Wednesday, June 17, 2020

St. Alphonsus Education Scholarships 2020

The Sean Earl Scholarship is awarded to 7th grade students attending All Saints Academy who demonstrate strength of character, kindness, and service toward others.  The recipients for the award this year are Isabelle Mitchell, Nick Moll, and Cadan Wodarek.

Cadan Wodarek and Family

Nick Moll and Family

Isabelle Mitchell and Family
The Grand Rapids Dominican Sisters established the Sr. Roberta Hefferan and Sr. Olga Mizzi Scholarships in the names of two members of their community who were deeply engaged in St. Alphonsus Parish.

Sister Olga Mizzi, OP, was devoted to religious service and education and brought joy and knowledge to thousands of students as a teacher in St. Alphonsus School. The winner of the Sr. Olga Mizzi Scholarship is Edmund Marcusse.  Edmund received three nominations: 
Although Edmund is reserved, he volunteers quickly to help out at ASA.  Whether it's to rehang the Rosary, lead the line, pick up papers, help a friend on the playground or begin a prayer, he puts others before himself.  This year, he learned some of the duties of being a server during school Masses.  When there was a need for a replacement at the last minute, he was one of the first to volunteer.  Edmund is a great friend and Bucket Filler.  He helps peers out when they are in need with school work or just picking up crayons.  
During Remote Learning, he remained on top of his work with excellent work ethic.  He quickly and conscientiously completed all objectives each day, emailed his friends, he joined in on all online activities, and still carved out time to ride his dirt bike!  

Edmund is one of the sweetest, kindest boys you would ever meet.  He is always looking out for other kids on the playground that need a friend.  He receives many bucket filler papers for his helpfulness and kindness.  He also volunteers at every fish fry that ASA has.  He has enjoyed being an alter server at ASA masses when called upon.  He loves to be with family and friends and loves the outdoors.  He really enjoys his dirt bike passion and zest for life.  I could go on and on about this kid, but I won’t.  Please select this ASA bucket filler.

Please accept my nomination of Edmund Marcusse for the Sr. Olga Mizzi and Sr. Roberta Hefferan Scholarship.  I believe that he is a perfect candidate for consideration. A quiet leader, his hard work and example of service sets him apart for this award.  From an academic perspective, he is a regular for “Early Birds,” a before school reading program.  While many students come and go, he never misses a session.  This is not easy. As a struggling reader he is asked to go above and beyond to put more work in than others.  And he does so with a smile.  His service to All Saints Academy and his community does not go unnoticed.  He is one of just a few students who spends the Friday before Eaglefest setting up, helping out, and doing whatever is asked of him.  Again, always with a smile.  He is an altar server at school and soon will be able to serve at his home parish of St. Alphonsus.  He also helps his parents at Diamond St. Hall with the many events held there.  They say the “apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” and I am sure that he has learned this spirit of service and hard work from his parents.
Sister Roberta Hefferan, OP, recognized and responded to the needs of others through vibrant social outreach programs including the Food & Clothing Pantry. The winner of the Sr. Roberta Scholarship is Isabelle Mitchell.  A St. Alphonsus parishioner had the following to say:
Isabelle has used her time and talents in many ways during her years at All Saints Academy and as a member of St. Alphonsus.  At the parish, she has been an altar server since 3rd grade.  She has helped Mrs. Frey with the young Faith Formation students.  She has volunteered at the Fish Frys as well as the Christmas Store.  Isabelle  was a reader and cantor at the Pack the Pews Mass at St. Al’s.  She has always attended Vacation Bible School and was looking forward to being an aide this year.  At her school, she participates in the Praise Band as a flute player.  In the community, she has volunteered at Mackenzie’s Animal Shelter.  She has also on more than one occasion participated in a charity dance on Thanksgiving morning which donated food to a local food pantry.  Isabelle used her singing talent to be a member of the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony Choir which required quite a commitment of her time as well.  For these reasons, I feel she would be an excellent candidate for the scholarship award.  Isabelle represents her Church, school and community well.

Thank you, to our 4 founding Parishes for their 

continued support! 

Congratulations to ALL scholarship winners! 

For those looking for more information about Financial Assistance to attend All Saints Academy click here

If you are interested in supporting a student pursuing a Catholic education at ASA check out these opportunities: 

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Welcome Mrs. Beckwith

My name is Liz Beckwith and I am excited to join the team at ASA as the middle school science teacher. I look forward to joining such a welcoming and caring community. 

My family and I just moved back to the Grand Rapids area after spending nine years living elsewhere (two in New Hampshire and seven in Utah). During our time in Utah I worked as a self-contained fifth grade teacher and as a dedicated middle school math teacher, both in Catholic schools.

My husband will be teaching English at Macatawa Bay Middle School this year, and my son and daughter will be joining me at ASA as a first grader and preschooler. We have just rejoined the St. Sebastian faith community as well and look forward to returning to the community there.

I love teaching in a Catholic school because of the connections that can be made between academic content and faith matters. I believe educating the whole student, both academically and spiritually, is so important. I cannot wait to get to know the families at ASA, and I look forward to meeting everyone soon!

Friday, June 5, 2020

ASA Talent Show 2020

A very special thank you to three 7th grade students who took an idea, developed it into their final Passion Project for science class this year, and assembled a digital Talent Show for ASA to wrap up the 2019-2020 school year! 

Hadrian, Josh, and Thomas V. we are so proud of you! 

To all of the participants, who submitted an entry, 
Thank You for sharing your talents with us! 

This entire project is a wonderful example of creativity and innovation in action! 

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Diving into Summer with SEL

Warmer weather, ice cream, swimming, playing with friends outside, laughter and outdoor barbeques are signs and activities of summer. As virtual learning and school routines now take a break, learning, to include social emotional learning, continues through the activities of summer. Social emotional learning is embedded in all activities we experience. Being intentional with a SEL toolbox can spark learning, curiosity, creativity and kindness and can continue to build their social emotional toolbox proficiency this summer! 

Social emotional learning tools build up self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision-making. The toolbox the students continue to use and strengthen will be there and be ready to use when faced with a stressor or challenge. They will be well equipped when they have regular practice of their strategies from their toolboxes.

Some SEL considerations for the summer:
  • Make a Family Bucket Filling List to accomplish together over the summer. 
    • How can you spread kindness within your family and to others?
    • Display your bucket and family ideas as a visual reminder. 
    • Here is a list of 104 bucket filling ideas for some inspiration! 
  • Create a Summer Goal
    • Set achievable goals
    • Have appropriate timelines for accomplishing
    • Help your child track their progress
  • Make a Summer Journal 
    • Encourage your kids to include gratitude
    • Drawing or writing in the journal helps to express thoughts and feelings
  • Create a Calming Area to help manage strong emotions
  • Continue to check in daily with your child’s feelings
    • This helps them identify and label their feelings 
    • It also demonstrates that what they are feeling matters
  • Practice a Growth Mindset
  • Practice Healthy Communication
    • Practice a bug and a wish, this is a healthy way for kids to express what is bothering them and express what they need
    • Having a wand and a toy bug can serve as a visual reminder for younger siblings to work out conflict peacefully 
    • Older kids can practice I messages which encourages a healthy way to communicate
  • Continue Family Fun Night with board games
    • Discuss each other's strengths and how it helped during the game.
    • What is a weakness that made it more challenging and how did you cope?

    As we embrace the warmer weather, ice cream, family and friend gatherings, being mindful of social emotional opportunities will continue to strengthen the tools in our children’s toolboxes. These skills will foster and continue to develop, grow and maintain healthy relationships with self and others across a lifetime.