Annual Newsletter 2021-2022
St. Brigid of Kildare School
Dear Friends of Saint Brigid of Kildare SPiCE,

Generosity has long been a hallmark of the friends of Saint Brigid of Kildare SPiCE. This generosity has never been more evident than during the pandemic. The challenging conditions of the past year illustrated and brought to light the deep dedication of our teachers, staff, parents and the community at large.  

Our teachers and staff were intentional in meeting the needs of all of our children. This was demonstrated by the heroic efforts in researching and planning to keep our students physically and emotionally safe, engaged and feeling connected while socially distancing and wearing masks. We were successful in meeting the needs of our typical learners, but also the abundance of our children needing temporary or long-term extra support academically and emotionally. During the pandemic, we were still able to meet our primary goal of helping our students know that God loves and cares for them. Each day they learned to serve God as disciples, to read, to solve mathematical equations and to create art and music. Our hope is that one day these students will be adult disciples sharing the same love and generosity shown to them by others.  

This past year another unique example of generosity was evident. For the first time, one of our students who benefited directly from the SPiCE program has returned to Saint Brigid of Kildare School to work with our children. Because of the generosity, kindness, and encouragement shown to her as a young child working to overcome learning challenges, she has decided to give back to her school. This opportunity has taken our SPiCE program forward to a new phase: that of working with young adults while supporting their learning differences. We are excited to watch these young professionals as they begin to thrive in the workforce. 

Our parents, parishioners and friends in the community also demonstrated great generosity during this difficult year. All throughout the year our school community showed their gratitude by delivering cookies, lunches, notes, bundt cakes, gift bags, surprises in mailboxes, and donations to help support the extra efforts and expenses that this year brought. Generosity was also shown when it was time for our annual Corks for a Cause event. Our virtual event was a huge success! Our sponsors and donors gave so generously even in spite of the hardships that the pandemic presented. Our children are truly blessed to have so many people actively involved in our school and parish programs. We are able to continue the important work of meeting the individual needs of our children while inspiring them to one day serve as adult disciples in our community. 

Thank you for your generosity, may it bring you many blessings.
Kathy O'Reilly
New SPiCE Scholarship Program Launched
In 2020 the SPiCE committee raised money for scholarships during their “Corks for a Cause” event. The first scholarships were awarded in the fall of 2020. The second round of scholarships were awarded May 2021. We highlighted a few of our award winners below.

Modeling the Mission Award winners
This scholarship is awarded to students in our elementary school and Religious Education program that have gone out of their way to support the children in our SPiCE program, living the philosophy of the inclusion of all children in our parish community promoting understanding, compassion, and respect for all children of God. Students were nominated by teachers and staff to be a recipient of this award. Below are some of the nomination responses for this award.

"Nicholas Scott is one of the kindest students I have known. He is genuinely concerned about being respectful and kind to teachers and classmates. Nick is in class with a few of our special friends here at SBK. He truly goes out of his way to ask if they would like to join in with their group or play at recess. He is frequently checking in with them to see if they have questions. He is very kind with his responses and patient if they do not understand. He asks guiding questions to help a student in class, rather than just telling them the answers. In group work, he gives each group member a turn to answer, so that each feels included. He is great at listening to our students’ feelings and questions, but he is also good at responding and respecting those students' needs or concerns. Not only does Nick do all of these things to help, but he is a leader in the classroom, so he is acting as a model for his other peers in the room to be kind and inclusive to those students who may have different needs."

"John Doll has been a home learner throughout this school year. While online, he has been so helpful to students who have had to quarantine. Some of these students are a part of our SPiCE program. When we would work in groups in the classroom, John was great about communicating with these students in their own digital breakout room. He was great at asking questions to help them understand the content, rather than just telling them the answers. He has the kindest heart and was able to carry on conversations with some of them who struggle to socialize. If the SPiCE student would ask a question in the chat, John would try to answer it for them in the chat if the teacher was busy. If that student would not speak up, he would also get the teacher's attention and let us know that the student had a question. He was so helpful at helping students learn how to turn work in digitally and even log into Meets or other applications used in the classroom."


Children Benefitting from SPiCE Scholarship
Our children benefitting from SPiCE at Saint Brigid of Kildare School and Religious Education often encounter a number of other expenses outside of tuition in order to address their needs. We hope to offset the cost of tuition/fees so that a Catholic education continues to be attainable to these families. In the application, we ask the families to write about “What does the SPiCE program mean to your family and how will receiving this scholarship help fund your child's Catholic education?”

Below are some of the responses from our scholarship winners.

"The SPiCE program is especially important to our family and one of the many reasons why we choose to send our children to St. Brigid a few years ago. My husband and youngest son are dyslexic with a multitude of learning disorders. I watched my husband in high school and our son in elementary and middle school struggle to learn in environments where “one size fits all” is the platform. We have witnessed firsthand the very opposite at St. Brigid and because of this, our youngest daughter is thriving in school. She has not had the struggles her brother had, and she feels safe and empowered at St. Brigid. She enjoys learning about God and how he is always there for her and this helps her to move into uncomfortable tasks with schoolwork that perhaps wouldn’t happen if she were in another school setting."

"The SPiCE program means the world to our family. Our oldest son has autism. It was heart-wrenching seeing him struggle educationally and socially. We sought out Catholic education for him because we felt that religious education added an intangible component to his education as well as those around him. An element of kindness and compassion. He is very sensitive, and his smile would light up any room. All of the children in his class have been so kind and welcoming to him. The teachers and support staff have gone above and beyond for him and our family. We are so unbelievably grateful to them. As a parent knowing your child is getting the very best support and educational foundation is invaluable. He truly loves school and we thank God every day we made the decision to send him to SBK. The SPiCE program enables him to still get the Catholic education that is so important to our family while supporting his educational, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing."

If you would like to learn more about the SPiCE scholarships or donate, please contact Sarah Moore at Sarahmoore00@hotmail.com or 614-761-3734.
Trauma Responsive Training for Staff & Parents Offered
During the 20-21 school year, the SPiCE program funded two versions of trauma-responsive training sessions led by Sarah Buffie of Soul Bird Consulting -- one for teachers and staff in August, and one for parents in January.

The focus of the first training session was to help our teachers and staff better understand how trauma affects the brain and body and teach effective approaches for developing resilience in our children. This helped prepare our teachers and staff to support our children emotionally and socially as they returned to school both physically and digitally.  

In the winter, Crucial Conversations then hosted a Zoom parenting workshop series called Surviving in Trying Times. In this series families came together in a supportive learning environment to engage with one another and with practices that help families not just survive in trying times, but thrive

Sarah's training disrupts current models of thinking by building empathy and understanding around the effects of trauma and systems of oppression. You can learn more about Soul Bird Consulting training sessions here.
Social-Emotional Learning Continues
In an effort to continue working on our social-emotional learning (SEL) program, we are happy to announce that we are piloting a program with third and fourth graders called Friendzy. The program focuses on five components: self-awareness, self-management, responsible decision-making, social awareness, and relationship skills. Lessons are recommended to be taught once a week and ideas are to be reinforced daily. The classroom teachers and Ms. Williams will collaborate on the lessons, and there may be some community and family pieces as well. For the other grade levels, Ms. Williams will work in collaboration with the classroom teachers to reinforce the five components utilizing other resources. The wellness subcommittee of the task force is also referencing a book titled A Light Unto My Path published by NCEA (National Catholic Educational Association) to further develop SEL ideas to implement at St. Brigid.

We will continue to utilize our Discipleship Rubric to teach and reinforce the ideas of respect, responsibility, kindness, and readiness to learn, and our Catholic Identity accreditation plan will continue us on the path of meditation which also helps our children to manage emotions.
Virtual Corks for a Cause Raises Over $88,000
In April we wrapped up a very successful Virtual Corks for a Cause event, culminating in an excitement of bids, votes, and donations on the closing night, Saturday, April 24!

Because of our many gracious event sponsors, in addition to mail-in donations, we raised a total of over $88,000 for our SPiCE program through this year's Virtual Corks for a Cause! Thank you to our hundreds of donors, bidders, sponsors and voters for your support!

The SPiCE Corks for a Cause wine tasting could not exist without our many amazing volunteers. To become involved please contact Sarah Moore, Development Director St. Brigid of Kildare at 614-761-3734 or sarahmoore00@hotmail.com.
Summer SPiCE Programs Offered
Get Moving Fitness Program
The “Get Moving” SPiCE fitness program returned this summer to help children socialize, get moving and get into shape! Sessions have been offered in June and July to give children in first through fourth grades the opportunity to keep moving and keep socializing with friends throughout the summer.

Summer Booster Camps
The Saint Brigid of Kildare School Academic Support Team (Intervention Specialist, Occupational Therapy Assistant and Speech-Language Pathologist) is planning a week of enriching and enjoyable activities focusing on team work, problem solving, creative writing, social skills, growth mindset, self-regulation and much, much more. Students entering first through fourth grade will learn and practice important skills to help them be ready to learn and start the school year off confidently. Students entering fifth through eighth grade will learn important skills and strategies and will focus on strengthening independence, mental and physical health. Students will have opportunities to explore growth mindset, self-regulation, and planning and prioritizing, and organization strategies.

The camps will be offered in August at St. Brigid of Kildare School and were available on a first-come-first-serve registration basis (registration is currently full for all sessions).
SPiCE Committee: Welcome Chairs
The SPiCE Committee is welcoming co-chairs for the 21-22 school year -- welcome to our 21-22 SPiCE Committee Chairs Jen Griffith (returning as co-chair) (jen.griffith@adp.com) and Stephanie Hartmann (sbhartmann1@gmail.com)!

The SPiCE Committee is always open and looking for members to join or assist with events and projects as needed. Please use the form below ("Support SPICE") to indicate your volunteer interests, or
contact Jill Carfagna at mrs.carfagna@stbrigid-school.org, or 21-22 SPiCE Committee Chairs Jen Griffith (jen.griffith@adp.com) and Stephanie Hartmann (sbhartmann1@gmail.com) with any questions.
A Look Ahead: Upcoming SPiCE Events
  • Corks for a Cause Silent Auction & Wine Tasting - 2022 date TBD

  • SPiCE Board Meeting Dates:
  • September 20th, 6-7 PM
  • November 15th, 6-7 PM
  • February 7th, 6-7 PM
  • May 16th, 6-7 PM
About SPiCE
SPiCE: A Teacher's Perspective
The following video showcases the teachers and SPiCE program at Saint Brigid of Kildare School and how they work each day to meet the learning needs of all students and to build strong and resilient children.
SPiCE: A Parent's Perspective
A few of our SPiCE parents have shared how the SPiCE program has benefitted their child and their family. Hear their stories in our parent video.
What is SPiCE?
The SPiCE program at St. Brigid of Kildare is support for our learners in so many ways — it is teachers, support staff, adaptive tools, parenting workshops, professional development and so much more.

Click the link below to view a slideshow to learn a little more about what your donation funds for our SPiCE program at St. Brigid of Kildare.
The SPiCE program at St. Brigid of Kildare thrives because of the time and talent of people like you -- without your support, these programs wouldn't be possible.

From volunteering to help with an event, chair a committee, or donate financially, any bit of help you can give to support our SPiCE program is deeply appreciated. Click the link below to learn about the many ways you can support SPiCE at St. Brigid of Kildare.