Special activities provide avenues for students to grow and develop in many ways – spiritually, academically, culturally, socially, and athletically. Holy Cross makes a concentrated effort to broaden the students’ horizons.
The importance of spiritual growth is continually emphasized. Each grade prepares liturgies and provides lectors at class masses. The students in Grades 3-8 have the opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation on a regular basis. Para-Liturgical Celebrations such as the May Procession, October devotions to Mary, Living Stations of the Cross, a Christmas Pageant, and special prayer services are also regular features of religious life at Holy Cross.
It is important to help students recognize their obligations to those who are in need of special attention. Many classes select a special service project for the entire school year. For example, primary students may send cheerful messages and pictures to children’s hospital or a nursing home while other classes may select to become pen pals with the elderly members of the community or make sandwiches for the homeless. All classes Pre-K – Grade 8 collect food for needy families at Thanksgiving. At Christmas time each student selects a nametag from the parish Giving Tree and buys a present for that individual. These are just some of the projects that help the students realize the importance of service to one another and to their parish.
There are many opportunities for cultural enrichment. Holy Cross School is within walking distance of the Metro subway, which allows easy access to our Nation’s Capital and the special museums, historic monuments, and government facilities. Field trips are also taken to nearby Baltimore, Annapolis, and the Chesapeake Bay. The school does not have a school bus, but buses are rented for many of these trips. Parent volunteers are willing chaperones and assist the teachers on these excursions.
The school conducts many programs that foster cultural and social growth and achievement. Student art shows, an award winning school band, National Geography Bees, and educational fairs are just some of the events that encourage, support, and recognize achievement. Each spring classmates, parents and friends enjoy watching many talented boys and girls perform in the annual spring musical. Special after-school programs provide enrichment in art and science for interested students. The Holy Cross Youth Group sponsors many extra- curricular activities for students in seventh and eighth grade. This club also teaches them the importance of community service. A literary magazine staff as well as a yearbook and newspaper staff provides students with the opportunity to display writing and creative talents.
There is a strong athletic program to encourage physical fitness and good sportsmanship. Students participate in physical education classes two times per week. The CYO sports program sponsors teams in soccer, basketball, softball, and baseball. Volunteer coaches instill a love of athletics, necessary skills, and an understanding of the qualities necessary to work together as a team. The team photographs and the displayed trophies are indications of the success and achievement of the sports program.
There are also some very special days and events that provide an opportunity to share time and talents with others. Every year we honor Grandparents with a joyful celebration. During Catholic Schools’ Week there are several planned programs. Those who are interested in learning more about Holy Cross may visit during an all-day Open House. Fifth graders escort the visitors through the school and enlighten the guests with stories of the history and operations of the school. There are also days devoted to student and teacher appreciation.
Student government is an important asset to the school. Each year an election takes place, and the officers work together with student class representatives and a faculty mentor. They plan activities that are fun, as well as those that are spiritual or service oriented. Students also work with parents to produce an annual yearbook.
All of these activities, programs, and opportunities truly enrich the learning environment at Holy Cross School. They help bring our school family closer to each other and closer to God.