Tuesday, November 23, 2021

St. Alphonsus Education Endowment

We are excited to announce a $10,000 grant received from the St. Alphonsus Education Endowment for a few different projects at All Saints Academy! 

First, Miss Ojenus and Mrs. Patterson will be participating in the University of Notre Dame's Program of Inclusive Education (PIE) through the Alliance for Catholic Education. This formation program provides Catholic educators with additional skills to teach and advocate for students who may be struggling. We look forward to seeing Miss Ojenus and Mrs. Patterson help our entire community grow through their experience in this program.

Secondly, the band will be getting new and additional music books. As many know, band is an important part of the experience at All Saints Academy, and these new books will provide an additional enhancement to our program.

Lastly, we are excited to announce a new tradition at ASA, a spring musical! With the aid from a performing arts grant from the Endowment, Mrs. Zarzecki will be directing Moana Jr. this spring! Mrs. Zarzecki has directed over 18 productions, and we are excited to see her next one come alive with our students.  All interested 5th through 8th grade students are invited to audition after Thanksgiving break. If any parents have any talents you would like to contribute to the musical, please reach out to Mrs. Zarzecki at szarzecki@asagr.org.

Make sure you save the date for the performances on May 13th and 14th at West Catholic!

We have been blessed by the St. Alphonsus Education Endowment many times, as they have funded teacher wish lists, classroom Chromecast upgrades, and more! We are excited for the next steps in each of these projects and are beyond grateful for St. Alphonsus' aid in making them happen!

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

All In For ASA!


If you walked into the Upper Campus gym or St. Jude's Brophy Center on Saturday night, you would find parents, staff, friends, family, and parishioners who had been itching to get back together to celebrate and support the Catholic education at All Saints Academy. The night was filled with good laughs, new games, great drinks and food, incredible prizes, and most importantly, many blessings. Truly our community went All In For ASA. 

Eaglefest 2021 raised the most donations in the history of Eaglefest, with a total gross revenue over $105,000. The net revenue is expected to be over $80,000. We also had a historical raise the paddle, raising over $20,000 plus two $5,000 matches for a total of $30,000. These raise the paddle funds will be used to further enhance the student experience at ASA. With new energy, growth in enrollment, and recent donations, ASA is able to start focusing on more external greatest needs. This year's funds will go towards enhancing the play space for our students, including improving the Upper Campus ball field, purchasing outdoor playground equipment for both campuses, replacing our weathered Eddie the Eagle mascot and building funds for the next phase of improvements. Great strides were made at Eaglefest towards ensuring our students can partake in good old fashioned play.

While our traditional games and raffles returned, we added a new twist to a few of them. The Taste of Grand Rapids Big 5 game offered a bonus entry if you could guess the correct baby food flavor and the Jewel Quest Big 5 game also offered a bonus entry if you could pick the diamond in the bucket of rice and jewels. We also added a Spin the Wheel game with a grand prize of a Blackstone grill and smaller prizes of Biggby gift cards, Meijer gift cards, and ASA gear.

Some of this year's live auction packages included a Slipknot Charter fishing package, a night downtown getaway package, polish dinner with the Debri family, and a taste of Asia dinner with Fr. Chung in addition to the classic front row concert seating and the Principal for the Day packages. Our class projects sold between $175 and $500, with Preschool 4's Santa Cookie Plate and Milk Mug selling for $500. 

As Heads and Tales was being played at the end of the night, we added up the total costs raised from admission tickets, online donations, raffle tickets, and any donations and sales that evening. The total at that time was just over $98,000. With encouragement from the crowd, Mr. Debri led another raise the paddle to reach $100,000 that evening.

You can watch the short recap video below to see a glimpse into what Eaglefest all included this year:

Eaglefest 2021 is a night our community will never forget. A special thank you goes out to the Eaglefest committee for all their hard work in making the night a success. Thank you to everyone for going All In For ASA, so ASA can keep forming saints to serve all!

If you were not able to make it Eaglefest and would still like to make a donation, our teacher wishlists are still open! You can make a donation online at asagr.ejoinme.org/eaglefest.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

A Day...or Nine... on the Farm

October brings a favorite event of fifth graders...A Day on the Farm at the Franciscan Life Process Center in Lowell. But did you know the fifth grade actually spends nine days throughout the school year at the Franciscan Life Process Center? We just put our first three days in the books! We will be going back in the winter and then again in the spring. 

 What was it like? It was a fast and furious first three days of learning. Each day we began with “little portions” where we went in pairs to practice observation skills using sights, smells, and sounds to experience nature at our chosen “little portions” of the land around us. Other activities we did outside included feeding the farm animals, getting the garden ready for winter, picking the last of the vegetables and putting them in the cellar, and taking hikes to explore different habitats. 

 When we were inside the classroom, we learned how to identify trees with Sister, and we practiced that skill when we went hiking. We also did a cool art project with Ms. Cathy, and we went outside with Mr. Chris to play team survival games that helped us practice our critical thinking skills and made us practice using good communication with each other. 

 We loved eating our lunches outside because after that we played class games of capture the flag and hunted for painted rocks other visitors hid around the property. We plan to take some painted rocks with us next time so that we can hide them for others that go there. 

 We didn’t just like it. We LOVED it, and we cannot wait to go back!

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

ASA All Stars

Last spring, we showcased each and every staff and faculty member on our Facebook page with our #ASAAllStar campaign sponsored by Roersma & Wurn Builders. The #ASAAllStar initiative highlighted the amazing work of our teachers and staff members at All Saints Academy, especially during the unprecedented school year after the pandemic shut down. We encouraged all members of our ASA community, whether students, parents, co-workers, or others, to share their words and help us recognize the heroes among us. These campaign posts were fun and engaging for our whole community as we celebrated the incredible dedication of our staff.

This fall, there continues to be a lot of hard work and teamwork from our staff and community as we face continuing and new adversities. While some things have returned to "normal", such as students eating in the cafeteria and events being in-person, the pandemic continues to affect our ASA students, families, staff, and parishes. Our teachers and staff continue to sacrifice daily for the good of our students and community. So our #ASAAllStar campaign has continued, but in a different way.

On October 25th, each ASA staff member was seen rocking a new pair of red Converse All Stars. In addition to being an appreciation gift for the hard work of our staff, these shoes were a physical reminder for our staff that we are one as we face both the challenges and joys of a new school year. Additionally, it was an external sign to our students and larger community of our whole staff commitment to their children's Catholic education. Throughout the day, many of students pointed out how all the teachers were wearing the same red shoes!

These shoes were only possible because of a generous donation from Roersma & Wurn Builders. Thank you, Roersma & Wurn, for your continued support towards educating the next generation of saints and for continuing to uplift and encourage our staff.

As the school year continues, we hope these Converse All Stars are a reminder of our staff's dedication towards our core belief that we are one. Lastly, thank you to each and every staff member for their continued hard work, teamwork, and passion towards ASA. We couldn't form saints to serve all without each and every one of you.