Sponsored by the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA), National Catholic Schools Week is an annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States. The theme "Catholic Schools: Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed" encompasses the core products and values that can be found in Catholic schools across the country.

At St. Francis Catholic School in Ellsworth, several activities have been planned to celebrate the week beginning with an open house on Sunday, Jan. 27. Join us at school from 9:15 a.m. 1 p.m. for the open house and Scholastic Book Fair. A short break from 10:30-11:30 a.m. will allow staff and students to attend Mass. The Knights of Columbus will serve a pancake breakfast from 8 a.m. to noon.

Themed days fill the week and give students the fun opportunity to dress up. The themes for the week are:

• Monday: Celebrating Your Community - dress like an animal;

• Tuesday: Celebrating Your Students - dress in your future career;

• Wednesday: Celebrating the Nations and Families - dress like a President or historical figure;

• Thursday: Celebrating Vocations - dress like a Saint;

• Friday: Celebrating Faculty, Staff & Volunteers - Camping Day! Dress in plaid or camping attire.

Also on Wednesday, Jan. 30, parents and grandparents are welcome to join us in the Parish Hall at school after Mass for "Books for Breakfast" where you can read with your student and visit the Book Fair while enjoying light refreshments.

One of the most common misconceptions about Catholic schools is that you need to be Catholic to attend a Catholic school. Currently, nearly 16 percent of students attending St. Francis School in Ellsworth come from other faith backgrounds. All are welcome! For more information contact St. Francis School at 715-273-4391.