St. Anselm Catholic Academy, 365 83rd Street, held its annual Walk for Education on Friday, October 6.
The school’s students, staff, parents and volunteers walked around the neighborhood during the warm fall morning in an effort to raise money to support the operations of the school.
The school’s younger students walked around the block at the school and over to 82nd Street and Colonial Road as parents and locals cheered them on.
Older students walked down 82nd Street to Shore Road and over to 79th Street to walk around the baseball field.
“It’s a tradition that we do to raise funds that benefit the school. In the past, we’ve used the funds towards our technology lab, and operations of the school,” said Home School Association President Fran Auletti, the chairperson for the event. “It gives the kids a nice sense of community and teamwork. They go out and they get their pledges. It’s just a really fun day. We bring them down here so they can enjoy it and it’s just about doing the best they can for their school. It’s important for them to realize we’re a Catholic community. We like to instill those values. You get out what you put into it and I think the kids get that.”
Eighth grader Rosalia Stagnitta, who participated in the walkathon for the last time before graduation, found it emotional. “It’s really important to me because I’ve grown up with all these kids,” she said. “It’s sad to leave but I know we will be keeping in touch. Every year we do this and we are a family. It feels good because we know so many families, stores and people that support us. We’re a Catholic school and there aren’t a lot of them around anymore.”
Janet Batista, eighth grade homeroom teacher, also expressed what it meant to the older kids.
“They’re excited because it’s their last walk,” she said. “Some of them have been here over 10 years so it’s emotional and exciting at the same time. It’s a nice opportunity for them to enjoy a sense of community. They get hyped, energetic.”
“It brings on great school spirit, and we get a lot of community support,” added Josephine Ghorra, who walked with first grade. “It’s great for them to go out and show themselves.”
The fundraising component is also vital to keeping the school a state-of-the-art facility for students.
“It’s another opportunity for us to raise money for our technology resources, our STEM program,” added Batista. “It’s usually very successful. It’s one of our biggest fundraisers.”
John Quaglione, chair of the board of directors for St. Anselm Catholic Academy, concurred. “We have a strong faculty and that’s how we are able to host fundraisers like this,” he said. “We have real school spirit. We have a lot of great things happening and fundraising is critical but not only do we want to involve the mothers and fathers, we want to involve the kids so they feel they have some responsibility and ownership in keeping this school strong and going.”