Third grade students from the St. Mary's Book Club recently shared their reading talents with the residents of Morning Breeze. The students read Christmas books and passed out cards while visiting.
Advent is a time of waiting and preparing. In Miss Greiwe's class, we have advent wreath pages that we color in one leaf on each day to mark the passage of time towards Christmas. We are taking a closer look at ourselves to be certain we are preparing ourselves for the coming of Jesus. We are trying to follow John the Baptist's words "Prepare the way of the Lord! Make straight His path!"
At our prayer service in early December, we performed a play that showed how the magi followed the star, the light of God, to use their gifts to bring peace to the world, and we challenged everyone present to do the same. St. Nick came to visit us earlier this month, and he left us a little treat in the stockings we made. We are making a present (shh!) for our 5th grade buddies and for our families. The students are making a book that tells about how different people from other countries prepare for Christmas. Some are not that different, while others are nothing like what we do. We are reading many stories about Advent and Christmas, and we are singing fun Christmas songs!
The students in Mrs. Smith's kindergarten class focus on the season of Advent by making Advent wreaths using paper plates and cardboard tubes covered in the traditional Advent colors of purple and rose. These wreaths go home to be placed on the kitchen table in the students'
homes so that each Sunday after Mass they can "light" another candle as we await the coming of the Light of the World. We also make a smaller paper wreath for each student to hang in the classroom. Each Monday we read a special Advent reflection and say a prayer before coloring the flame on the next candle.
Another activity that Mrs. Smith's students enjoy is the Nativity mobiles that we make. When the students return from the Thanksgiving break they find a stable with the Holy Family hanging from the ceiling - one for each student. As the days of Advent go on, we color different key characters in the story of the birth of Jesus and hang them from strings on the bottom of the stable. By the time we reach Christmas break we have talked about all of the significant people and animals and the students have a great decoration to take home. All of these things help to keep our focus on the true meaning of this wonderful season.
During Advent, each day the first grade will be reading a little of the Bible story of the first Christmas, from the Gospel of Luke. This includes the stories of Elizabeth, Zacharias, and John, as well as Joseph, Mary and Jesus. The students will be adding a figure or animal to the picture of the stable each day. We will be having a short prayer service daily which includes the reading from the Bible and a special Advent song. We will also have an Advent wreath here on our Prayer Table. Canned good are being collected for the Cheer Fund.
St. Mary's 4th grade class visited Morning Breeze on Wednesday, Dec. 14. They presented the musical God Keeps His Promises by Dorothy Penrice. With the help of Kristy Lowe, the children retold the Christmas Story with scripture and with lively musical renditions of "O Little Town of Bethlehem," "Hark the Herald Angels Sing," "O Come All Ye Faithful" and "Joy to the World."
Fifth grade hung their stockings with care over the fireplace in hopes that the gifts they have to offer Jesus will shine. Their advent challenge was to "fill" a stocking with good deeds. This is their gift to the Christ Child in hopes that all will remember Jesus is the Reason for the season! Meanwhile, they are giving "gifts" to their classmates by writing down positive notes to present to one another. As we all know,this means more than anything!
Fifth grade is also joining the rest of the school in collecting canned goods and making Christmas cards for nursing home residents.
The 6th graders are busy little elves this time of year - literally! For the third year in a row, the students have opened "Santa's Post Office." This project allows people to bring cards and gifts that they would normally give to teachers, staff, or students at school and instead, send them through the post office. Senders pay a small fee for one of Santa's "elves" to deliver their goodies on the last day of school before Christmas Break. Proceeds from the post office go to help fund the 6th grade RAK Project, which focuses on doing acts of kindness for others throughout the year.
As we prepare for Christmas we try to think of what we can do for others.
All the students have collected for the Cheer Fund, for our Hot Meals program, and have made Christmas cards for many people in our community and for some far away. We hope as we concentrate on these acts of service that we make this time of waiting very special.