Julia Moretti, 7, held the laminated sky blue laboratory pass out straight. "I want to be a scientist," said the Saint Rocco School second-grader who dressed in a white lab coat emblazoned with a test-tube and light bulb researcher's
Julia Moretti, 7, held the laminated sky blue laboratory pass out straight.
“I want to be a scientist,” said the Saint Rocco School second-grader who dressed in a white lab coat emblazoned with a test-tube and light bulb researcher’s patch.
“My cousin is a scientist,” she said. “I think she makes vaccines.”
The mandatory facemask, pink with white trim, fit the possible future physicist’s Career Day costume.
“I like studying stuff,” Moretti said. “And I like trying to understand things.”
She stood next to her “faith buddy,” a fellow Cranston girl, 11-year-old Adrianna Insana, a sixth-grader.
Insana wore a straw hat and flannel shirt.
“I want to raise cattle and grow crops,” said the future farmer. “If there are no farmers, they can’t supply and stock stores. If no one stocks stores, there’s no food to buy.”
The “faith buddies” program at St. Rocco pairs sixth-graders with younger protégé’s from the second grade class. They team up and pursue activities together, like Monday’s Career Day.
Science fair-like inspiration projects filled the activity room, all specimens from this year’s St. Rocco School Annual Invention Convention.
The Invention Convention and Career Day helped kick off Catholic Schools Week at the Johnston School.
Principal Regina M. Hand shared a packed calendar of activities planned for this week; each day labeled with a theme.
Monday’s them was “Our Community.”
The Career Day dress-up allowed students to dress as the occupation they would like to pursue as adults. Students wrote about their career choice the week before in English Language Arts class, shared their work with their classrooms, and then met up with their Faith Buddies to explore vocational possibilities together.
Monday also featured a food drive, ice cream social and the beginning of a book fair.
On Tuesday, students explored “Our School & Students,” starting with School Spirit Day, when students were allowed to ditch the uniforms and don instead their gym uniform or Spirit Wear. St. Rocco’s athletes were allowed to wear their SRS sports shirts, jackets and pants.
Tuesday also featured an assembly with BWANA Iguana and St. Rocco School Jeopardy for grade 5-8. Students also wrote thank you letters to parents.
Wednesday’s theme, “Our Nation,” allowed students to wear appropriate red, white or blue clothing rather than school uniforms.
Students created cards for local veterans, to be distributed through Johnston-based Operation Stand Down Rhode Island. Some students also marched in a school parade, with music, streamers, pompoms and signs. Grades 4-8 held a spelling bee.
Thursday’s theme, “Vocations,” was planned to feature Vocation Talks in Café Rocco.
“We’re lucky enough to have three wonderful sisters here,” Hand said on Monday. “They’ll share their thoughts on ‘vocation’ with the students.”
Thursday will also be “Crazy Hat or Hair Day,” and students can wear silly hats or a creative hairstyle to accent the return of their school uniforms.
Friday will celebrate “Our Teachers & Staff,” according to Hand.
First Friday Mass will be held prior to staggered dance parties at Café Rocco, for grades pre-K through 4. Older students will participate in classroom activities.
The school’s 175 students will end the week with an early dismissal Friday.
Typically, Catholic Schools Week kicks off on Sunday. This past weekend’s blizzard, however, altered the schedule a bit. Last Sunday’s theme, “Our Parish and School,” has been rescheduled to this Sunday, Feb. 6.
The “Opening of Catholic Schools Week Mass” will be held to close the week, beginning at 10 a.m. Sunday.
Following mass, the school will host an appointment-only Open House. Parents can call the school at 944-2993 to make an appointment to tour the school Sunday between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
“We have a lot to get in this week,” Hand said.
Catholic Schools Weeks is an annual celebration that dates back to 1974, Hand said, following dipping Catholic School enrollments in the early 1970s.
“The schools were overflowing in the Fifties and Sixties,” Hand said. “But by the mid-1970s, there was a drop off. Catholic Schools Week is not just about the school. It’s about how the school fits into the community.”
The St. Rocco student body is mainly composed of students living in Johnston (about 60 percent), but the rest come to the school from neighboring towns and cities like Cranston, Warwick, Coventry, North Providence, Smithfield and North Smithfield. A regional bussing program provides transportation across the surrounding communities, to St. Rocco School and its adjacent church in Johnston.
Sixth-grader Allessandro Cassisi-Wood, 11, wore a sharp sports coat and tie to Career Day.
He stepped to the front of the room and proudly declared his occupational aspiration.
“I would like to be President of the United States,” he said proudly. “I don’t want to see this country go down. It’s the land of the free. I want to uphold the Constitution.”
The Providence youngster took a place on stage and posed for a photograph by the American flag.
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