The theme for this year's observance of Catholic Schools Week conveys multiple meanings.
Catholic Schools Week will be observed nationally beginning Sunday with the theme - "Catholic Schools: A+ For America."
According to the National Catholic Education Association, the theme celebrates Catholic schools as an added value - or "a plus" - for the nation.
"Because of their traditionally high academic standards and high graduation rates, all supported by strong moral values," the association's website explains, "Catholic schools and their graduates make a positive contribution to American society."
Area Catholic schools will participate in the celebration with a variety of activities throughout the week.
Some will be geared toward students and will be entertaining. They include a Family Fun Night, cosmic dodge ball, a pep assembly, volleyball games and opportunities to dress up and dress down.
Other events are designed for parents and students to enjoy together, including a family dance, parent/student luncheon and chili supper.
The vital faith component of Catholic education also will be celebrated with discussions on how mission work relates to education, participation in service projects and a celebration of the Eucharist for the entire school community.
The week also provides a stellar opportunity to honor outstanding Catholic school alumni and for the Helias Foundation to induct the newest members of its Hall of Fame during an annual banquet.
In addition to being a plus for our nation, Catholic education is a major plus for our community.
The attainment of academic and athletic excellence rooted in strong moral and religious values is a rich tradition in Central Missouri.
During Catholic Schools Week, we celebrate the students and graduates who have taken and will continue to take leadership roles in our community.