Students from Holy Cross celebrated Catholic Schools Week (Jan 27 – 31.) A class of seventh grade students said they were excited to play games throughout the week and perform skits. The school also made a donation to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Photo Courtesy of Holy Cross

SOUTH PORTLAND — Catholic Schools Week is an opportunity for students at Holy Cross School in South Portland to bond and participate in community outreach, said Principal Cindy Elwood.

Each year, Catholic schools in Maine celebrate their mission to serve and evangelize students through faith and academic excellence, said a press release from Dave Guthro, communications director for the Catholic Diocese in Portland.

Elwood said that she loves the community element of Catholic Schools Week, which took place through the week of Jan. 27.

Holy Cross made a donation to the Make-A-Wish Foundation through the school’s annual “Penny Challenges” game, previously called the “Penny Wars,” said seventh graders Talia Baldinelli and Maddy Roy.

The school managed to raise about $1,800 this year, said Elwood in an email.

“Each penny put in a classroom’s money jar is worth a point, but the value of each silver coin or dollar bill is subtracted from the total,” said Guthro. “The aim, then, is to stuff your own classroom’s jar with pennies, while tossing in nickels, dimes, quarters, and dollars in the jars of your competitors.”

Money raised from Holy Cross’s Penny Challenge competition went to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Courtesy photo Holly Cross

Other activities included a volleyball game, skits about the seven virtues, ice skating at the Falmouth Ice Arena and door decorating challenges said Baldinelli and Roy.

Brady Cash and Matthew Baker, two seventh grade students, said that they like the chance to interact with younger students and take a break from daily academics.

Seventh graders Anya Wright and Delia Nee said that they have been going to Catholic school since kindergarten and they like the small size of the classes, allowing the students to know everyone. There are about 11 students per class period, they said.

Rachel Feeley, another seventh grader said that she likes Catholic school because she can learn about Christ and express religious feelings.

Guthro said that each day of the week represented a different theme: “Mothers (Monday), teachers (Tuesday), students (Wednesday), vocations (Thursday) and fathers (Friday).

“In addition to the penny challenge, Holy Cross School (kicked) off its celebration of the week with a Mass and reception at St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish in Scarborough on Sunday, Jan. 26,” he said.

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