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January 2014

Catholic schools offer variety of faith-filled activities

Growing up, Billy Hoy enjoyed playing baseball, basketball and soccer.

But entering Creighton Preparatory School in Omaha four years ago, he decided to try lacrosse.

Now a senior, Hoy said the club sport teaches him teamwork and discipline, creates friendships and allows him to keep playing a competitive sport.

"It's a lot of fun," he said. "The group of guys we play with is awesome."

Catholic schools offer variety of faith-filled activities

Growing up, Billy Hoy enjoyed playing baseball, basketball and soccer.

But entering Creighton Preparatory School in Omaha four years ago, he decided to try lacrosse.

Now a senior, Hoy said the club sport teaches him teamwork and discipline, creates friendships and allows him to keep playing a competitive sport.

"It's a lot of fun," he said. "The group of guys we play with is awesome."

TeamMates program measures success a student at a time

A mentoring program founded 22 years ago by former University of Nebraska football coach Tom Osborne - TeamMates - is helping build community in Catholic schools at the most basic level: one-on-one.

For example, TeamMates mentor Mary Schuele spends an hour each week with Vicky Bongomin, an eighth-grader at All Saints School in Omaha, and it has helped transform Vicky and the world around her, say Vicky and her principal, Marlan Burki.

TeamMates program measures success a student at a time

A mentoring program founded 22 years ago by former University of Nebraska football coach Tom Osborne - TeamMates - is helping build community in Catholic schools at the most basic level: one-on-one.

For example, TeamMates mentor Mary Schuele spends an hour each week with Vicky Bongomin, an eighth-grader at All Saints School in Omaha, and it has helped transform Vicky and the world around her, say Vicky and her principal, Marlan Burki.

Catholic schools' service work helps people locally, worldwide

When third-, fourth- and fifth-graders at St. Mary School in Bellevue learned children in some parts of Uganda walk several miles to school, carrying books and school supplies in flimsy plastic sacks, the students wanted to make the walk easier, said Cindy Menzel, fifth-grade teacher at St. Mary.

"We knew we couldn't change the walk, but we could make it easier to get the books to school," she said.

So the students learned enough sewing to make simple drawstring book bags for the Uganda children.

Catholic schools' service work helps people locally, worldwide

When third-, fourth- and fifth-graders at St. Mary School in Bellevue learned children in some parts of Uganda walk several miles to school, carrying books and school supplies in flimsy plastic sacks, the students wanted to make the walk easier, said Cindy Menzel, fifth-grade teacher at St. Mary.

"We knew we couldn't change the walk, but we could make it easier to get the books to school," she said.

So the students learned enough sewing to make simple drawstring book bags for the Uganda children.

Consortium unites five schools in faith, academics

Eighth-graders from five Catholic elementary schools gathered in late August for a retreat on the kind of courage often needed to foster mutual respect and community, particularly in the face of bullying or other adversity. A few weeks later, seventh-graders from those schools participated in a similar, daylong retreat.

While the retreats and their focus weren't unique, students from the five schools came together at Holy Cross School in Omaha under new circumstances - as part of the Omaha Catholic Schools Consortium, which opened at the beginning of this school year.

Consortium unites five schools in faith, academics

Eighth-graders from five Catholic elementary schools gathered in late August for a retreat on the kind of courage often needed to foster mutual respect and community, particularly in the face of bullying or other adversity. A few weeks later, seventh-graders from those schools participated in a similar, daylong retreat.

While the retreats and their focus weren't unique, students from the five schools came together at Holy Cross School in Omaha under new circumstances - as part of the Omaha Catholic Schools Consortium, which opened at the beginning of this school year.

Catholic Schools build community

The Archdiocese of Omaha's 70 elementary and high schools may be in separate buildings, with their own history and unique traditions, but Patrick Slattery, superintendent of schools, said he sees a solid community as well, grounded in faith, strong academics and a desire to help others.

And drawing schools still more tightly together by communicating on a regular basis and sharing best practices is a top priority for Slattery, leader of the school system since July 1.

"We're a very strong community," he said. "We just have to leverage it."

Catholic Schools build community

The Archdiocese of Omaha's 70 elementary and high schools may be in separate buildings, with their own history and unique traditions, but Patrick Slattery, superintendent of schools, said he sees a solid community as well, grounded in faith, strong academics and a desire to help others.

And drawing schools still more tightly together by communicating on a regular basis and sharing best practices is a top priority for Slattery, leader of the school system since July 1.

"We're a very strong community," he said. "We just have to leverage it."

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