angelo N. Carusi, Deacon Troia and the beloved Sisters who all spoke about future vocations.