Visit week at St. Mary’s

By By BEN RAYMOND LODE / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Most schools have a day a month, or just a couple of times a year, when prospective students and their parents can come in to see what the school is like.
At St. Mary's School in Niles, which provides students with instruction in Catholic facts, core Christian values and a dedication to the fundamentals of education, they have chosen to do things differently this year, as part of their effort to attract new students.
Sue Bryant, prinicipal at St. Mary's School, said it's the first time they have dedicated a whole week for prospective students and their parents to come in and find out more about the school.
She hopes the new strategy will help bring more students to the school.
Bryant said this school year started out with a theme for the students: Earth.
Each month since, the school's students have focused on different animals, continents and different climatic zones on the planet, as part of their curriculum.
The end product is a hallway filled with posters depicting the Galapagos Islands, Australia, the African Savannah, the Arctic, a rainforest and the ocean.
Although the students received some help making the posters, they painted, drew and created all the animals on the posters themselves, Bryant said.
In the kindergarten room there is even a little pond that is the home of a little turtle, and a few fish.
Bryant said the students used that pond to imagine what lives in the ocean, and used their ideas to create the poster about the ocean. Bryant said teaching their students about the environment and letting them know at an early age how important it is to take care of it, is an important part of the Catholic education the students receive at the school.
Steve Rogers, school board member and father of children already enrolled at St. Mary's, said School Visit Week doesn't necessarily apply to parents who already have their children at the school.
He also said it's a good opportunity for people in the community to learn more about the school.
Currently, there are more than 100 students, including kindergarten at the school.

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