Southside's Catholic Schools Honor Their Education System

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Byline: SANDY STRICKLAND

Catholic Schools Week on the Southside means collecting rice and cereal for Catholic Charities. It means inspirational speeches, recognition of the military and writing letters to the mayor.

On a lighter note, it means crazy hats, silly socks, a celebrated jumping frog and a chance to win candy and bikes.

This week's festivities highlight the value of a Catholic education with the theme being "Catholic Schools Light the Way." The event has been celebrated nationally since 1974.

At Assumption Catholic School on Atlantic Boulevard, students will honor the military Thursday with a flag-raising ceremony at its new flag pole. A Marine Color Guard, as well as the ROTC Color Guard from Bishop Kenny High School, will participate in the ceremony. Parents who are in the Armed Forces will wear their uniforms.

Assumption's almost 600 students have written letters to Mayor John Peyton expressing the value of a Catholic education, said Mary Reed, Assumption's physical education coach. Letters also are being sent to Bishop Victor Galeone.

Philanthropic activities also are a big part of the mix. Students are making placemats for St. Catherine Laboure Manor, collecting diapers, wipes and other items for the Women's Health Center and money for Assumption's new order of nuns from Spain, Reed said.

At Blessed Trinity on Beach Boulevard, children are guessing how many items are in jars filled by parents. …