Look ma! I can fly!

Hard work with cookie dough sales, gift wrap and other school fundraising activities provided a sweet incentive for Our Lady of the Assumption students this week.

The school kids traded books for backflips as part of a special Madd Gear BMX demonstration on school grounds. Students watched safely, but excitedly from the sidelines as professional riders took to the air, flipping and tucking with precision—to the relief of Principal Bernadette Boyle who bravely played a part in the afternoon’s stunts.

Students worked hard for the hour of entertainment. Tuesday’s performance was made possible thanks to proceeds raised for the Parent Faculty Association’s Great American Fundraising campaign. This year the student body raked in $12,000 from gift-wrap sales alone, garnering more than $5,100 to help pay for technology and capital improvements at the Claremont private school.

After months of fundraising, the afternoon hiatus provided a moment for some well-earned celebrating, and the students did just that. Hoops and hollers could be heard around campus as professional BMX stunt riders pulled out their best tricks for the students’ entertainment.

“It’s a nice way to bring us all together, and get out of school for a little bit,” said eighth grader Anissa Medina, who also serves as the student body vice president.

This is the second year the stunt show has visited the Claremont campus to wow students for their stellar sales. In years past the PFA has awarded a limo lunch and other cool prizes for high sales. The BMX show, however, quickly became a staple because of its appeal to the entire pre-K through eighth grade student body. Eighth graders Charlie Baggarly and Peter Raus were eager to see the show for the second time, especially to check out the famous backflip performed by Ricky “Macho Man” Moseley.

Kindergartener Charlie Manoux was equally impressed.

“He went really high!” Charlie exclaimed, noting that he has been “working hard” on his own bike skills at home thanks to a two-wheeled Christmas present he received this past holiday season.

While the fancy air catching moves were a highlight of the day, it wasn’t all jumps and tricks. Announcer Dan Hubbard didn’t miss a beat in between acts, teaching the students about the reward of hard work and about using words and actions to make a difference. While impressed with the tailspins and other moves, Ms. Boyle made note of the lessons Mr. Hubbard and his team imparted upon her students.

“Shooting to be the best version of oneself is a great message we can all learn from,” she said.

The high-flying show was just one of many welcome classroom distractions in a fun-filled week for OLA students as they celebrated Catholic Schools Week. The festivities have included a book fair, Special Persons Lunch and a special mass and celebration honoring faculty and staff.

Recognized by National Catholic Education Association campuses across the country, Catholic Schools Week is celebrated annually as a way to observe the different values of a catholic education. This year students have taken Mr. Hubbard’s message to heart, in particular focusing on how their actions through words affect change. For these young learners this meant creating prayer cards for the school’s community Thanksgiving meal, writing letters to reach out to former alumni and raising awareness for local charities. Ms. Boyle hopes this week’s out-of-the-box lesson helps serve as a further launching point.

“We hope it helps us raise the bar,” she said.

—Beth Hartnett



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