HFCA Student Nationally Recognized for Artistic Call to Action

Holy Family Catholic Academy's nationally recognized curriculum and instruction is committed to developing its nearly 500 students in preschool through middle school to be "leaders and thinkers grounded in faith." This past week, the Inverness school celebrated a special student who gave witness to this motto.

Seventh grade student Natalie McHone was surprised at this week's all school mass when her teacher, Eileen Paparone announced that Natalie placed third in the Catholic Campaign for Human Development's nationwide Multimedia Youth Contest. The contest asks students in grades 7-12 to study poverty in their area, understand its causes, and create an art piece to educate others about Catholic social teachings and how the church works to address poverty.

This year's theme was "Being Neighbors in Our Common Home." Natalie explained her entry saying, "My project shows a house filled with people holding up others who are trapped in poverty. The people holding up the house have open mouths to show that they are speaking up for those in poverty who are often not heard."

In addition to her artwork, Natalie also answered six essay questions. In Paparone's heartfelt presentation of the award, she stated, "We are so proud of Natalie. The judges were equally impressed with her understanding of the issues as well as her artwork."

HFCA, a Candidate* in the International Baccalaureate World School Programme, uses an interdisciplinary approach to curriculum and instruction. Students master the core content areas of reading, writing, math, and science, however this learning is further enhanced as students apply this knowledge to authentic issues. This holistic method of learning also lends itself to see critical issues through the lens of Catholic social teachings. Service to others is a shared value of HFCA's faith-based environment and the International Baccalaureate Programme.

Principal O'Brien explains, "Our teachers work diligently to develop our students to be critical thinkers who learn and understand complex real world issues from many different perspectives and hear the call to make a positive impact in the lives of others and our world."

Natalie shared that she was inspired by a quote from Mother Teresa which says, "Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you."

A call to action from a past and a current "leader and thinker grounded in faith."

*Candidacy is not a guarantee of authorization.

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