Religious Education 2011-2012

From our Religious Education Coordinator, Jo-Ann:
    “This school year promises to be an exciting experience for our youth at Newman. I wanted to take this time to lay out the curriculum for next year, as well as let you know about special projects we have going on this year.
This year we will be changing our 8 – 10 graders to a curriculum that is aligned with the Catholic Youth Bible by St. Mary’s Press. I have been looking at this curriculum all summer and talking with educators at other parishes about it. One of the things I liked most about the text is that it touches on tough issues with honest and open dialogue. It treats our teens in a mature way. The students will be getting the book and accompanying bible at the beginning of 8th grade and will continue using them right through Confirmation.
Our curriculum year by year is as follows:
Kindergarten – God Made the World, Sadlier
            Teachers: Bridget Foley, Kate Zucconi
Grade 1 – God Loves Us, Sadlier
            Teacher: still open
Grade 2 – Communion Prep, Sadlier
            Teacher: Jeanne Horrigan Communion Prep
Grade 3 – We Are The Church, Sadlier
            Teacher: Katie Fleet
Grade 4 – God’s Law Guides Us, Sadlier
            Teacher: Marilyn D’Alonzo
Grade 5 –We Meet Jesus In The Sacraments, Sadlier
            Teacher: Jack Jemsek
Grade 6 – We Are God’s People, Sadlier
            Teachers: Gary Burnet, Tu Chu
Grade 7 – New Testament, Sadlier
            Teacher: Kevin Moore
Grade 8 – Morality, The Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth; The Catholic Youth Bible
            Teacher: still open
Grade 9 – Prayer and Liturgy, The Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth; The Catholic             Youth Bible
            Teacher: Michael Urbanowski
Grade 10 – Creed, The Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth; The Catholic Youth Bible;
            Confirmaton Prep, Confirmed in a Faithful Community
            Teachers: Sarah Deady, Jonas Cain
Grade 11 – Receiving Confirmation
            Teacher: Jim Alderston
Please see below for class times.
Community Service
            Last year we were able to initiate some great local community service projects, and with the help of parents I hope to see these projects happen again this year. In the spring we had the youngest children, with the help of our 7-9th graders, make an incredible paper flower display for the Hospice House in Amherst. Grades 3-5 had a chili cook-off at the Survival Center.  Our connection to the Survival Center strengthened this summer with the Giving Garden, which has provided weekly crops for meal cooking and distribution at the Survival Center.
            This year we have some great things planned for your children (and your whole family).
Amherst Survival Center
  1. March will be Survival Center month. We will be working with the NSA to be heading up food gathering efforts for the center. They have asked each Religious Community in Amherst to pick a month to do this. More details will be coming from the Survival Center.
  2.  During the year we hope to have another cook-off.
  3.  In the spring we will once again plant our Giving Garden. We will need at least 5 families willing to care for this garden (once a week for two weeks for each family) in order to make this a success.
Action Day – Nov 20th
The Giving Tree will kick off once again with Action Day. We ask that families consider committing to helping Newman that morning. The food will have to be sorted for the Thanksgiving Food Drive, ornaments will need to be made for The Giving Tree and the tree will need to be assembled and up in the chapel. We may also be adding some events to this day if there is interest.
Connecting to St. Pius X in Tarakea,Tanzania
We have just connected to UMass students working with St. Pius X in Tanzania. I have been in touch with them and we expect to start working with them. Details have not been confirmed, but right now we are looking at connecting by becoming pen pals, sending pictures back and forth and are looking at March 25th being a religious Education Day dedicated to creating awareness about this community.
I encourage you to take time and volunteer for one of these activities. Putting faith into action is so important for our children.
Odds & Ends
Program Communication
Please look for the Kid’s Connection each week, available outside the doors of the Chapel and distributed in the classrooms.
A Bit About Attendance
Because we accommodate the UMass schedule as well as the Amherst Public School schedule, our number of Religious Education classes is lower then almost any other church. I expect that your child will be here regularly. I also understand that things happen. Please be in touch with your teacher and myself if your child will be out for an extended period of time.
Interested in Volunteering?
We still need a teacher for grade 1, a male and female interested in teaching the morality curriculum to 8th grade, an assistant for grade 2, and substitutes for all grades. We could also use people interested in taking a lead on our Service Projects. It would be great to have someone to work on the Kid’s Connection each week. This program exists because of the many hours of volunteer work by your child’s teachers. I know we are not all made to teach, but there are plenty of other ways to help the program.

Registration forms are available in the hallway in front of the chapel. I look forward to working with you this year. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any ideas or concerns you may have. The best way to reach me is by email jmkonieczny(at)charter(dot)net.”