From the Lansing State Journal Non-Profit Spotlight April 26, 2015
PORTLAND ST. PATRICK CATHOLIC SCHOOL
St. Pat’s is a preschool through 12th grade Catholic school, that strives to educate students in mind, body, and spirit.
We Pray! Christian values are intertwined in everything that we do! We provide an atmosphere of brotherly love and Christian stewardship.
We Learn! St. Pat‘s provides Catholic education for the 21st Century which includes a top-notch curriculum and the technological tools students need to help them succeed.
We Achieve! Our test scores are typically the highest of all the schools in Ionia County.
Our school mission statement says it all: We Pray! We Learn! We Achieve!
How the community benefits: Christian service is a large part of what our students learn. Our annual Pay-It-Forward Day sends them out into the community to rake leaves. On that day, they also visit the home bound and elderly to help out with whatever tasks are at hand. Every Friday our students can pay to wear jeans to school. The money collected goes to a different charitable cause each week. During the current school year, donations have gone to Christian organizations like Pregnancy Services; they have gone to help families who are in need; they have gone to individuals suffering from illness; and they have gone dozens of other places ... always with cards and prayers!
Some big news: Bishop David Walkowiak, the Bishop of the Diocese of Grand Rapids, announced last month the diocese has quadrupled the amount of money available for Catholic School Scholarships.
Welcome Scholarships are now available to families who don’t have students in diocesan Catholic Schools. In addition, St. Patrick School offers Try Us You’ll Like Us Scholarships to all incoming students, as a way for them to try us out free for one quarter. Our goal is to make Catholic education available to every family.
Making a difference: All of our students participated in the Rice Bowl Project. Our staff and Student Council provided a simple meal of hot dogs and chips. In the spirit of Lent, the students were asked to donate money that they would have spent on lunch. A gigantic Rice Bowl, built by our athletic director Pat Russman, was in the cafeteria at the end of the line. As the students walked by, they placed their donations in it. The money collected will be donated to Catholic Relief Services to feed the hungry.
A powerful connection:
Because God is part of the normal school day for all of our students, they learn that it’s OK to pray. When an emergency services vehicle goes past the school with lights and sirens blaring, it’s so inspiring to see the kids from St. Pat’s immediately make the sign of the cross or bow their heads in a short and silent prayer. They don’t need to be prodded or reminded — they just do it.
What you might not know: People probably don’t know St. Patrick Catholic School has been here for 106 years! People probably don’t know that our students are one big family — older students help out with the younger ones; the faces of the younger ones light up when they see the older kids in the halls and at Mass. People probably don’t know that our tiny little school has gone to the state finals more than 20 times and brought home nine championship trophies!
How can I help: People can support St. Patrick School with their prayers. They can come and visit the school and attend our events. We have a website and Facebook page that are updated daily. Keep up with us by visiting those pages.