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“Kent Hospital would like to thank the students, teachers and parents from St. Peter School for their kindness and generosity,” said Jim Beardsworth, director of public relations at Kent Hospital. “The spirit of giving and community support demonstrated by these students should be commended as they too work to give back to our community. Kent thanks you.”
Pictured in photo:
Back Row: Principal Mrs. Joan Sickinger, Sara Langevin, Dr. Candace Dyer and staff from the Breast Health Center, Mrs. Anne Robinson, 1st Grade Teacher, Peter Cavanagh
Next Row: Aidan Moreira, Kiley Lemieux,Olivia Tracy, Paula Cavanagh, Stephanie Langevin, Jarod Sickinger, Ms. Meghan Kane, 4th Grade Teacher
Front Row: Seamus Comer, Aidan Comer, Marissa Birmingham, Barbara Fife, Annabelle Tracy, Tory Stamatakos, Georgia Moreira, Lauren Birmingham
Check Holders: Alexa Sickinger, Tiffany Stamatakos, Celeste Hadley, Grace Moreira
About St. Peter School, Warwick, RI
St. Peter School is a Catholic elementary school, grades Pre-K through 8th, located in the Gaspee section of Warwick. The School’s mission is to provide its students with a quality Catholic education in an atmosphere of mutual respect that fosters spiritual, academic and social growth. Their philosophy of education emphasizes the significance of each individual’s contribution to the Christian community and to society. St. Peter School is accepting applications. Contact Joan Sickinger at (401) 781-9242. For additional information log on to www.stpeterschoolri.com.
About Kent Hospital
Kent Hospital, A Care New England Hospital, is a 359-bed, nonprofit, acute care hospital serving approximately 300,000 residents of Warwick, West Warwick, East Greenwich, West Greenwich, Coventry and parts of North Kingstown, Exeter and Cranston, Rhode Island. Kent Hospital has more than 2,300 employees, a medical staff of more than 600, a volunteer corps of 250 and 350 auxilians.]]>
Guests of the Royal Wedding donned their finest top hats, tiaras and large, feathery fascinator hats on Friday. So too did the students at St. Peter School, who celebrated by eating wedding cake and watching the festivities on a big screen.
On Thursday, students in grades one through four found invitations on their desks. The invitations invited the students to attend the Royal Wedding, but also informed them that the school had already responded to the Queen, telling her that the students couldn’t attend in person.
Instead, they would celebrate the wedding from afar. The idea sprouted from the combined efforts of Anne Robinson, a first grade teacher, and Colleen Kenyon, a second grade teacher. The two thought it would be a fun way for the kids to witness an important cultural tradition.
At 9 a.m. the students put on hats, gloves and jewelry and gathered together to eat wedding cake. Even the teachers got into the spirit, and they all donned tiaras. Robinson, who wore a pink tiara, pulled the crown off of her head with a groan.
“These are uncomfortable,” she laughed.
At points, the large, flowered hats, baggy gloves and heavy clip-on earrings proved to be too much for the students as well, and the items were discarded to make consumption of cake an easier task.
Between bites, one first grader quipped that the Queen had made two cakes, one to eat at the wedding, and one to send to the United States for St. Peter’s gathering. After finishing their decadent dessert, the kids sat to watch Prince William and his bride, Catherine Middleton, greet the adoring crowds.
The room was filled with murmurs and whispers as the students eagerly commented on the televised events and on each other’s funny hats. Every so often the teachers would have to ask their pupils to quiet down, at which point they would turn off the TV. To the teachers’ amusement, when the telecast was shut off, the children would respond with cheers and applause.
In addition to watching pieces of the live broadcast, the pint-sized “wedding guests” got to color in their very own portraits of William and Kate.
One student, Calei Harris, a first grader, has family from the United Kingdom. Her mother helped to design and construct her fascinator hat, which had large pink plumes. When asked if she was enjoying the celebration, Calei responded with a simple, princess-like nod.
She, her classmates and their teachers were all in high spirits.
“It’s all about the love today,” said Robinson.]]>
HAPPY CHILD: Emilia Kaczmarzyk, 2, was born with Down syndrome. After her birth her mother, Stephanie, decided she wanted to help other children with the condition.
A handful of local Catholic schools recently came together to help Olga, a 5-year-old orphan with Down syndrome. Olga, who does not live in the United States, was in need of a family to adopt her.
St. Peter, St. Rose of Lima, Our Lady of Mercy in East Greenwich and Father John V. Doyle School in Coventry held a fundraiser in which teachers and students participated in a dressdown day and contributed cash donations to the cause, raising $2,192 for Olga. Soon after, she was adopted.
But, St. Peter principal, Joan Sickinger, along with Stephanie Kaczmarzyk, whose children attend the school, said the fundraiser was not just about generating money. It also focused on educating people on Down syndrome, or trisomy 21, a condition caused by the presence of an extra chromosome.
“The most important thing is to raise awareness of what’s going on in [other] countries,” Kaczmarzyk said, whose youngest daughter, Emilia, 2, has Down syndrome. “They are where we were 50 years ago thinking these children cannot learn and that they are unproductive. They don’t see a purpose for these children and they are often aborted or given up for adoption. If [the abortion rate] keeps rising, Down syndrome will be extinct.”
Kaczmarzyk said the frightening fact is that children with Down syndrome who live overseas are often institutionalized if they have not been adopted by the time they reach the age of four. Often, these institutions are in unacceptable conditions, with no bathroom facilities or ample heating.
“[They] are tied to their cribs and receive no human interaction and no love,” she said. “They are taken out of their cribs only to be changed and fed. The only hope these children have is to be adopted by a family from the United States. Unfortunately, international adoption is very expensive. It’s not that simple, but there are people willing to pay a lot of money for these kids.”
However, she also said there are too many people that don’t understand Down syndrome in America. Her hope is that more people become informed. “They don’t get it that kids with Down syndrome will learn to crawl, walk, talk, go to school, get a job, and get married,” Kaczmarzyk said. “It might take them longer to do all this, but they will do it.”
When she was four months pregnant with Emilia, Kaczmarzyk was scared when her doctor told her she was carrying a child with Down syndrome. A level two ultrasound and an Alpha-Fetoprotein blood test detected its presence.
“I was just devastated,” Kaczmarzyk said. “Unfortunately, I fell victim to the stereotypes and the myths of Down syndrome that you hear [such as] she wouldn’t learn and [I wondered] how she would be a part of our family.”
She wished her doctor had made an effort to provide information about Down syndrome. Instead, her physician asked her if she wanted to continue her pregnancy.
“I feel that doctors need to be more educated, too,” Kaczmarzyk said. “If they embraced it and offered ways to deal with it, it would be great. Nobody told me, ‘It’s going to be OK. Here are some books to read and examples of families dealing with this to be go-to people.’”
However, after she gave birth, Kaczmarzyk’s fears subsided. Her negative emotions dissipated when her daughter was placed in her arms. “I thought, ‘How foolish of me,’” she said. “She was beautiful and perfect and healthy. Before that, I had never met anyone with Down syndrome.”
Kaczmarzyk has five other children, including a stepdaughter, Aniela, 23, as well as Olivia, 13, Sophia, 11, Isabella, 9, and Andrew, 7. She said Emilia has helped teach her kids to accept differences in others and inspired her to help children like Olga who have been overlooked and ostracized due to the fact that they have Down syndrome.
“I found Olga on [a website called] Reece’s Rainbow, a non-profit organization,” Kaczmarzyk said. “At Reece’s Rainbow you will find hundreds of orphans with special needs waiting for their families to rescue them. Each orphan has their own account set up to accept donations. When an adoptive family commits to one of the children, the money can be used towards the adoption fees.”
When she first found Olga in November, the little girl only had $35 in her account. Olga was on the brink of being transferred to an institution.
“Besides the people at Reece’s Rainbow and their caregivers, nobody even knows these children exist,” Kaczmarzyk said. “More than money, these kids need families. If it weren’t for my daughter, I never would have heard about Reece’s Rainbow. Never in my wildest dreams would I think that children with Down syndrome could be treated like this.”
Kaczmarzyk then became Olga’s “Prayer Warrior,” which simply requires her to set aside time daily to pray for Olga. She also has her own blog on www.ourdailysmiles.blogspot.com, which she used to raise awareness for Olga and Reece’s Rainbow.
“The word quickly spread,” she said. “Friends and other bloggers began to aggressively raise funds. Some very successful fundraisers took place for Olga in a very short amount of time. Within a few weeks $12,000 had been raised.”
As for Emilia, she is happy and healthy. Kaczmarzyk said she enjoys the same activities as most toddlers.
“She loves to eat, loves chocolate, playing with her siblings, watching T.V., and she loves to dance,” Kaczmarzyk said. “Music is her thing. I want people to feel comfortable around her and I want to break down any barriers.”
When asked what she would say to Olga if she had the chance, Kaczmarzyk began to cry. Through her tears, she said, “I would just say, ‘I love you.’”
Sickinger was thrilled when Kaczmarzyk initially approached her about having a dressdown day to raise funds for Olga. She said she was more than happy to reach out to the other local schools for additional assistance.
“[Kaczmarzyk] has been very supportive to bringing awareness to our students when she brought Emilia in last year,” Sickinger said. “She took something that could have been a tragedy and turned it into something wonderful. We are a family here at St. Peter’s and we’re always willing to help families in need.”
Contact Andrea Roberts, founder of Reese’s Rainbow, at email@example.com or visit reecesrainbow.org for additional information about Reece’s Rainbow.
with Dave’s Marketplace to Make a Difference.
As we sit in our warm homes after another snow day, we might not stop and think of the thousands of homeless who are on the streets at this time of year. The Diocese of Providence recently opened The Emmanuel House homeless shelter. Since it’s opening in early December, the shelter has been overflowing. The Emmanuel House has been featured in the news as they add beds. They have asked members of the community to donate items for its everyday operations. The facility was established as a “sleep shelter only”, with no food provided. But with the dangerously cold weather they have been open around the clock as a safe haven for homeless families and individuals.
The children of St. Peter School want to make a big difference! The school partnered with Dave’s Marketplace to deliver pre-packaged snacks and beverages on Friday, February 4th.
St. Peter students in grades 6, 7 & 8 determined whether they would purchase gifts for a boy or a girl and then decided for which age group they would buy. On November 23, the students spent their Enrichment Period assembling their gift boxes. The wrapped the gifts were brought to a North Kingstown Collection Center later that week where each box was checked to make sure all contents are appropriate for children. Hundreds of trucks and sea containers transport the boxes to the receiving country where they are delivered to local churches and ministry partners. Finally, the boxes from St. Peter School in Warwick will get into the hands of a child in time for Christmas! This is a lively, fun event for the children. Most importantly, the Warwick Middle Schoolers are encouraged to pray for the child who will receive their gift.
This year, the students included “All About Me” letters in their shoe boxes. They included some personal information as well as the school address. The students hope that someday they will hear back from the recipients of their Operation Christmas Child gifts.]]>
“The Voelkel’s gave a great presentation for the kids.” said Fifth Grade Teacher, Mrs. Christine Desmarais. “When the Voelkels showed up with their Maya King costume the students and teachers reactions were priceless! Suddenly, the assembly shifted from an excuse to get out of class to an interactive and fun afternoon.”
Jon Voelkel grew up in Peru, Costa Rica and Colombia. While Jon was battling the daily perils of the jungle, Pamela Craik Voelkel was dreaming of adventure in a sedate seaside town in the north of England where nothing ever happened. They met while working at an advertising agency in London. The inspiration for their writing comes from memories of their childhoods and trips to Central America. In an interesting male/female collaboration, Jon plots out the action (much of it based on his own childhood memories and the bedtime stories he tells their three children), then Pamela fleshes out the characters and decides how they feel about things.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – On Thursday, November 4th, Providence College men’s basketball players Ron Giplaye(Lowell, Mass.) and Bilal Dixon (Jersey City, N.J.) visited St. Peter’s School in Warwick, R.I. to talk with students as a part of the Providence College All-Stars School Rewards program.
The program is geared toward rewarding academic achievement with tickets to Friar men’s basketball games. Participating schools reward students with bookmarks that include a ticket voucher to a men’s basketball home game, valid for two tickets, one for the student and one for a parent. Schools will be recognized on the videoboard during the game they attend and some will also be visited by a men’s basketball player.
To view photos of the school visit CLICK HERE.
If you would like your class or school to participate in the program visit friars.com or call (401) 865-GOPC.
Click Here to watch the Channel 10 video!
Warwick, RI, October 22, 2010: St. Peter School Eighth Grader, Nicholas Casey of West Greenwich, was awarded the Lynn Ryan Annual Scholarship for Excellence. The $500 Scholarship was presented during Sunday Mass at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Warwick on October 10, 2010. Nicholas Casey was selected based on his academic performance as well as letters of recommendation.
St. Peter School Principal, Joan Sickinger said “Congratulations to Nicholas, his family, his teachers and to the St. Francis parishioners who support Catholic education through this annual scholarship”.
The scholarship money must be used towards the winner’s education including school supplies. Nicholas said “I’m not sure what I’ll spend it on but hopefully a laptop for high school.”
Three Middle School students at area catholic schools are presented with the award annually.]]>
Check out more pictures of this special day!]]>
ST. PETER SCHOOL
120 Mayfair Road, Warwick, RI 02888
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