National Catholic Schools Week 2024: Fun Ideas & Activities!

🌺  Written by Brittany Ann

Young boy in navy blue sweater with words Catholic Schools Week fun ideas and activitiesDoes your local Catholic school participate in National Catholic Schools Week?

A fun annual event designed to celebrate and draw attention to private Catholic education in the United States, Catholic Schools Week is a fantastic opportunity for a little faith-boosting, spirit-filled fun during the dreary winter months.

After all, there’s more to school than just academic excellence, athletics, or high test scores (though these factors are important).

Catholic education provides young people with the opportunity and example needed to foster their Catholic identity and create strong connections with friends, family, and community members as well.

Whether you’re a teacher, administrator, parent, or volunteer looking for Catholic Schools Week activities and ideas, or you’d simply like to learn more about this fun initiative, here’s everything you need to know about National Catholic Schools Week!

 

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What is Catholic Schools Week?

National Catholic Schools Week is an annual, weeklong event that celebrates Catholic schools and education.

Since 1974, the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) has facilitated this annual celebration, which typically includes Masses, open houses, fun theme days, and other activities for students, families, parishioners, and community members.

 

Related: 40 Short Daily Lenten Prayers for Spiritual Renewal

 

When is Catholic Schools Week 2024?

National Catholic Schools Week begins the last Sunday in January and lasts one week. This year, the dates of National Catholic School Week are Sunday, January 28 – Saturday, February 3, 2024.

 

What are the 2024 Catholic Schools Week Themes?

The official Catholic Schools Week Theme for 2024 is “Catholic Schools: United in Faith and Community.”

The National Catholic Educational Association has announced the annual theme will remain the same from 2023 to 2026.

In addition to the annual theme, participating Roman Catholic schools and parishes are invited to participate in daily themed days. This year’s suggested themes are:

  • Sunday, January 28: Celebrating Your Parish
  • Monday, January 29: Celebrating Your Community
  • Tuesday, January 30: Celebrating Your Students
  • Wednesday, January 31: Celebrating the Nation
  • Thursday, February 1: Celebrating Vocations
  • Friday, February 2: Celebrating Faculty, Staff and Volunteers
  • Saturday, February 3: Celebrating Families

 

NCEA National Catholic Schools Week Logo

 

 

Related: Where is Lent in the Bible?

 

Fun, Easy, and Inexpensive Catholic Schools Week Ideas and Activities

While researching Catholic Schools Week ideas can be a lot of fun, you’ll want to be careful not to go overboard when planning your daily Catholic Schools Week activities.

For large families, families with working parents, and families without extra disposable income, “fun” activities can quickly become overwhelming, time-consuming, and expensive for busy parents who have to rush to (multiple!) stores at the last minute to find suitable t-shirts, pajamas, socks, themed costumes, and more for each of their children to wear or bring.

Be mindful of the needs and potentially limited resources of your students’ families by limiting necessary purchases, giving plenty of advance notice, keeping themes open-ended, keeping extra materials on hand in the office, and repeating themes year after year so students are more likely to have any necessary materials or outfits on hand.

 

Here are 20 fun, easy, and inexpensive Catholic Schools Week ideas, activities, and traditions you might consider:

  1. Host an open house for friends, family, and community members
  2. Host a Catholic School Week poster contest with prizes
  3. Host a students-vs-staff sports game or trivia contest
  4. Collect donations for a local cause (canned foods, baby products, etc)
  5. Write letters or cards to those in the military, local hospitals, or those who are homebound
  6. Learn about new saints each day (over the announcements)
  7. Pair older and younger students for reading, prayer, or service projects
  8. Start a pen pal program with a Catholic school in another state or country
  9. Have a classroom door decorating contest
  10. Dress as a community helper day
  11. Pray the Rosary together as a class or school
  12. Celebrate with a crazy sock day
  13. Celebrate with a crazy hair day
  14. Wear school colors or spirit gear
  15. Invite local Catholic leaders in for a short faith-based presentation
  16. Write a letter to your future self (mail at the end of the year)
  17. Write a letter to a mentor or role model you admire
  18. Arrange a Eucharistic procession throughout the school
  19. Have periodic dance party breaks throughout the day
  20. Dress like a superhero day
  21. Have cookies or donuts after Mass
  22. Attend adoration or daily Mass
  23. Research the latest Catholic news and how it affects your local Diocese
  24. Volunteer service hours at a local charity
  25. Host a raffle with a fun prize!

 

Catholic Schools Week Bulletin Board Ideas

For teachers, assistants, and volunteers looking for Catholic Schools Week bulletin board ideas, here are ten fun and easy ideas you might consider.

Each of these ideas would work well for Catholic elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools alike!

  1. Highlight your school’s history
  2. Showcase fun facts about your favorite Saint
  3. Collect quotes from local Catholic leaders
  4. Have students share their favorite parts of attending your Catholic school
  5. Create a “Light of the World” theme with each student’s picture on a lightbulb
  6. Have students decorate a person-shaped cut-out as their favorite Saint
  7. Showcase fun facts or talents for each teacher and administrator
  8. Show off fun (embarrassing!) pictures of teachers and administrators when they were young
  9. Create a “Making a Difference” theme with each student’s hand traced on cardstock
  10. Create a “flip to reveal” school history board with fun facts

 

National Catholic Schools Week Prayers

While there are no official National Catholic Schools Week prayers, some schools enjoy writing their own prayers specifically for the occasion. Here are a few examples from other Catholic organizations you might find helpful.

 

“Loving God, we come together today to thank you for the gift of Catholic Schools. As we begin to celebrate Catholic Schools Week, help us to be always aware of the blessing of our community and the chance for each of us to be members of it. We thank you for the opportunity to attend a school where we can live out your Gospel, and be shaped as your disciples. Amen.” — Sadlier Religion

 

“Loving God,

You shaped us in your image and likeness

Giving us the gift of intelligence

And the ability to understand the world around us.

Be with us today as we use those gifts to learn and grow.

May all that we do in this classroom be an opportunity to praise You.

St. Hildegard, patron of writers, pray for us.

St. Albert the Great, patron of scientists, pray for us.

St. Barbara, patron of mathematicians, pray for us.

St. Thomas Aquinas, patron of students, pray for us.”

Hallow app

 

“Christ the Teacher, We ask that You bless all those who guide us at school. May they lead us through Your example as a teacher, May they inspire us to follow Your way, And help us to grow in body, mind, and spirit, And may they always trust in the impact they have on the many lives entrusted to their care. We make this prayer in Your Holy Name, Amen.” — Alliance for Catholic Education

 

Related: 25 Inspiring Verses About Prayer

 

Brittany Ann Equipping Godly Women

About the author

Brittany Ann is an ECPA bestselling author of “Fall in Love with God’s Word” and “Follow God’s Will” and the founder of EquippingGodlyWomen.com, a popular Christian-living website dedicated to helping busy Christian moms find practical ways to go "all in" in faith and family. Her work has been featured on CBN, The Christian Post, Crosswalk, and more.

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