For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them. (Ephesians 2:10)
A Catholic education offers a unique learning opportunity for students, an opportunity to have all aspects of their growth – mental, physical, social, and spiritual – addressed in an integrated, seamless manner. Catholic educators not only take into consideration the academic standards that students need to meet, but also how this education might be used for the benefit of others in the future.
At St. Pius V Parish School, students are well aware that they are called to use their gift of a Catholic education to help others. Their focus on Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STREAM) allows them to focus their knowledge on products and processes that may improve the lives of others. This year, during its Spring Open House on May 9, St. Pius V will be holding a Festival of Arts, Science and Technology. This festival will showcase junior high student work in the areas of art, science and technology. With each project, students will also present an essay that describes how their respective project, or the processes used to develop the project, relates to their own personal spirituality.
In order to develop new and innovative projects, students must use their personal creativity. The faculty at St. Pius V Parish School believes that creativity is an important pathway to spiritual growth. In order to help students experiment with and develop their creativity, St. Pius V will be offering a “Creative Summer School” from June 25- 27. Open to students who are entering grades K-8 next school year, and regardless of the school they attend during the regular school year, there are several reasons for providing an innovative program centered on creative work during the summer.
First, and most importantly, (at least for most students) it’s fun! God created people to be creative beings and the opportunity to create and innovate provides challenges and rewards that are difficult to duplicate in other ways.
Secondly, using their creativity, students utilize, reinforce, and develop more fully and authentically those academic skills they have been working on during the regular school year. Students will work with mathematics, but it is through music, cooking, art, and technology. Students will work with language arts, but it is through creative writing, photography, or storytelling.
Finally, there is a notable shift in the national and global work culture. The business world is beginning to favor the creative thinker, the worker who sees new ways to use knowledge or design items to reach a new goal. These are skills of creativity; skills that help people see patterns instead of factoids, the “big picture” instead of only one small piece. These are the skills that students will need in order to live enriched, productive lives that will allow them to develop their God-given talents to enrich their lives and the lives of others.
In The Confessions of St. Augustine, the Bishop of Hippo wrote about his early education, stating, “They gave no consideration to the use that I might make of the things they forced me to learn. The objective they had in view was merely to satisfy the appetite for wealth and for glory.” (Book 1) The faculty and staff at St. Pius V Parish School work hard to ensure that every student develops a deep understanding of the responsibility they have to take what they learn today in order to better serve others tomorrow.