Wednesday, October 28, 2020

HELP Pregnancy Crisis Aid ASA Donation

Paula Veneklase, HELP Pregnancy Executive Director,

joyfully accepts our ASA donation from Miss Simmons.

Spring is the time of year when we experience many changes.  The flowers begin to bloom, the trees start to blossom, the air warms up, the critters peek their noses out.  These seasonal changes follow God’s plan set from the time of Creation.  But Spring 2020 brought something else to our days: shutdown!

Staff had planned the beautiful, annual Via Dolorosa walk for our ASA family.  One of the activities for the day was to cut and assemble flannel burp cloths to donate to HELP Pregnancy Crisis Aid, our current community service project partner.  

The call went out to families for donations of fabric and thread.  Multiple patterns were created for little hands to trace.  But we were not together to put the project together as an ASA family.  So, during the shutdown, Miss Simmons and Ms. Starback … and Miss Simmons’ grandma … sewed and sewed and sewed to put together more than 120 burp cloths for an ASA donation to HELP Pregnancy.  The ladies also made several fleece blankets, flannel blankets, and lap quilts that were donated as well.  All donations were dropped off on October 20, 2020.  

Miss Simmons’ grandma helps in the sewing!

Thank you card from Paula Veneklase to all of us at ASA. 

HELP Pregnancy Crisis Aid is a local, Catholic non-profit organization dedicated to providing support services for women and families.  (

Ideas for how to continue to support HELP Pregnancy Center this year:

  • Spiritual Adoption Prayer


  • Donations presently needed: Enfamil yellow formula, Diapers sizes: newborn, 5 & 6, Bottles and pacifiers, Baby washcloths and towels, NB and 0-3 winter sleepers and clothing (boy & girl) 24 mo & 2t winter sleepers and clothing (boy & girl)

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

ASA Can Drive Results


Remember, way back in May 2020 when ASA Home and School held a Can Drive at the Middle School? 

Well, with the help of many volunteers and our great ASA community, our success was overwhelming. With your contributions and the hours of hard work by our volunteers who transferred the bags of cans and bottles (from the lawn, to the sheds, to the gym, to a semi trailer to ANOTHER semi trailer), sorted the various materials, and coordinated the event, All Saints Academy earned $11,700!!! 

Thank you to everyone who cleared their garages of cans and bottles! Thank you to the volunteers who gave their time to sorting and transferring! Thank you to the event coordinators who made sure we had volunteers, a trailer to store and transfer the cans and bottles, and arranged for an efficient return procedure. Stay tuned for details on the great things this fundraiser will afford All Saints Academy.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Virtual Calming Rooms

 Students Find Peace and Relaxation

ASA students continue on their journey to build their emotional literacy skills and expand their social emotional tool box. Emotional literacy includes learning to be aware of and identify the varied feelings we experience.  Students are taught to recognize that all their feelings are okay. With resources and social emotional lessons, students are continuing to identify and learn healthy strategies to cope with uncomfortable feelings. 

All K-8 students were provided access to and taught how to access the virtual calming rooms.  They were each provided an opportunity to explore the options that are available to help relax and find peace when experiencing an uncomfortable feeling, while at school or at home. Practicing breathing strategies, experiencing visual relaxation such as glitter falls, feeling the calming effect of an aquarium, being creative with online coloring, and finding comfort with prayer all provide options to return to calm from an uncomfortable feeling. The virtual calming rooms provide these experiences to our ASA learners.

This is a resource that provides students the time to practice emotional regulation.  It is a chance to access appropriate resources they can use to manage their emotions during a time of need or simply an opportunity to practice daily breathing strategies and self-care. We encourage you to explore these as a family and practice these emotional literacy tools together.  

K-4 Virtual Calming Room

5-8 Virtual Calming Room 

Monday, October 5, 2020

Flipping Your Lid

The Thinking and Feeling Brain

ASA students are continuing to learn to identify and name their feelings and practice their healthy calming strategies. During school counseling classroom visits recently, students learned how our brain works during an emotional response to a situation. We spent some time identifying how our brain reacts and how we can use our strategies to bring it back to calm.

Child psychiatrist Dan Siegel calls “flipping your lid”  the process of your brain’s reaction to negative emotion. We used a hand model to see how your rational brain disconnects and the emotional brain engages with these emotions.  The students practiced making this brain hand model to represent our feeling and thinking brain. This process introduces the prefrontal cortex (PFC), hippocampus and the amygdala to the students.

The students learned that the guard dog is the amygdala. It senses your feelings and works to keep you safe from danger with flight, fight or freeze. The elephant symbolizes the hippocampus, the memory saver. The hippocampus helps you learn, saves memories and remembers things. The wise owl is the prefrontal cortex. It helps you think before you act and make “wise” decisions. 

The hand model demonstrated that when your brain is calm, your thumb (amygdala) rests in your palm (hippocampus) and is covered by your four fingers (PFC). When your PFC disengages, your fingers open straight up and you tend to “flip your lid” emotionally. This will expose the amygdala (thumb) to initiate your guard dog response.

We practiced strategies we can use to calm the guard dog and bring back down your wise owl/PFC (fingers) to engage your thinking brain. Some of the strategies they liked were square breathing, hot chocolate breathing, figure eight breathing and zig zag breathing. When needed, the students always have the Elementary Virtual Calming Room   or the Middle School Virtual Calming Room they can go to for accessing calming strategies as well!