Stay Learning This Summer

Summer vacation is here, but you don’t have to leave the learning behind! St. Charles Borromeo, an Orlando Catholic school, has tips to help keep your child learning all summer long.

At-Home Theatre Time
No need to go out to see a theatre show — make your very own play at home! Creating their own play can get their creative juices flowing by developing stories that the finger puppets act out. Children can create puppets by cutting off the finger-ends of old gloves, then by drawing a face on them with felt-tip markers and gluing on yarn for hair. They can create animal faces, such as cats and dogs.

Start Writing
Give your children postcards so they can write to you about their summer adventures. Provide them with a journal to write diary entries, poetry, recipes, or to scrapbook. They can also blog! Edublogs and Kidblog offer free blog spaces that have appropriate security. Blogging can help them build research and writing skills.

Build Vocabulary with a Word Jar
Word jars can help build your child’s vocabulary skills. Fill a jar with pieces of paper that have a word on each one. Let your child draw a word every day, and ask them to define it. Challenge them to use that word in conversations throughout the day. Adapt the activity to their grade level.

Count with Ice Cream
Children may not love math, but they love ice cream! Incorporate a sweet treat into their math games. Gather small pom poms of different colors and write numbers on triangles. Your child will stack “ice cream scoops” into each cone according to its number, counting as they go. Treat them to real ice cream once they masters their counting skills!

Treasure Hunt at a Museum
Your child may not be excited to visit a museum, so take your visit one exhibit at a time. When you visit, do not try seeing everything in one day. Start by visiting the gift shop and allowing your child to pick out some postcards of paintings or objects in the museum. Try to incorporate periods of history they have learned at school. Then, have them walk through the museum and treasure hunt those items in the postcards!

St. Charles Borromeo, an Orlando Catholic school, is more than just a place to learn; it’s a community. Our staff is committed to proclaiming the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ. We believe in teaching the whole child and want students to love learning, helping them grow into well-rounded, contributing members of society. Learn more about us by contacting us here.

How to Prepare for Summer Camp

If you registered your children for summer camp, you may be feeling apprehensive about them being on their own. St. Charles Borromeo, an Orlando Catholic school, has the tips you need to prepare for summer camp and to ensure your children have the best experience ever.

Talk About It
Get your children excited about camp by sharing your own childhood camp experiences or involving them in the planning process. Read the brochures and websites together, and show them some of the experiences they can look forward to. By focusing on the positive, you are reducing their anxiety.

Pack Sentimental Items
Pack one or two gentle reminders from home, such as a teddy bear or a family photograph, to make them feel comfortable while away.

Inform the Camp Director of Any Medical Concerns
Before you send your children off, make sure you get their physical exam. Let the camp director know in advance about any allergies or medical concerns. If it’s a chronic condition, consider a camp that is specific to your child’s needs.

No Sharing
Remind your children not to share brushes, hats, or helmets during their camp stay. Let them know they can get lice from sharing.

Label
Label everything you are sending your children to camp with. The children rarely stay organized at camp, and they can mix their stuff up with their tent mates. In a big pile of clothes, it’s easier to sort if the clothing has their name on it. For younger campers, try color coding!

Keep Goodbyes Short and Sweet
Get them settled in and be on your way! Long, emotional goodbyes can increase your child’s anxiety. As difficult as it is, giving them a quick kiss, hug, and promise to be in touch is better for their transition into camper mode.

Prepare for Homesickness
Your child may feel homesickness during camp. Reassure them it’s common, especially for first-time campers. Leading up to their getaway, let them know that being sad and having emotions is both normal and healthy and that the staff is there to help.

Make Communication Positive and Easy
Become your child’s pen pal. Pack notecards, envelopes, and stamps and give them a schedule for phone calls and emails. Explain to them how easy it is to contact you, and that they should share the good and the bad. In the event you receive a negative correspondence, it is days old and your child is most likely in a happier place now. Reply back in a positive, upbeat way.

St. Charles Borromeo, an Orlando Catholic school, is more than just a place to learn; it’s a community. Our staff is committed to proclaiming the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ. We believe in teaching the whole child and want students to love learning, helping them grow into well-rounded, contributing members of society. Learn more about us by contacting us here.

The Value of Family Vacations

With summer vacation right around the corner, family vacations are coming up as well — and you don’t need to take an extravagant trip to Hawaii or Europe to benefit from family time. Family vacations create lasting memories and offer a fun escape from reality. Take a look at the ways you and your kids can benefit from taking a vacation together!

Learn From Other Cultures
By spending time immersed in other cultures, your children become more empathetic, open-minded, and respectful and appreciative of cultural differences. They see firsthand how other people live and expand their understanding of the world around them.

Recharge
Family vacations are the perfect way to forget about work and school and just focus on your family and having a great time. When you share this relaxed time together, you build relationships and develop stronger bonds.

Happiness Anchors
According to research done by the Family Holiday Association, family vacations can act as “happiness anchors.” This means that happy memories refresh us by taking us back to cheerful times, allowing us to approach problems with a fresh perspective. Of those surveyed, 49% said their happiest memory was a family vacation, and a third of the respondents said that they can still vividly recall vacations when they were a child. A quarter of respondents said they reflect on these joyful memories to get through tough times.

Quality Time
As you conquer new adventures, unfamiliar cultures, or the tallest roller coaster in the theme park, you spend time together as a family. You get the chance to learn more about each other in a new environment and have uninterrupted conversations.

The Planning Process
Take time to watch shows on your destination, research popular stops, and activities, and read about the most-loved local spots. The excitement and anticipation of planning your trip will help you push through your daily work day and give you something to look forward to!

St. Charles Borromeo, an Orlando Catholic school, is more than just a place to learn; it’s a community. Our staff is committed to proclaiming the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ. We believe in teaching the whole child and want students to love learning, helping them grow into well-rounded, contributing members of society. Learn more about us by contacting us here.

Get a Little Greener for Earth Day

As Earth Day gets closer, it’s the perfect opportunity to talk to your family about how we can take small steps every day to protect the environment. From grocery shopping to traveling, it’s easy to conserve energy and resources. Take a look at these creative tips to go a little greener every day:

Shop smarter: Purchase from businesses that support eco-friendly and fair trade practices. Don’t be afraid to read labels and ask how something was made or what an ingredient is. Your weekly Publix trip isn’t just a chance to check off your grocery list; it’s a chance to show what you want to see more of in the market.

Proper disposal: If you have chemical-heavy items such as used batteries, old cell phones, or paint thinner, Earth911 can help you find locations near you that accept and recycle all sorts of materials.

Cleaning products: Rather than using paper products to clean, opt for sponges, washcloths, and towels, which are less expensive, reusable, and easily disinfected with hot water. Baking soda and vinegar are also great non-toxic, budget-friendly options! If the vinegar smell bothers you, follow it up with a bit of lemon juice.

The stove: When you use a lid to cover a pot on the stove, you not only boil your water faster, but you can reduce your energy by up to two-thirds. And if you’re able to prepare multiple foods in the same pot, you can save energy as well.

Get recycling: If you go to the America Recycles Day website, you can enter your zip code and join a community-wide recycling event close to you.

Pest repellents: Did you know that coffee grounds are an easy eco-friendly alternative to pest repellents? Sprinkle these around ant-prone areas and you’ll reap the benefits without suffering from toxic fumes.

Use rainwater: Create a simple, DIY rainwater harvesting system to collect water run-off for your lawn and garden. All it takes if a 50-gallon barrel, a filtering screen, and a spigot. You can collect up to 150 gallons with every rainstorm!

When traveling: If you don’t wash your sheets and towels every day at home, why should you do it when you’re traveling? Leave the “Do Not Disturb” sign on your hotel room door to prevent the housekeeping staff from cleaning your room every day, which will help conserve cleaning supplies, water, and electricity.

Power strip: Unplug your electronics when they’re not in use. If it takes too much time to unplug each device manually, use a power strip that can turn off multiple devices at once.

St. Charles Borromeo, a private school in Orlando, is more than just a place to learn; it’s a community. Our staff is committed to proclaiming the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ. We believe in teaching the whole child and want students to love learning, helping them grow into well-rounded, contributing members of society. Learn more about us by contacting us here.

 

The Importance of Holy Saturday

The Easter season and Holy Week are sacred, important times of the year. It’s an opportunity for us to remember the last week that Jesus spent walking on Earth and prepare our hearts for His return. Each day of Holy Week is special, and by understanding the importance of Holy Saturday, we can fully appreciate the sacrifice He made for us.

What Happened on the First Holy Saturday?
Holy Saturday is a day of both joy and sadness as we reminisce on the day that Jesus laid in the tomb. Luke 23:56 mentions that the women returned home “and prepared spices and ointments. On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.” Pontius Pilate instructed guards to be posted at the tomb to ensure that the disciples wouldn’t steal His body.

The History
This was the only Saturday on which fasting was permitted in the early days of the Church. In the second century, people fasted for the entirety of the 40-hour period between nightfall on Good Friday and dawn on Easter Sunday. In the reign of Constantine in the fourth century, the tradition of the vigil began.

At dusk, the vigil began with the lighting of the “new fire,” which included a large number of lamps and candles and the Paschal candle. The Paschal candle is made of white wax, marked with a cross and an alpha and omega, and represents leading people out of the darkness and into the celebration of the Easter vigil.

What Happens at the Easter Vigil?
When we celebrate Holy Saturday with the Easter Vigil Mass, we meditate on God’s good works and thank Him for the price Jesus paid. In the early church, Holy Saturday and the vigil of Pentecost were the only days baptism was administered. While we don’t follow that now, the Easter Vigil Mass is still an important night for those who have spent months of preparation to be received through Baptism and Confirmation into the Church.

St. Charles Borromeo, an Orlando Catholic school, is more than just a place to learn; it’s a community. Our staff is committed to proclaiming the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ. We believe in teaching the whole child and want students to love learning, helping them grow into well-rounded, contributing members of society. Learn more about us by contacting us here.

Lent Around the World

When we think of Lent in the United States, we often think of abstaining from meat, giving up something we enjoy, or adding in a spiritual practice. But there’s a huge range and variety of Lenten (and Pre-Lenten) traditions in other cultures! Find out a bit about what the rest of the world enjoys during this Holy season.

Denmark
In Denmark, locals celebrate “Fastelavn” the Sunday before Lent begins. On this day, everyone enjoys eating cream or jam-filled pastries, and children dress up in costumes and beat a barrel filled with candy (similar to a piñata). The two children who successfully break the barrel open are crowned “Cat King” and “Cat Queen.” Believe it or not, this is because the barrel didn’t always hold candy — it used to hold a live cat!

British Isles
Did you know that the British Isles have a long-famous Lenten tradition of eating hot cross buns? The cross marking on the bun symbolizes Jesus’ crucifixion, while the spices in the dough represent His embalming.

Greece
“Kathari Thetera,” or Clean Monday, commences the Lenten season. The Sunday beforehand, people attend a special evening Mass and ask for forgiveness to start Lent with a clean soul. This holiday also signifies the end of a month of carnival celebrations that take place throughout the country leading up to Lent! Clean Monday is a public holiday, and families enjoy the day at the beach or countryside, often flying kites.

Germany
What we know as Holy Thursday, Maundy Thursday commemorates Jesus’ last supper with His Apostles. This day is called Green Thursday (or Grundonnerstag in Germany). There are a variety of speculations as to why this is, but a common one is that since we’ve historically abstained from eating meat, this day is full of green foods and vegetables.

The United Kingdom
Pancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday, is a day to indulge and feast before the beginning of Lent. But it’s not just about eating pancakes — in Britain, locals enjoy pancake races every year! Members of Parliament and the House of Lords compete in an annual charity race around Victoria Gardens, and each contestant must complete a full lap without dropping the pancake out of their frying pan (although many admit to stuffing extra pancakes in their pockets), all while wearing an apron and white chef’s hat.

St. Charles Borromeo, an Orlando private school, is more than just a place to learn; it’s a community. Our staff is committed to proclaiming the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ. We believe in teaching the whole child and want students to love learning, helping them grow into well-rounded, contributing members of society. Learn more about us by contacting us here.

Ash Wednesday

Every year, we gather on Ash Wednesday to receive ashes on our forehead — but do we truly understand the importance of what we’re doing? Learn more about Ash Wednesday and how we prepare for the Easter season and Jesus’s resurrection.

Why Ashes?
Ashes help us remember Genesis 3:19, which tells us that we came from dust, and to dust, we will return. We participate in recognition that we need to repent, turn away from our sin, and be faithful to the Gospel. Ashes serve as a reminder that we are given eternal life through the sacrifice of Jesus.

Where Do The Ashes Come From?
The ashes that mark your forehead come from the blessed palm branches that were used for the previous year’s Palm Sunday Mass. The ashes are sprinkled with holy water and blessed with prayers that are thousands of years old.

The Original Palm Sunday
Palm Sunday marks Jesus’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem, and everyone gathered to celebrate his arrival by waving palm fronds. This was the beginning of the final seven days of Jesus’s earthly ministry.

Preparation
Ash Wednesday signifies our preparation for Holy Week and the resurrection of Jesus. We come to God and ask for mercy, forgiveness, and compassion, and we repent of our sins. By doing so, in 40 days, we are able to celebrate Easter with the joy that God intended!

Ashes in the Bible
Over 40 passages in the Bible associate ashes with grief and mourning. In the Old Testament, people used ashes as a sign of repentance. Daniel 9 says that Daniel “turned to the Lord God and pleaded with Him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes,” and Job 42 shows that Job repented “in dust and ashes.” The Ninevites did the same when Jonah came to them. In Esther 4, Mordecai learns of Haman’s plan to destroy the Jewish people and tears his clothes, puts on sackcloth and ashes, and “went out into the city, wailing loudly and bitterly.”

Don’t Wash Them Away
In the Middle Ages, ashes were not drawn in a cross on the forehead; they were sprinkled across the head. Now, we leave them on our head as a sign of humility. This is a great opportunity to talk to the people in your life about your faith!

St. Charles Borromeo, a private school in Orlando, is more than just a place to learn; it’s a community. Our staff is committed to proclaiming the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ. We believe in teaching the whole child and want students to love learning, helping them grow into well-rounded, contributing members of society. Learn more about us by contacting us here.

Teacher Spotlight: Mary Anne Patchett

Since 1990, Mary Anne Patchett has been a proud member of the St. Charles Borromeo family. Learn more about Ms. Patchett, her love for teaching, and her passion to transform students into compassionate, responsible leaders of the future.

Where did you grow up?
I was born in Daytona Beach and grew up in Longwood, FL.

What subjects do you teach?
I teach 6th-grade World History, 7th-grade Civics and Government, and 8th-grade U.S. History.

What do you like to do for fun?
In college, I worked in a film lab, so photography is definitely a hobby of mine! Besides that, I love the beach and I love to travel, and it’s wonderful to travel to places that you teach about. A few years ago I went to Greece and to be able to share my experiences with the students is incredibly valuable.

Where have you traveled?
I’ve been to England, Ireland, Italy, and Greece. It’s hard to pick a favorite! They’re all so unique. Egypt is on my list next.

When did you know that you wanted to become a teacher?
Teaching wasn’t a plan until I was maybe in high school or college; it was a slow process! But I found out that it was something that I was good at and really enjoyed. I actually started off teaching elementary school. I’ve only been in middle school for 5 or 6 years, but I taught 5th grade for close to 20 years before this.

What’s your favorite thing about teaching social studies?
I think what’s interesting — especially when we talk about the government — is that it’s constantly changing. When we talk about elections and current events, it’s important that we prepare [students] for the world they’re going to be living in and responsible for. We teach them that they’re going to be important leaders and forces of change.

How do you engage your students in the learning process?
I engage the students by showing them respect and expecting it in return. It’s important that they know that you love them and that you care about who they are as individuals. I try to build relationships with them, and I teach with a loving firmness and mutual respect.

Sometimes they’ll surprise you! And sometimes you have to remind them that they know more than they think, and they shouldn’t underestimate themselves. Their opinions mean something, and they should keep striving for their best.

What do you hope your students take away from being in your classroom?
I hope they’re able to think on their own and problem solve. They’re going to be working in jobs and careers that don’t exist yet, and I want them to know that what I did for them was out of love and respect. Teachers want to see success; teachers want to see our students do well, and that’s my goal.

As a College Park private school, our staff is committed to proclaiming the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ. We believe in teaching the whole child and want students to love learning, helping them grow into well-rounded, contributing members of society. Learn more about us by contacting us here.

Why Choose St. Charles Borromeo

On March 31, 1954, a parish was established in College Park and named St. Charles Borromeo. Less than a year later on January 24, 1955, St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School opened as a junior high school. With an initial enrollment of 65 students in grades 7, 8, and 9, we’ve grown substantially over the years and now teach over 300 students. While our numbers may have grown, we’re proud to offer the same exceptional education that has made us a pillar in the Catholic community.

After Hurricane Michael hit, our fourth graders wanted to help and hosted a bake sale to aid those in need. All proceeds went to Catholic Charities of Central Florida to assist with the recovery efforts from Hurricane Michael.

A Blue Ribbon School
On October 2, 2007, St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School was named by the U.S. Department of Education as a 2007 Blue Ribbon School, one of only 287 in the nation to receive this honor.

Parent Partnerships
Parents are the primary educators of their children, and we believe that it’s truly a privilege to be a part of each student’s learning experience. We are proud to partner with you to help your child grow into a confident, capable member of society.

Academics
We offer a challenging, rigorous curriculum that challenges students to embrace their full potential, gives them a solid academic foundation, and helps them develop their God-given talents. Our instructors create a safe, comfortable, and healthy learning environment. In this environment, students have the opportunity to grow into enthusiastic, lifelong learners. Teachers get to know each student as an individual and offer differentiated instruction, understanding that students learn in a variety of ways.  

Our National Junior Honor Society members went on a service trip to Clean the World in Orlando.

Athletics
Thanks to our partnership with Catholic Youth Sports, students are encouraged to participate in a variety of athletic activities from Kindergarten through 8th grade! Sports and team participation teach valuable lessons that are crucial to future success, such as leadership, teamwork, communication, self-discipline.

Faith
Our students’ spiritual health is one of our top priorities. Faith is truly incorporated into our daily lives. Between religion classes, monthly and weekly Mass, retreats, daily prayer, and serving the world around us, St. Charles students learn that faith is more than words; it’s about the social responsibility we have as Catholics. We must show others the love of Christ every day.

St. Charles Borromeo, an Orlando private school, is more than just a place to learn; it’s a community. Our staff is committed to proclaiming the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ. We believe in teaching the whole child and want students to love learning, helping them grow into well-rounded, contributing members of society. Learn more about us by contacting us here.

Teacher Spotlight: Margaret Borello

Kindergarten teacher Margaret Borello loves being a part of the family at St. Charles Borromeo! Get to know her and how she brings her passion and experience to our institution.

Where did you grow up?
I was born in Pittsburgh, PA. At the age of 10, my family relocated to Fort Lauderdale. I remained in South Florida until three years ago when we moved to Lake Mary.

From what school did you graduate? What was your major?
I received my Bachelors of Arts Degree from Stetson University. I was a music major at first but then changed to Elementary Education. Years later, I received my Master’s degree from Barry University in Educational Leadership!

What do you like to do for fun?
I am a lucky mother of three wonderful daughters and a blessed grandmother of three incredible grandsons! My youngest daughter [just gave] me my first granddaughter, and my eldest blessed me with another grandson for Thanksgiving. My favorite thing to do is to be with these babies.

Do you have a favorite book?
My favorite book to read when I was young was The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. I enjoy the Harry Potter series and one of my favorite books is The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom.

What did you want to be when you were little?
I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. For a brief time, I had dreams of being a pop singer, but I always knew I would teach in some way! I’ve been teaching for 30 years, and I’ve taught everything from pre-kindergarten to fifth grade (excluding fourth). I’ve had the pleasure of training and working with teachers through Nova Southeastern University as an Early Childhood Training Facilitator, and I’ve also substituted for high school.

Who was your favorite teacher growing up?
I think my favorite teacher was Mr. Hudson in the fifth grade. He made math so much fun that the “light bulb” finally went off and I got it! However, my inspiration was my music teacher in middle school, Mr. Mel Arnold. He was an incredible musician and loved sharing his gift with his students. In his spare time, he taught music therapy to special needs students. He gave me my first flute — it was his when he began playing.

What’s your favorite thing about teaching kindergarten?
I love to teach kindergarten because of the excitement the children bring to school. They can’t wait to learn, and you can literally see when they understand something for the first time. I try to engage my students with activity, music, and movement. I want my students to not only learn the curriculum but most importantly gain a love for learning. If they love it, there is no stopping them!

What is the most rewarding thing about your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is seeing the joy in my students’ faces when they’ve mastered a concept for the first time, or written their first story, or even when they have met a new friend.

What do you hope your students take away from being in your classroom?
I hope my students leave my classroom with a love of learning, a yearning for more, and a kinder heart!

As a College Park private school, our staff is committed to proclaiming the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ. We believe in teaching the whole child and want students to love learning, helping them grow into well-rounded, contributing members of society. Learn more about us by contacting us here.