It’s the most wonderful time of the school year for students enrolled in Catholic schools. It’s National Catholic Schools Week and that typically means a lot of fun mixed with the lessons learned this week.

About two million kids attend Catholic schools in the United States, and that number includes hundreds in our local area where a large Catholic population has made parochial schools a tradition for many families.

I’m a product of Catholic schools, attending Holy Rosary in Monroe City growing up. My husband was a St. Augustine kid in his hometown. Our children attended Holy Family in Hannibal. In fact, we have a sixth grader there now. The picture you see in this article is of Audrey proudly wearing her uniform for the first time to start kindergarten.

When National Catholic Schools Week rolls around, schools generally work in some extra fun to mark the occasion. Since the kids at Holy Family wear uniforms, a week of wearing something other than khaki, navy, or plaid is a major bonus. The overwhelming favorite is pajama day at our school.

The theme for this year’s week-long celebration nationwide is “Catholic Schools: Faith. Excellence. Service.”