Catholic Schools Week, held each year at the end of January, is a time for schools to celebrate a shared faith, thank those who make a difference, and recognize accomplishments of individuals and the school. It can be a great opportunity for PTOs and PTAs to support their school community.

Here are some ideas your group may want to try:

Run a Community Service Project

Organize an effort to write valentines to senior citizens in the community or letters of support to soldiers. Another option is to manage a schoolwide canned goods collection for a local food pantry. For more tips on community service projects, read our article “12 Creative Community Service Ideas for PTOs.”

Help at Open House

Many schools hold masses and open houses during Catholic Schools Week and need parents to be on hand to help with children and community members. Offer to organize volunteers who can assist with tours at open houses, create and print out programs, and serve refreshments. Also, check with your school principal to see if you can provide parents with general information on the importance of volunteering. We have a “Parent Involvement Matters” video that your group could show at these events.

Offer To Handle Special Projects

Groups also can help classrooms with special projects such as assisting the graduating 8th grade class with creating and burying a time capsule, or working with the youngest students to produce a show-and-tell day that supports messages of faith and family.

Lend a Hand at Big Events

Many schools also host their big events, like winter carnivals, book fairs, talent shows, or other schoolwide productions, during this week. PTO and PTA members can participate by running activities at the carnivals, manning the cash register at book fairs, and managing acts for the talent show.

Say Thanks to Teachers and Staff

This is a parent group’s bread and butter! Often schools will take time during this week to celebrate teachers, pastors, and staff. Offer to host a staff appreciation luncheon. Organize a thank-you letter campaign for students to show their appreciation to the school principal and parish members who make a difference at the school. To spark some creative appreciation ideas, check out our Teacher Appreciation Resources List.

Celebrate Families

Host a special event that focuses on families. Do a PTO or PTA breakfast for grandparents, run a reading program with parents as guest readers in classrooms, or hold a fun family night that features a trivia contest or a game show event like Jeopardy. If you need invites for breakfast events, download our free invitations.

Get in on the Fun

Lots of schools do a series of spirit day celebrations for each day of Catholic Schools Week. Your group can offer to coordinate these, and if you’re in need of ideas, consider these: dress-down day (no uniforms), dress as a favorite book character day, crazy hat day, crazy socks day, school colors day, and favorite decade. If you need ideas for spirit-day themes, we have a list of 30 ideas for spirit day that is sure to help!

For additional ideas on Catholic Schools Week celebrations, check out the National Catholic Educational Foundation website.