Lutheran students show pride during schools week

Friday, March 11, 2005

This year, those involved in local Lutheran education have more to celebrate than ever -- a new high school.

Educators, students and parents kicked off National Lutheran Schools Week this week with a celebration at the recently constructed Saxony Lutheran High School in Fruitland.

Officials there said 1,200 attended a special ceremony Sunday and donated around $4,700 to fund scholarships to help pay for students' tuitions to the high school.

"We really emphasize that Lutheran schools provide the same major elements of public school but also provide spiritual education and nurturing," said Eva Hillis with Saxony Lutheran.

Students at other Lutheran schools also celebrated the weeklong recognition, which runs through Saturday, by wearing their pajamas to school, dying their hair and participating in a variety of other activities.

At Trinity Lutheran School in Cape Girardeau, students held an open house for community members to view their work.

"Each class did something the teachers thought would be special," said Trinity principal Perry Fark.

Some of the students did science projects, a few wrote stories and others drew pictures.

Fark said the students also collected school supplies to send to schools in Vietnam as part of a project and in honor of Lutheran schools week.

At Immanuel Lutheran School in Perryville, Mo., principal Bill Unzicker said teachers chose a the theme "a family that grows in Christ." Instead of their regular grade levels, students were divided into "families" made up of students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

Activities included special math and science problems, reading books and learning about ancestors. On Thursday, students enjoyed what was called a "snowless" snow day by wearing their pajamas to school, watching a movie and eating popcorn.

Today, the school will have student relay races and a faculty vs. eighth-grade volleyball game. After school, the celebration will wrap up with a fish fry sponsored by the school's Parent Teacher League.

"It's been a full week. We've had an awful lot of involvement from others," Unzicker said. "The students had a lot of fun. We make it a different type of week because we want to point out the importance of why we have Lutheran education."

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