St. Mary Parish School Fifth Graders Recreate Diner to Help Hungry at the Holidays; Raise $1200 for Feeding America
MENOMONEE FALLS, WI, November 28, 2017 (www.stmaryparishschool.org) Just in time to help needy families for the holidays, the St. Mary Parish School fifth graders recreated a lunchtime diner to earn and donate $1200 to Feeding America on Friday, November 17, 2017. Inspired by the Newberry Award winning book, Hope was Here, in the course of seven weeks the fifth graders read the book, applied for a job at the diner in more than eight departments, created a menu, priced supplies, trained staff, designed table décor as well as countless other responsibilities that were needed to prepare for the lunchtime rush at the Welcome Stairways Diner on November 7, 2017 at St. Mary Parish School.
In two hours the St. Mary students prepared and served lunch to more than 180 customers. Patrons were able to choose from G.T’s Chicken Sandwich (a seasoned grilled chicken break sandwich on a brioche bun) or the Keep Hoping Sandwich (a smoked turkey sandwich with dried tomatoes, mozzarella, chopped salad greens and red wine vinaigrette). Fruit salad, chips and a lettuce salad as well as desserts were also available The desserts on the menu included mocha chip cookies, butterscotch cream pie, apple pie ala mode or blueberry coffee cake. The donated amount included all money earned from guest checks, tips earned from wait and bus staff, as well as donations from each fifth grader that ate lunch at the closing of the diner.
TJ Kelm and Jenny Stroh are the fifth grade teachers at St. Mary Parish School. In an age when video games, television and electronic devices dominate for their student’s attention, they want their students to enjoy reading, to improve reading comprehension and to try and put into practice some of the important lessons from the books their students read in fifth grade. “Every book they read has a special project or field trip to bring the book to life. Students don’t want to miss out on the experiences and are swept along in the reading excitement…Even reluctant readers find themselves not wanting to put the book down,” said Stroh.
Hope was Here’s message is that “hope” is always present as long as there are good people who care about one another. As one of the novel’s main character’s point out, “Everyone can use a little hope to help get through the tough times.” With the $1200 donated by the St. Mary Parish School fifth graders, Feeding America can provide just that kind of hope – allowing for more than 3000 meals to be provided to those in need this holiday.
Keith Michalski, donor relations manager from Feeding America, came to St Mary Parish School on November 17 to personally accept their donation, to thank the students and teachers and explained how they will be helping the needy right here in southeastern Wisconsin. He also congratulated the students for making such a big impact at their young ages and thanked them for showing they’re never too young to give back to the community!
“It is amazing to see students using their skills in “real world” situations. This project allowed all the students the opportunity to take learning outside of the classroom in so many ways. I am so proud of what they have accomplished,” said Kelm.
MENOMONEE FALLS, WI, November 10, 2017 (www.stmaryparishschool.org) It is no small feat for a team to make it to the finals at the Elizabeth Seton Volleyball Tournament. This eighth grade volleyball tournament is the largest in the archdiocese of Milwaukee, bringing together schools from seven conferences throughout southeastern Wisconsin. The St. Mary Warriors in Menomonee Falls made Seton Tournament history with each of their volleyball teams sweeping the competition to play in all three divisions of the Championship at Catholic Memorial High School on Sunday, November 5, 2017. This is the first time that the tournament had a school with three teams competing in each of the divisions or has won multiple divisions in the same year to take home two Seton Tournament Championship banners.
Each of the St Mary teams had successful seasons and came into the tournament highly ranked. This placed each of the teams at the top of their bracket in the tournament. The St. Mary boys were 9-2 in league play and seeded fourth in the Seton. The boys’ team won each of the 17 sets played during the course of the Seton Tournament, beating the first ranked team 3-0 in the semifinal to advance. The Warriors beat St. Leonard in the Championship to take home the Seton banner. “The boys really made a point to focus on team not individual players,” said St Mary boys head coach Jill Jansen. “Their selflessness led to their amazing success.”
The Division I Lady Warriors were 9-1 in league play and seeded first in the tournament. The girls pushed through their competition to face second seed, St. Dominic, for the Seton Championship. These teams had faced off four other times this season with an even split of wins and losses for both teams. As one would expect, it was an epic battle for five sets before the St. Mary Lady Warriors prevailed as Seton Champions.
“This team of girls were so successful because they all trusted and believed in each other!” said St Mary Division I girls head coach Sara Pierce. “Many commented on the chemistry of the girls and how much fun they had playing together…There was never an I on this team only eight we’s.”
The St. Mary Lady Warriors Division II team played their neighbor to the north, St. Boniface, for the Division II Championship. St. Mary Division II team had a 9-1 record in league play and tied with St. Boniface for first in their conference. After a back-and-forth five set battle, the St. Mary Lady Warriors capped an outstanding season with a second place finish. “We had a great, fun year and exceeded our expectations and goals,” said St Mary Divisions II girls head coach Mike Miller. “They fought hard and left it all on the court.”
St. Mary Menomonee Falls teams are made up of St Mary Parish School students as well as religious education students of St. Mary Parish and the Menomonee Falls Parish Cluster. Since the tournament began in 2006, St. Mary Warriors have taken home six Seton Championship wins, with banners for the Division I Girls in 2009, 2012 and 2014 and capturing the Boys title in 2015 in addition to the wins in 2017. Having earned two more Seton banners this year, the St. Mary Warriors currently have the most Seton Tournament Championship wins.
“We are so proud of all these young men and women. This is such an incredible accomplishment, said athletic director at St. Mary, Joel Moeller, This is such a great way for these eighth graders to cap off their final year of playing volleyball as St. Mary Warriors.”