Cultural Awareness Week
- One specific week of the year is designated for students to learn the culture of a different country.
- Each day there is an activity planned to enhance our education about that specific country.
- Volunteers are needed.
- Each family will receive a Thursday envelope during the school year.
- The envelope is sent home with the youngest/only sibling.
- Much of the information is updated on our website each week such as a letter from the principal, special events, monthly calendar, etc.
- There will be information that will come home in the Thursday envelope and be on the website as well.
- These envelopes are to be returned to the school office the next day with any information that needs to be sent back.
- Volunteers are needed on Thursday mornings to sort by grade/class, be put in alpha order, stuffed with any papers that need to go home and prepare for distribution to the classes.
Teacher Appreciation Week
- Surprises and goodies are planned for teachers throughout a week in May.
- This week is all about giving back to the faculty and staff of St. Mary.
- In order for this week to be a huge success, MANY volunteers, bakers, and much more is needed!
- Each classroom has one Head Room Parent who coordinates with the teacher for each party or activity throughout the year.
- The head room parent then communicates with the other room parents as to which party they will be responsible for and what all needs to be done
- Many volunteers are needed.
- You must sign up for this at the beginning of the year.
Classroom Art Letter
St. Mary Families,
- Another wonderful year (and the third in the roll out of our new Cultural Arts program) is quickly approaching and I wanted to provide you an update about the classroom program, the exposure to the City of Chicago and its environs, as well as the cultural venues that our St. Mary children visited last year, in Cultural Arts field trips.
- First, I am certain that all of you are enjoying the beautiful framed art that now hangs in the hallways at St. Mary School. All of it was purchased through parent donations and principally funded by grants from the Riverside Elementary Education Foundation (REEF). We are very grateful for REEF’s support and for this enduring gift to the families of St. Mary students. You will also see new art hanging outside the seventh grade classrooms, which we added this summer. In addition, another shout out to our fabulous art teacher, Mrs. Carolyn Johnson, is in order. She has assisted from the beginning of this program and has even now hung artist and painting information as to each piece (although I am continually surprised by how quickly the children are learning the artist’s names by memory!)
- Second, in the classrooms in grades K through 6th last year, from October to April, parent volunteers made presentations concerning these artists and their works, focusing on the Illinois Educational Standards and curriculum enhancements in history and literature, as well as art. This year, we are very excited to add seventh grade to the program. If you are interested in participating as a parent “Picture Lady/Man” for the 2012 to 2013 academic year in any classroom, please fill out the volunteer form for PIE. We can always use more picture/artist docents and field trip chaperones. Also, if you have not already checked out the Cultural Arts web pages on our site, please do so at http://www.stmaryschool.net/general/extra-curr.htm/culturalartsprogram/1curriculum.htm. You can quiz your son or daughter on how much they have learned in Cultural Arts.
- Third, the school was abuzz in May with all our Cultural Arts field trips. Kindergarten and first grade made incredibly cool clay projects and masks at the Riverside Arts Center. The second graders and their energetic and very enthusiastic parents completed a walking tour of Riverside and all our own architectural treasures (ask the children about the location of the first home in Cook County and the gargoyles at the library, for starters). The Riverside Historical Society was kind enough to even open the Museum up for our group and gave special tours of this site and its history and many of the children saw information about their own homes in town. The third graders visited the Art Institute of Chicago and ate lunch at Millennium Park on a beautiful day. Fourth grade visited the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio and took a stroll through Oak Park to the Scoville Park war memorial for lunch, and viewed the FLW homes along the way. The 5th graders went on a whirlwind architectural walk around the City of Chicago which included a special docent tour of the Willis Tower and 19 different buildings from the art deco Board of Trade in the financial center to the Burnham and Root Rookery Building, the Monadnock and Marquette Buildings, the Cultural Center and ended with lunch in Millennium Park. The 6th grade visited the incredible Oriental Institute in Hyde Park. They watched a film about the origin of civilization and had the opportunity to view the King Tutankamun exhibit that rivals, if not exceed, the traveling exhibit that came to the Field Museum.
- These trips have significantly enhanced our curriculum and enriched our students’ (and all the chaperone’s) knowledge of our great City. They were also a whole lot of fun!! Thank you, again, for your support of the Cultural Arts Program and St. Mary and please sign up to volunteer for this year. I hope to hear from you soon!
Karen Layng, Cultural Arts Chair