Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic School, Lehighton, kicked off Catholic Schools Week on Sunday with a family mass in Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church.

Principal Sherry Sernak welcomed everyone. She said that this was the time of the year when Catholic education is emphasized and celebrated.

"It is also a time for us to celebrate catholic education here at Ss. Peter and Paul School," she noted.

She said that the students did a terrific job preparing for the celebration. "I am proud and privileged to be serving as your principal."

The theme for this year's Catholic School's Week is "Faith. Academics. Service."

She said that the theme celebrates all the things that Ss. Peter and Paul School stands for.

"We hold to very high standards," she said. "We put faith and academics together to work at helping others. This is the gospel message that we live here at our school."

Sernak said that the students collect shoes for the needy, help serve lunch at a soup kitchen and clean the church.

"Over the years one thing has never changed at Ss. Peter and Paul School, we are family," she said. "That is why after 126 years, that parents continue to send their children to our school."

Following the service there was an open house with members of the school's Student Council offering tours of the school. The students were also showcasing their annual Education Fair, where students presented a variety of displays on topics such as "Does Celery have xylem tubes?" (yes it does) and "Why Does Popcorn Pop?" (Popcorn pops when the water inside the kernel causes it to explode when it reaches a certain temperature.) One student also studied how weather fronts take place by freezing water with red food coloring in it. When the red ice cubes were put into warm water it showed that cold fronts change the temperature of warm fronts when the ice melts.

As part of Catholic Week activities, the students will hold Crazy Hair and Sock Day, Monday; Marian High School students will present a Music Ministry Mass, Talent Show and Team Day, Tuesday; and there will be Parents/Grandparents Appreciation Day luncheon, Wednesday; Pastor Appreciation Day, Student Appreciation Day, Thursday; and Pajama Day and Teacher Appreciation Day, Friday.