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Putting Faith First

by Staff

For many Americans, religion is a central part of life, and a religious upbringing provides numerous benefits for children. In fact, research by Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that daily religious practice was associated with greater life satisfaction, lower likelihoods of drug use, and a greater sense of purpose.

At St. Joan of Arc K-8 School, God is at the forefront of everything they do.

Since their first classes in September 1965, the Cognia accredited school has been committed to improving the educational and spiritual opportunities of their students.

Since then, there have been many updates and improvements. All classrooms are equipped with top-of-the-line Promethean Boards and Chromebooks for each child. School security has been updated with a full-time resource officer, a security system with controlled access doors, and an electronic surveillance camera system. All of these advancements have been made in order to provide students with a safe, comfortable and accessible space to learn and grow in their faith.

“At St. Joan of Arc School, we offer a whole-child approach to education where students learn in a safe, nurturing, God-centered environment,” says school principal, Sister Pat Pycik. “We are able to provide a challenging curriculum in which students are engaged academically, emotionally and spiritually.”

Each student’s education is led by a staff continually growing in their own faith. The teachers meet each morning for prayer and attend Friday Mass as part of the school and parish community. Teachers strong in their faith and knowledge serve the students daily as they engage students in lessons that go beyond STEM.  St. Joan of Arc School embraces STREAM – Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Art, and Math.

Through a challenging curriculum based on national, state, and diocesan standards, students are offered a well-rounded education which includes age-appropriate lessons in faith.            

“Service is a very important part of our community,” says Sister Pat. “Students are taught the importance of serving others through school and community projects.”

These projects include frequent food collections for Wiley and Prince of Peace food pantries, monetary donations to the missions, creating cards and placemats for soup kitchens and nursing homes, as well as, donating “blessing bags” for people in need. Each year, they also honor veterans on Veterans Day through the celebration of liturgy and providing a special breakfast in the morning and spaghetti dinner in the evening.

“Students are encouraged to be not only good students, but good citizens of our world. We foster joy and love for learning which they will bring with them to high school, college and beyond,” Sister Pat says.

In addition to service, students are encouraged to be creative, active and to pursue their interests through a wide selection of clubs, sports, music and other activities. These selections include soccer, volleyball, basketball, golf, track, choir, school band and more. Each of these activities center around exploring their passions while learning skills and values that translate into strong, confident, and faith-filled students.

“Our faith-based curriculum enhances the virtues of respect, kindness, peace, and service,” Sister Pat explains. “Being in a God-centered environment empowers our children to make positive choices both in school and in life.”

A student’s time at St. Joan of Arc is meant to be a continuation of their spiritual and life journey at home.

“School then becomes an extension of the family. Values taught at home are supported and reinforced at school,” Pycik says. “We build on and support the faith and foundation that parents and grandparents have provided. We teach our children about God’s presence in their lives and our world.”

The school receives a good deal of support by a network of alumni who stay connected and contribute both prayerfully and financially. Many of the alumni that are still in the area choose to send their own children to St. Joan of Arc. In addition to the alumni, all parents are encouraged to take an active role in their child’s education. Through participation in PTA and volunteer roles within the classroom, parents can directly support their children in achieving their learning and spiritual goals.

St. Joan of Arc School is also closely connected to a very supportive parish community.

St. Joan of Arc Parish is a large and active community led by its pastor, Monsignor Richard LaVerghetta. The generosity and support from parishioners continue to be instrumental in helping St. Joan of Arc School thrive now and into the future.

Parents in need may apply for tuition assistance through the Diocese of Trenton and St. Joan of Arc Parish. This funding is available for those “that are rooted in their faith and desire Catholic education for their children.”

In order to keep the focus on their mission of living in the light of Christ’s teachings, St. Joan of Arc incorporates a yearly theme into their everyday activities. This year’s theme will be Eucharist-Bridge to Unity.

Those interested in providing their children with a high-quality, faith-centered education need to look no further than St. Joan of Arc School.

St. Joan of Arc School
101 Evans Road | Marlton
(856) 983-0774

Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 14, Issue 3.
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