Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Abby and Layne help to sort potatoes at Feeding America.

8th Grade Service Corps 2016-2017

"For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead. " James 2:26

Inspired by the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy, All Saints Academy's Service Corps was created to give our 8th graders an opportunity to research and contact an organization of meaning to each of them, perform a day of service, and then evangelize and bring recognition to the various organizations by presenting their experiences to our 4th through 7th graders.

One of the core values at All Saints Academy is serving, and in grades K through 8, there are many opportunities to participate in school sponsored service. 8th grade Service Corps is a time where 8th graders take the personal responsibility of serving into their own hands. Below are several examples of how our eighth graders chose to make a difference.

Amelia helped to train dogs at McKenzie’s Animal Sanctuary. She was amazed at the organization of dogs there, each one having a “level” according to how they needed to be handled and who could work with them.
They really cared about the dogs and wanted everyone there to be safe while working with them,” explained Amelia.

Abraham peeled eggs for lunch at God’s Kitchen.
“I peeled a ton of them. It fed a lot of people that day, and it was eye-opening to see how many people were in need. And they were so friendly and loved seeing kids our age there to help."

At New Development, one of the things Rachel did was helped to spackle new door frames to get a house ready for it’s new family. Rachel recalled,
“They were really good about explaining what to do. Your age really didn’t matter."

At Ronald McDonald House, Bridget and Izzy decorated cookies for the families staying there.
“The families came in and got the cookies right then while we were decorating. They really appreciated them!”

“Feeding America makes volunteering extra fun. Potatoes are sorted through a game of potato ball. Potatoes not perfect for humans get tossed into a crate to feed wolves. Nothing goes to waste...all of God’s creation benefits!” explained Jake Z after his day of service.


Ceci helps to stock shelves at HELP Pregnancy Crisis Center.

SugarBush Festival is one way Blandford Nature Center brings awareness to the environment. Abby, Leah, and Julia volunteered for the day and gave children horse rides and worked at a concessions stand.

Rhiannon spent time socializing with dogs at McKenzie’s Animal Sanctuary.
Besides spending time with the dogs At McKenzie's Animal Sanctuary, Lizzie also washed toys.

Andrew helped pack children’s lunches and dinners at Kids Food Basket.
“The amount of food they go through in just one day is amazing. I did not realize that many children right here in Grand Rapids need meals every day. It’s so sad, but the good news is we can easily make a difference.”

Lisa Frey,  parent of Edward (2016) and Lily (2017) commented on her appreciation of this service day.  
I had the wonderful opportunity to accompany Lily to God's Kitchen. I also drove Abraham to and from there.  Not only did I observe the 4  8th graders working, but I also experienced God’s kitchen by serving dessert in the food line. It was an eye opening and powerful experience.  I am thankful that I could participate and experience Lily’s service project.   I was privileged to accompany Edward last year to Feeding America. Volunteering in local programs is so important, especially for teenagers. It opens their minds to the needs of others.  There is no  better way to live out ASA's core value of Service, than by giving back to the community. Edward and Lily will never forgot their 8th grade Service projects.”

One of our teachers, Mrs. Zimelis,  helps oversee the program and sums up the experience from an educator’s point-of-view.
 “My favorite day of this whole learning service program is the debriefing session we have when the students return to school the day after serving. Their “ah ha” moments are inspiring. Hearing how empowered they feel after completing their individually chosen service within the community  is awesome. They come back truly knowing they can make a difference.“

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

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Middle School Science Fair
I got positive feedback from my group. They seemed very interested…” - 8th grade student

On May 5 our 4th through 8th grade students along with teachers and parents gathered in Brophy to share science projects. Unlike a traditional science fair this event was designed last year as a way for students to share their learning with peers. Probably more like a science expo, the time is spent sharing and asking questions in small groups. Students are asked to give each other feedback, and also reflect on what they learned by listening to projects completed by other grades, because at ASA we believe that we can all grow.  

This year’s projects varied remarkably from grade to grade, and highlighted a number of different types of projects and presentation mediums, because at ASA we believe that creativity and innovation promote success.

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Mr. Kress’s 4th grade shared their Rube Goldberg videos. A Rube Goldberg machine is a series of simple machines, linked together to pass energy from step to step, and accomplish some task. The videos were the topic of a previous blog.

Mrs. Livingston’s 4th grade did science concept demonstrations. Students researched a cool science phenomenon and created a demonstration to teach others about that concept. Demonstrations included how to create a lava lamp and hovercraft, exploring how much fat is in potato chips and how to blow up a balloon without using your own air.

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5th grade students created distance scale models of our solar system. Each student determined the scale they wanted to use and selected the material to construct their model. Mediums included everything from food to large wooden constructions. All models had very realistic looking planets.


6th & 7th grades designed their own scientific investigation. Students selected a topic of interest to them and wrote a driving question. Then using the question, predict, observe, evaluate & explain scientific inquiry process they designed and carried out their own experiments. Students explored questions ranging from “Can taco sauce clean a penny?” to “Does listening to music impact mood?”


The 8th grade shared their experience with Level Up Village. Through a global web design platform during chemistry and geology units, students partnered with students in Egypt and India to research renewable energy sources and created Weebly websites to share and report out their work. Students also exchanged videos with their global partners and learned both safe digital citizenship skills and cultural awareness.

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Some big student takeaways from the day in their own words:

  • “Scientists use astronomical units to measure in space.”
  • “Music can affect you mood.”
  • “Toothpaste is the best substitute for bleach against coffee.”
  • “Earth is the one planet that isn’t named after a Greek god.”
  • Margaret tested which dish detergent worked the best. Meijer won.”
  • “4th graders made a hovercraft out of a cd and a balloon.”
  • “Everyone was respectful. We all listened and clapped.”
  • “Students did better taking a test with gum.”
  • “More dogs are left pawed than right pawed.”
  • “Chain reactions have multiple steps. They can be simple or complex.”

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Congratulations to Mr. Jon and the Fournier Family
2017 Eagle Award Winner

The Eagle Award is presented each year by the Home and School Association to a member of the All Saints Academy community in acknowledgement of his or her extraordinary contribution to the success of our school. This award enhances the culture of All Saints Academy by drawing attention to those who are living our Catholic faith and supporting our school mission by holding them up as an example for others to follow.  Along with an award for them to take home, the recipient’s name will be added to a perpetual plaque that is displayed in the halls of both the Elementary and Middle School campuses for all to see.

While it is true that no great achievement is accomplished by the work of one person, a significantly great work like the creation, building, and operation of All Saints Academy requires talented and committed people. The Eagle was selected to represent All Saints Academy and this award because it reflects the characteristics we hope for in our students and school community; fearlessness, tenacity, nurturing, high-flier, vitality.

This year’s recipient is Mr. Jon Fournier. Jon was a longtime staff member in the Maintenance Department. A “jack of all trades,” Jon shared his talents with everyone he came in contact with.  He greeted children coming into the Elementary Campus daily with a warm smile and he ALWAYS had something to say.  God had other plans (maybe Heaven needed some fixing up) and called Jon home unexpectedly on January 3rd of this year. The gift of Jon's life was continued with organ donation through "Gift of Life Michigan". This final act of giving is a symbol of who he was as a person and how he lived his life to help other people and gave selflessly.


Below is the nomination submitted by Mrs. Megan Schneider...

On behalf of my 4 year old son Hayden and myself, I nominate Mr. Jon for this year's Eagle Award.  Each day Mr. Jon greeted Hayden and I (along with almost every parent and child who entered the elementary campus doors) with a kind "Good Morning!"  He shared this simple greeting, which has such a powerful impact, with us all.  My son truly believes Mr. Jon could have fixed anything and, to this day, every time Hayden mentions something that has broken at school he is sure Mr. Jon could have fixed it.  Hayden's favorite memory of Mr. Jon came just this past Halloween.  Hayden loved Mr. Jon's costume--especially since Mr. Jon had to explain the costume was Fred Flintstone and not undergarments:).  

When remembering Mr. Jon Hayden still laughs about that moment and just yesterday I had to promise I would share the Flintstone's show with Hayden so he could know who Mr. Jon dressed up as:).  Hayden continues to talk about Mr. Jon regularly, and I know he misses him dearly (as we all do).  Hayden's relationship with Mr. Jon shows just how much of an impact a smile and a friendly greatly can have on someone's life.  

Mr. Jon loved ASA and cherished those who were a part of this community--for this reason (and many, many, many more reasons) Hayden & I nominate Mr. Jon.

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Mr. Jon was very involved at ASA outside of his daily duties. He loved leading the Ski Club each year. 

Past Eagle Award Winners

2011-Chris Burns
2012-Pete and Peg Gonzalez
2013-Mariae Firlit
2014-Christine Jarecki
2015-Linda Kozminski
2016-Judy Hardy


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

ASA’s Girls on the Run (GOTR)
“Share your star power!” - Elyse 3rd grade

ASA’s GOTR team celebrated their season with a 5k in downtown Grand Rapids, on May 20, with 1900 other girls in grades 3-5 from Kent County . This was an amazing and energetic celebration for each girl involved!

This is a team of 3-5 grade girls who have participated in the after school program for ten weeks. It is much more than a running program. The mission of GOTR is to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum that creatively integrates running.

GOTR inspires girls to find their inner strength and celebrate who they are as individuals! Through the season, the girls build their self confidence, character, care and compassion for themselves and others.  They learn to create positive connections with others, participate in skill building experiences to nurture their physical, social and emotional competencies and are inspired to to build meaningful lives of purpose. The girls also decide upon and complete a community impact project each year.

Over the ten weeks, the girls have developed skills and memories that will last a lifetime!
“It was fun to do (this) with friends!” - Mei 4th grade

Thank you to all of the GOTR parents and coaches for their ongoing support all season long. Thank you to the amazing coaches and practice partners for their dedication and commitment to making the season a huge success!

More information about the Girls on the Run program can be found at


Monday, June 5, 2017

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ASA 2017 Graduates
Some Final Words

This year’s graduating 8th grade class started in Kindergarten the year All Saint’s Academy opened. As their 9 year journey comes to a close, and we prepare to send them out, here are some of their special memories and words of wisdom for the ASA community.

“I will remember how great and understanding my teachers were.” - Lily Frey
“Serving is a good things to do and an opportunity for good memories.” - Ceci Gipson
“Always be prepared, have fun, and go with the flow.” - Catherine Jones
“Always follow Jesus. Always complete your work.” - Abby Needham
“Forgive no matter what. Stay strong it’s going to be hard.” - Julia Frey
“Love others. Have fun, but pay attention.” - Abe Miller
“The most important thing I learned at ASA? How to be a good person.” - Abby Nawrocki
“Be respectful to everyone.” - Kevin Patterson
“What’s one thing I will remember about ASA? The awesome teachers.” - Reece Rowton
“Make friends.” - Max Held
“Be prepared” - Ryan Kubiak
“What am I looking forward to? New experiences.” - Rachel McGervey
“What is the most important thing I learned? Core Values.” - Jake Zimelis
“What is the most important thing I learned? Faith, Learning, Loving, Serving, Integrity.” - Izzy Spicer
“Be patient.” - Leah O’Rourke
“I will always remember my time at ASA.” - Andrew Armock
“What is one thing I will always remember about ASA? Going to Church.” - Gabe Groh
“Respect others. It goes by fast.” Rhiannon Wodarek
“I will remember my friends!” “Be yourself, smile, and stay confident.” - Bobby Koboi
“I will alway remember when Mr. Palmeri said “One more time for Bridget.” - Bridget Florido
“Cherish your close friends.” - Lizzie Hackett
“8th grade year is fun, but also a lot of preparing for high school.” - Amelia Joppich
“I have learned how to have the virtues of patience and tolerance.” - Layne Bearss


Before we send them out here are just a few more words of wisdom from the ASA staff to the 8th grade:

“I pray you go out to use your gifts and talents to serve all and become the best version of yourselves, Saints! Always know you are loved.” - Miss Giroux

“I pray you remember your ASA roots and the solid foundation you built while here.  Let faith be your guide, learning is lifelong, love God, and serve others.” - Mrs. Farnquist  

“God has a plan for you, everything happens for a reason, have faith.  Oh yeah - don't forget to have fun!” - Mrs. Patterson

Use what you have learned at All Saints Academy when life seems impossible and persevere.  You can all do it! Just believe in yourself and do good in the world.  Go out and spread the Good News to all you meet.  Oh--remember to smile and really live life! ~Mrs. C. Bowman

Trust in God and do your best! ~ Ms. Reeves

Remember to say good morning even if you don’t feel like it is.  Use the magic words please and thank you . God will watch over you and bless you.-Mrs. Pitsch

Lean on your faith as you go forward in life. God is always with you to help you face all the challenges and rewards in your future. ...and be sure to have a blast! - Mrs. Szczytko

God is Good!  All the Time!  Trust in God and His plan for you!  ~Mrs. Schneider

BELIEVE in God, in yourself and in others!  Believe that everything you do matters and go out and make a difference in the world! - Mrs. W. Bowman

You don’t grow when things are easy. You grow when things are hard. Embrace the challenges and don’t ever quit talking to your parents. Keep God close.  - Mrs. Zimelis

Don’t ever feel like you are alone. Reach out to God, your family, a friend, or us back at All Saints Academy whenever you need to!  Your gifts and the gifts of others are meant to be shared. Remember our root belief that “We are One!”  -Mr. Debri

I pray that you always find peace in God’s word and know that He always loves you. - Mrs. Livingston        

Profile of an ASA Graduate

  • A graduate from All Saints Academy is one who:
  • Faith
    • Is grounded in Catholic doctrine and Church teachings, lived out in loving and serving.
    • Is a discerning believer formed in the Catholic faith community who celebrates God’s presence through Sacred Scripture, liturgy, and the sacraments.
    • Is a faithful Catholic who prays, forgives, and upholds moral and ethical principles.
    • Enthusiastically shares the Good News.   
  • Learning
    • Is prepared for success in high school and further education by having mastered a well-rounded and a challenging faith-based curriculum.
    • Uses technological tools to enhance learning basic concepts, skills, and standards.
    • Is an independent learner; has strong foundation for lifelong learning.
    • Is a reflective, creative, and holistic thinker who solves problems and makes responsible decisions.
    • Uses a collaborative approach; participates actively in team work.
    • Exhibits self-discipline, organization, and time management.
  • Loving
    • Cares about self and those about them; exhibits empathy and values others for who they are.
    • Cares for the environment; acts to sustain the earth as God’s creation.
    • Respects cultural differences; sensitive to diverse perspectives, and opinions.
  • Serving
    • Puts into action Christ’s teaching through service.
    • Offers joyful service; recognizes opportunities to serve in both internal and external communities (parishes, neighborhoods, family, friends).
    • Has developed skills for leadership, public speaking, advocacy, self-confidence, negotiation, and compromising.