"Leaders and thinkers, grounded in faith," is Holy Family Academy's motto, and is clearly present at the Inverness school during the season of Lent. While it is common to hear about "giving up" certain things or behaviors, the students at Holy Family Academy use a variety of innovative ways to "live Lent."
"Lent is about changing our hearts--reflecting on ways we can be better Christians, and people of all ages benefit from this reflection," says Fr. Terry Keehan, Pastor. Walking through the Academy, you will see many "good deed chains" in the preschool classrooms where children record ways that evidence their way of living Lent.
Kindergarten students bundled up and walked to the nearby Jewel with money they earned to buy food to replenish Holy Family's food pantry. Second grade students combined their Lenten project with the economics Inquiry learning unit they were studying. "Our economics unit taught the students the difference between needs and wants," explains Mrs. Carlotta Lencioni, second grade teacher. These 7- and 8-year-olds extended their learning by applying economic concepts to sell treats, and donated the proceeds to a school devastated by Hurricane Sandy.
The older the students, the more reflective they become as they live Lent. The sixth grade class performed the Living Stations of the Cross for the entire school providing a narrative that students of all ages could understand. While 8th grade students, realizing that over a billion people live on less than $2 a day, cooked meals typically found in Africa, Haiti and India and offered lunch to Holy Family's faculty and staff. "Not only did these teens raise awareness about poverty in our world, but the proceeds from their lunch sale were donated to assist those same people," stated Dr. Gretchen Ludwig, Principal.
Obviously, with a student population that spans 2-year-olds through 8th grade, there is not a "one size fits all" approach to living Lent, but by personalizing the experience and relating Lent to their studies, Holy Family students move a step closer to becoming "leaders and thinkers grounded in faith."