Cyclone Chatter 2/16/23
Dear STM Families,
You spoke and we listened. Registration for the 2023-24 STM School Year is now online and will open on Tuesday, February 21.
Our staff has spent hours building the system in Sycamore that will greatly streamline the registration process for you. During a test of the system, one staff member said that the entire process took less than 10 minutes.
We anticipate, as with any other new venture, there will be bumps in the road that we will need to straighten out. Please be patient with us as we learn this system with you.
Sunday night, please watch for an online tutorial to lead you through the necessary steps to register your child(ren) online. The link to ‘STM 2023-24 Registration’ will be sent to you in an email on Tuesday morning. Phone registration is not supported; you will need to use a tablet or laptop. We will assist you in the process, if needed. Just call the STM office at 816-942-5581 with your questions or concerns–or if you need to come up and use a tablet.
The financial obligations will be handled at the Parish Office during three separate evenings: Wednesday and Thursday, March 1 & 2, and Thursday, March 23.
STM parishioner families must submit your tithing pledge for 2023 before registration can be completed. Here is the link to complete your Stewardship Pledge:
Annual Stewardship Commitment > Saint Thomas More Parish Kansas City (stmkc.com)
Peace and Blessings,
Linda Crosthwait, STM Principal
STM IMPORTANT DATES
Monday, Feb. 13-Wednesday, March 1
‘Spring’ Iowa Flex Assessments in grades K-8 in Reading & Math
Friday, Feb. 17 - NO SCHOOL–Teacher Professional Development Day
Monday, Feb. 20 - NO SCHOOL–Presidents Day
Wednesday, Feb. 22 - Ash Wednesday; All-School Mass at 8:15
Saturday, Feb. 25 - STM Booster Club Bags Tournament
Wednesday, March 1 and Thursday, March 2
Finance Night at Parish Office for school registration from 3:00-6:00 p.m.
Thursday, March 2 - Papa Johns STM Dine-Out night; mention STM when ordering
Friday, March 10 – FIRST DAY OF SPRING BREAK FOR STUDENTS
NO SCHOOL–Diocesan Teacher Professional Learning; all diocesan teachers will be at STM for Mass and learning sessions throughout the day
Monday, March 13 - Monday, March 20
SPRING BREAK FOR STUDENTS; teachers return on 3/20 for a Staff Retreat
Wednesday, March 22 - Freddy’s STM Dine-Out night; mention STM when you ordering
5:00PM - 9:00PM • 13628 Washington Ave, KC, MO
Thursday, March 23 - FINAL Finance Night at Parish Office for school registration from 3:00-6:00 p.m.
Monday, March 27-Saturday, April 1 - STM Booster Club Glory Days
Wednesday, April 5 - Papa Johns STM Dine-Out night; Mention STM when you ordering
NO SCHOOL TOMORROW: TEACHERS’ PROFESSIONAL LEARNING:
STM teachers and educational staff members will participate virtually in the FIRE Foundation Inclusive in Action Education Conference that will take place at the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center.
We will attend sessions titled:
· The Ins and Outs of Dyslexia
· Promoting Independence
· Fostering Students’ Strengths with Executive Function Skills
· Instructional Adaptations
We look forward to a day-long event of learning and collaboration.
NO SCHOOL MONDAY - We will observe Presidents Day on Monday, Feb. 20.
SERVICE HOURS OPPORTUNITY FOR 6th-8th GRADERS:
The Rescue Project is an experience for STM parishioners of the gospel surrounded by food, conversation and prayer. Meal & learning sessions are taking place in More Hall on Thursdays through March 30. Here is the Sign-Up Genius link for 6th, 7th and 8th grade students to assist with bussing tables during STM's Thursday evening Rescue Project in More Hall.
Students would transport food from outside the kitchen to the 20 tables of participants, and then bring plates/bowls/silverware back from the tables after the meal. Note: The students will not be able to partake in the meal (since it is pre-ordered for the 200 attendees). Questions? Email Fr. Justin at firstname.lastname@example.org
SOUPER BOWL FOOD DRIVE A HUGE SUCCESS!
What a way to celebrate the Chiefs Super Bowl Win!!
Our amazing Cyclone Circle–a group of STM students’ grandparents–along with our STM Student Council gathered all of your generous donations of food and hygiene items for the less fortunate. See the photo above of the fun arrangement they made of all of the collected items.
There were more than 3,000 cans, boxes, bottles, and containers of needed items delivered to Hearts & Hands from YOU–our awesome STM school community.
The class who brought in the MOST items was Mrs. Thomas’s 4th grade homeroom. They won a Sweats Day!
6 WAYS TO PREPARE YOUR CHILDREN FOR LENT–ASH WEDNESDAY IS FEB. 22
First off, it’s important to note that Lent has three pillars of increased focus: prayer, almsgiving, and fasting. You will see the theme of these throughout the season.
1. Start with the “Reason for the Season”
Most kids already have an idea that Easter is coming soon since it’s much easier to spot increased Easter bunnies, colored eggs, and candy on the shelves at the stores than any obvious signs of Lent. Take this opportunity to share that without Lent we wouldn’t have Easter.
Children are more likely to be engaged with Lent if they realize what the Season brings— a joyous celebration of Easter!
Describe in detail how Easter Sunday will be celebrated in your house, what kind of fun traditions and special treats will there be. Here are a few children’s books to help illustrate the resurrection of Jesus and the reason for celebrating.
2. Create a Countdown
We focus a lot on the countdown to Christmas in the Advent season so why should Lent and Easter be any different? Being that kids are very visual, here are two Lenten calendars for children to walk through with your kids.
Catholic Sprouts - Has bright colors for younger children.
The Kid’s Bulletin - Gives activities to do each day.
After telling them about the weeks of Lent and the special days the Catholic Church recognizes throughout the season, you can hang it on the wall or fridge at home ex-ing off day after day.
The more anticipation leading up to Easter throughout the Lenten season the better understanding children will have of just how important and special Easter Sunday is.
3. Fasting: Choose Something to Give Up
“Idolatry” might be too big a term for some children right off the bat, but there's a good chance if you ask them their “favorites” they would start listing quite a few. Favorite video games, snacks, TV shows, sports, activities, etc. Fasting from some of our “favorites” is an opportunity to recognize the worldly things we desire and a reminder of the very first commandment.
“ ‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’
Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.” MT 22:36-38
Simply put, Idols are the things that we prioritize over our relationship with God. They can also be the things we turn to for fulfillment rather than turning to God. This video does a great job describing what happens when we put things above God and how it separates us from Him.
Teaching children to identify idols early on is very important. For kids, idols can come in the form of friend relationships, their most prized toys, screen time, or even their favorite fictional characters or athletes.
How do you help your kids identify potential idols in their life? Here are a few questions that may help:
1. Do you spend more time thinking about, or worrying about ______ than you do thinking about God?
2. Does ______ lead you to disobey God?
3. Do you turn to ______ to make you happy instead of relying on God?
It’s important to recognize that our “favorites” aren’t always “bad things” but sometimes they cause us to forget about God. By taking a break from some of our favorite things we can practice saying yes to God more!
This is a great challenge of discipline and sacrifice for children, one that will only strengthen over time, throughout their faith journey. You could even give something up as an entire family!
Here is a great list of things for kids to give up for lent.
4. Define Giving Alms
So how do we go about giving alms? What are alms in the first place? Alms are defined as food, clothes, money, or other items given to those in need. How can you teach a child about almsgiving?
Start by pointing out blessings that your family has and that not everyone has those things. People are in need of clothes, money, food, and our help. Once children understand that there are people in our world, in our city, in our own small communities who are in great need then they will see the cause to give.
This is a great opportunity to then recognize and share the difference between what we need and what we want. A great exercise for this is taking a look around the house, and having the child point out items that we want, but do not need.
Then take action – helping them to find items that they could sacrifice and donate, helping them opt to eat sandwiches at home rather than stop by Chick-Fil-A and giving that money to the poor instead.
Finally, a reminder after we give alms. Giving leaves us feeling maybe a little sad at first to lose something that we like but later we’ll feel proud and happy that we are helping someone else who can also enjoy these things.
It’s important to remember that this kindness is a way for God to shine through us and not a time to brag about the good things we’ve done like if we scored a goal in soccer. This happiness we feel from giving, comes from God and instead of bragging we can thank Him for giving us something to give.
5. Schedule Prayer Time
Look at your family calendar together and make special room for extra prayer together each day or week. One of the many ways to pray together during lent is Stations of the Cross.
There are 14 Stations of the Cross all of which lead participants through prayer and scripture to follow in Christ's steps from his trial before Pilate to his crucifixion and death.
Here is a wonderful children’s version of the Stations of the Cross that helps hold their attention and describe the stations in a way they can understand. Stations of the Cross for Children.
You could visit your Church to pray these together, or print out these “at home” stations, color them, and hang them up at home—making for another great activity to prepare for lent.
Here is also a video version to help you get started.
6. Lead by Example
The best way of them all is for us to lead by example. It seems children are always watching, wanting to take on “adult” tasks. What better time for them to look up to us than during Lent. No matter how you choose to observe Lent with your child(ren), the key is that we all talk more about Jesus, about His sacrifice, and about how He is our Savior.
All of us at St.. Thomas More School pray that it is a fruitful Lenten Season for us all and that we prepare room in our hearts to receive the many Graces God has waiting for us.
Leave a Reply.
This is a weekly letter that Linda Crosthwait, Principal of STM puts out for school families.