As a stewardship community, we recognize Hospitality as the first of the Four Pillars of Parish Stewardship. Creating a welcoming environment and bringing others together is an important part of Christian community life. As part of our community’s efforts to foster a warm spirit of hospitality, All Saints held its first back-to-school picnic last year.
“Everyone seemed to really enjoy it,” says Theresa Schroeder, a substitute teacher at All Saints. “I think any time you can get your parents, staff, and administration together with the kids outside of school is a great idea — especially in an event where you’re not asking them for anything, but you’re primarily serving them and offering them a fun, safe night with their family.”
The idea came from Principal Paul Galuska.
“I was subbing for the secretary and he brought it up to me,” Theresa says. “That day we made a student handout, secured the venue, talked to our kitchen staff and planning was underway.”
Given how busy the summer months typically are, Theresa was pleasantly surprised with the event’s attendance.
“We had a local ice cream shop donate ice cream, scoopers, and sprinkles,” Theresa says. “The school kitchen staff made hot dogs, beans and ordered bags of chips. We had kids scooping ice cream — they had a blast and it will be a core memory for them. We ran it like a buffet line with parents serving the food and we had tables set up in a park pavilion.”
“Since it was my first year doing it, we are doing a lot of things differently — not that last year’s event wasn’t a success, but I’ve since worked with a few other parents in organizing a school PTA,” Theresa says. “We have an events committee and a fundraising committee. The events committee is taking this on next year and we have some fun things planned.”
All students, staff members, and parents of the school are welcome to attend this year’s All Saints Catholic School Family Night event on Wednesday, Sept. 13, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Heinzen Pavilion.
In addition to the Family Night, Theresa began this year assisting with monthly appreciation luncheons for the teachers at All Saints.
“This idea also came from our principal,” she says. “He did this last year, too, where a parent would bring the teacher a gift every Friday and we rotated throughout the year. This year we decided to do a meal every Friday for the staff in the staff lounge.”
Theresa created a spreadsheet and filled in the dates of every Friday during the school year, the parent who is taking a meal that day, and what they are bringing. She communicates with Mr. Galuska each week.
“It’s important to me because our staff does so much for our kids and our school,” Theresa says. “It’s nice to be able to give back to them in some capacity.”
For information about the upcoming Family Night or other events at All Saints Catholic School, visit the school website — ascscrusaders.org.