February 16th, 2017

"Humility is the mother of all virtues; purity, charity, and obedience. It is in being humble that our love becomes real, devoted and ardent. If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are."
                                                                                    Mother Teresa
  • Wednesday, February 9th was the Hundredth Day of School. Can you believe that? Primary classes celebrated with a wide-range of different activities from one hundred exercises, to one hundred sight words, to counting one hundred cups. Thanks to our great Primary teachers for preparing these many enjoyable activities, the school year is flying by.
  • I had the chance to visit Mr. Tsingerliotis's eighth grade social studies class last week. The students were learning about the Progressive Era of American History. Mr. Tsingerliotis had the students view the photographs from Jacob Riis' book, "How the Other Half Lives" on the Smart Board. The pictures were at that time cutting edge because of the new invention: the flash bulb. The images of poverty in New York City at the turn of the century were unforgettable. This class was a wonderful example of Mr. Tsingerliotis integrating technology to enrich instruction in the classroom and a chance for our 8th graders to reflect how rapidly photography has progressed and how photos can capture truth without words..
  • Winter is a wonderful time to curl up with a good book - do your children need a fresh supply of books to read? Or, do you have children and young adult books in your home that your children have outgrown?  We have the answer: Mara Fleming and Karin Beggan are planning the First Annual School/Parish Book Share. From Monday, March 6th through Wednesday, March 8th OLF and Religious Ed students will be invited to clean out their home bookshelves by bringing in as many used, loved, and well-worn children's, juvenile and young adult books as they wish to our school's front lobby. We will then sort and arrange the books. On Friday, March 10th and Saturday, March 11th your child may come with a bag from home to "shop" the shelves for new-to-them books to bring home and keep. Mara and Karin want to stress that this is not a fundraiser - it is entirely free. "Give a book, take a book -Give a bunch, take a bunch!" All books remaining after 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 11th will be donated to the Catholic Academy of Bridgeport. Great idea, Mara and Karin! I hope to see you here.
  • Registration for 17-18 school year is taking place right now. Thank you to the parents who have already registered! If you haven't yet, please put it on your "to do" list. The registration fee is only $50 per child and all registration must be completed at our school before you apply for Bishop Scholarship grants through the diocese. Bishop Scholarship applications are due by April 1st. Please see Diane in the office with any registration questions.
  • Are you a connoisseur of fine wine? The H.S.A. will be hosting a Grapes.com Wine Tasting event on March 11th at 7:00 at the Parish Hall. The cost is $25 per person and the event is limited to 50 people.   The wine tasting will feature six affordable core wines and four specialty wines.   Cheese and crackers will be served.  Please RSVP to Larasmith1@netzero.net.  All RSVP must be in by March 3rd.  Hope to see you there!
  • Have you made a tax deductible contribution to our Fatima Faith Fund this year? If not, please consider doing so. Your generosity is greatly appreciated and very needed for our school.
  • The OLF Theatre Group is hosting a St. Patty's Day Supper!! Enjoy a Home Cooked Irish Buffet of Shepherd's Pie, Corned Beef, Bangers, Irish Soda Bread and much more. Music, basket raffles and time spent with friends will take place in the OLF Gym from 6- 8 pm on Friday March 17th. All are welcome! Tickets are $14 for adults and $6 for children under 12-sold at the door. To help determine a head count, kindly RSVP to  Anne Benanti at ac1498@aol.com
  • OLF Theatre Group is looking for Irish Entertainment for our 2nd Annual St. Patty's Day Supper!  Do you play the bagpipes, Irish Dance, play the tin whistle?   Please contact Karin Beggan at karinbeggan@gmail.com.
  • The Tyler Ugolyn tournament was a great success and ended in an amazingly game: the girls varsity basketball team won an extremely exciting Championship game over a very strong St. Thomas girls' team (31 to 29) on the last night of the tournament. This was the first time in six years that a Fatima basketball team has won our own tournament! To celebrate this achievement, we will have a School Banner Celebration Assembly for all our Fatima basketball teams but especially for the Girls' Varsity Team as soon as the new banner arrives. The tentative date for the assembly is Friday afternoon, February 24th. Stay tuned for more details.
  • Mark your calendars: Saturday, May 13th is the 100th anniversary of the Blessed Virgin appearing at Fatima. Father Damion is leading the planning for the event. We are having a long Spring Musical play practice that day from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. I am asking all students to bring their school uniforms to play practice and stay for the procession led by Bishop Caggiano, then 5:30 Mass, and then a reception hosted by the parish. All Fatima students and their families are encouraged to attend this very special and important day. All Fatima students are encouraged to wear their uniforms to Mass that Saturday!
  • February is Black History Month. Our teachers have highlighted this in a range of activities at the different grade levels. Kindergarten students had a mini-unit on Rosa Parks -they used the Scholastic News issue, a book, and the BrainPopJr video about her to learn more.  They also had a fascinating lesson about what is "fair or unfair."   They singled out students in the classroom for having a certain hair color, or shoe color, or table color, and they got to be "special" for a few minutes just because they had these characteristics.  An example would be students with red hair got a cookie but no one else did... to show how it is unfair to judge or make decisions based on someone being different than you! Third grade students worked on black history biographies.  Each student had a different important person to research and report on.  Some of the famous African-Americans researched included Phillis Wheatley, a slave and the first African-American woman to publish a book of poetry; Jack Johnson, the first African- American to win the heavyweight boxing championship; and Madame CJ Walker, first African-American self-made millionaire. In eighth grade, students spent time exploring segregation in our country with an emphasis on Jim Crow laws and the effect of these laws on segregation in our southern states that established different rules for blacks and white. At each grade level this if very important learning for our 21st Century students.  
  • Attention all mothers of young children. Our Young Mother's Group is beginning again in March. The goals of the group are to provide a discussion and support experience for the mothers and also provide a socialization experience for the young children. We will be meeting twice a month on Wednesdays from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. and we will be partnering with the Wilton's Mothers Group. Our first spring meeting will be on March 1st and all mothers with young children under three years old are welcome. Please call me if you have any questions.  
  • Want to get top dollar for unwanted or broken gold, silver, antique, or diamond jewelry? The HSA will host a "Cash for Gold" event on Saturday, March 11th from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in the school gym.   Make some money from those broken pieces, unwanted items, and single earrings!
  • The big H.S.A. Spring Gala on April 29th at the Rolling Hills Country Club. This venue can host up to two hundred people, so invite your friends and get ready to party. For more information contact Joanne Salageanu at  joanne.salageanu@gmail.com  or Carrie Shaffer at shaffercp@gmail.com.
Danielle Mancuso. One of the primary characteristics of a well-educated student and a key component of future achievement in education is the ability to listen and speak, and to read and write coherently and thoughtfully. Also, a key skill emphasized in the Common Core is the ability to read and comprehend non-fiction texts. Every day, Ms. Mancuso teaches our middle school students these foundation skills. In addition, Ms. Mancuso finds creative ways to engage our students in this process. The most recent unit is student-led book discussion groups. Thanks for all you do helping our middle school students develop these critical communication skills, Danielle!

Lara Paschalidis. A prospective parent asked me what electives we offered at our school. When I reflected on this question, I realized so far this year we have offered a wide range of enrichment classes. We have offered a chess program, a homework club, a "Moving and Grooving" class, a regular cooking class, a class combining books and cooking, a cooking class specializing in creating Halloween edible houses, an origami class, and we will soon be offering a yoga class. These classes have all been well attended, of high quality, and very successful. Lara has been the driving force for this wonderful enrichment for our students. She has researched and selected choices around the classes, vetted the presenters, scheduled the classes, and publicized the schedule. Thanks for all your work, Lara! (And I didn't mention all the other work Lara does like being the point person for the Teacher -Wishlist!)

February 17th - No School - Winter Break
February 20th - No School - President's Day
February 26th - First Eucharist meeting for second-grade parents
March 1st - Ash Wednesday
                      Mother's Group from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
March 3rd - First Friday Mass hosted by Grade 7
March 6th through March 17th - Terra Nova testing for grades 3-7
March 6th - March 11th - First Annual School/Parish Book Swap
March 7th - School-wide assembly to prepare for Jump Rope for Heart
                        H.S.A. meeting at 7:00 pm.
March 11 - H.S.A. Cash for Gold event from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
                      H.S.A. Wine Tasting Evening in the School Gym from 5:00 pm to     
                      11:00 p.m.
March 17th - St. Patrick's Day Supper from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
March 21st - Jump Rope for Heart during gym classes
March 22nd - Mother's Group from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
March 24th - Safe Environment Training for students in grades K-8
March 28th - The Tooth Fairy will be visiting Pre-K and Kindergarten classrooms
March 31st - Marks close for the third quarter
April 3rd - Parent only Eucharist meeting for second-grade parents
April 5th - Mother's Group from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
April 6th - 7th graders leading Stations of the Cross
April 7th - Report Cards sent home
                   First Friday Mass hosted by Grade 5
                   School Talent Show at 1:00 p.m.
April 10th through April 14th - School closed for Spring Recess
April 17th - School closed for Easter Monday
April 18th - School resumes
April 19th -  Mother's Group from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
April 29th - H.S.A. Spring Gala at the Rolling Hills Country Club
May 2nd - H.S.A. meeting at 7:00 p.m.
May 4th - Rehearsal at 4:00 p.m. in the church for second graders making their First Eucharist
May 6th - First Eucharist for second graders at 9:30 a.m.
May 7th - H.S.A. Mother-Son event
May 10th - 5th/6th/7th grade field trip to Sturbridge Village
May 12th - School living Rosary celebrating Our Lady's appearing at Fatima
May 13th - Parish celebration for the 100th anniversary of Our Lady appearing at Fatima in 1917. Procession beginning at 4:45 p.m., followed by 5:30 Mass with Bishop Caggiano, followed by a reception at the church
May 14th - Mother's Day
May 20th - Spring Musical, The Snow Queen, at 7:30 p.m.
May 21st - Spring Musical, The Snow Queen at 3:00 p.m.
May 29th - Memorial Day - No school
June 6th - Professional Staff Development - No school for students
June 8th - 8th- grade luncheon
June 9th - 8th-grade graduation
June 14th - Last Day of School  
Enjoy the Break!

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