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Since 1974, National Catholic Schools Week is the annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States. It starts the last Sunday in January and runs all week, which in 2023 is January 29 – February 4. The theme for National Catholic Schools Week 2023 is “Catholic Schools: Faith. Excellence. Service.” Schools typically observe the annual celebration week with Masses, open houses and other activities for students, families, parishioners and community members. Through these events, schools focus on the value Catholic education provides to young people and its contributions to our church, our communities and our nation.
Catholic schools benefit all year long from the religious guidance, prayers and support parishes provide. Many parishes join in the National Catholic Schools Week celebration by devoting a Mass to Catholic education. Schools start the week by inviting parishioners and community members to parish-centered events and school open houses that feature their outstanding academic programs, religious education and service opportunities.
A central aspect of Catholic education is learning the importance of service to others. When students take part in service activities – both local and beyond – they demonstrate the values and faith they gain through their Catholic education and learn how to make the world a better place. When they observe how others serve the community, they gain an appreciation for how they can continue to serve others their entire lives.
Schools celebrate students during National Catholic Schools Week by planning enjoyable and meaningful activities for them and recognizing their accomplishments. They encourage students to reflect on the benefits of Catholic education and how the grounding in faith, knowledge and service it provides will help them throughout their lives.
On National Appreciation Day for Catholic schools, students, families, educators and other Catholic school supporters communicate the value of Catholic education to government leaders. They share information with leaders on the significant contributions Catholic schools make to the nation and their role in preparing students to be good citizens. They pray for the nation and recognize all those who serve.
By focusing on faith, knowledge and service, Catholic schools prepare children to use their God-given talents to the fullest later in life. National Catholic Schools Week offers an opportunity for students to explore the many life paths that enable them to use their talents well in the service of God and others.
Teachers are the backbone of Catholic schools. On this day, schools honor teachers, as well as administrators and staff who support teachers in their important work, and thank the parents, grandparents, alumni, parishioners and school board members who provide volunteer service.
Parents, guardians and other family members play a vital role in Catholic education. Not only do they volunteer at the school, they instill values and expectations for academic excellence in their children at home. We acknowledge the role of families in Catholic education and celebrate their contributions to the success of our schools on the last day of National Catholic Schools Week, and all year long.

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