A Catholic education is one of the most valuable assets a child can have as they grow. Across the country, Catholic schools help give their students a safe place to learn, develop skills, and form values that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. According to national statistics, about 99% of Catholic high school students graduate and 86% of those graduates attend 4-year colleges. In the Diocese of Phoenix 99.4% of students graduate, and 97% matriculate to higher education or go into the military. Catholic schools help students achieve academic success and take steps forward in life.

To celebrate all that Catholic schools do for their students, the National Catholic Educational Association celebrates National Catholic Schools Week every year. Let’s dive into what exactly this celebratory week means and how you can celebrate it, too.

What is National Catholic Schools Week?

This year marks the 47th anniversary of National Catholic Schools Week, and it will be observed from January 31 to February 6, 2021. Communities in the United States have been observing this week that celebrates Catholic education since 1974. Each year, the celebration starts the last Sunday in January and runs through the week. Catholic Schools Week has a different theme every year to highlight the various aspects of receiving a Catholic education. For 2021, the theme is “Catholic Schools: Faith. Excellence. Service.”

How Do Schools Observe National Catholic Schools Week?

To celebrate National Catholic Schools Week, schools will hold Masses, open houses, and other activities. Students, families, parishioners, and community members attend these events. The focus throughout these events is always on the value that Catholic education provides to young people and how that type of education contributes positively to the Catholic church as well as the country.

This past year, the National Catholic Educational Association held a second week that allowed Catholic schools to participate in another national initiative. Known as Discover Catholic Schools Week and held from November 8 to November 14, this initiative was designed to help schools connect with prospective donors, educators, families, and other community members. This week focused on allowing families to discover the right Catholic school for their child.

How Can You Participate This Year?

As National Catholic Schools Week approaches, you can celebrate, too. One of the best ways is to attend an open house or a school mass at your local parish. Many Catholic schools host an open house to kick off National Catholic Schools Week or hold it at some point during the week. At the open house, you can learn about the school’s mission, see firsthand the benefits of students attending a Catholic school, meet teachers, families, and students, and perhaps even see original student artwork inspired by this year’s theme.

Contact the Catholic school in your community to learn more about the events and activities they’re holding during the 2021 National Catholic Schools Week. Another way to celebrate is by contributing your individual state tax liability to a child’s Catholic school scholarship through Catholic Education Arizona. To learn how you can create future leaders through Catholic Education Arizona, visit www.ceaz.org or call 602 218-6542.