At least on this day, students at St. John Neumann Regional School were able to become one with nature.
That's because students at the school's Palmerton campus were able to learn about habitats and species on Wednesday as part of Catholic Schools Week 2012.
Dan Kunkle, executive director of the Lehigh Gap Nature Center, gave a presentation centered on different types of habitats and species that can be found at the center's Osprey House.
Students learned about ponds and wetlands, forests, scrubs and grassland, and habitat gardens.
Throughout the presentation, students were asked to identify the different types of species, which they did at an optimum rate.
At times, the students ability to identify the species surprised even Kunkle, who complimented them on their knowledge.
Afterward, Kunkle said he was proud of the partnership that has grown between the school and the nature center over the years.
"I wanted to do a program that they'd learn something, and open some doors for them so hopefully they'll get outdoors," Kunkle said. "We have beautiful things right here at the Lehigh Gap Nature Center."
Kunkle said he was pleased by the level of student involvement.
"These kids were very eager to volunteer, and they asked good questions," he said. "These are very dedicated and creative teachers, and I very much enjoy working with them."
The day also saw students partake in the program: Our Nation – Red-White-Blue Attire, which featured Cards to Those Who Keep Us Safe Locally. Slatington campus honorees were recognized after an a.m. Mass, while a presentation from story teller Kathy Long was held at the campus in the afternoon.
Today, there was a program: Our Vocations: We Pray for Religious Vocation. It also marked PJ Day at the Palmerton campus, as well as a Special Persons Luncheon and Book Fair at the Slatington campus. Snow tubing was set to occur at 4 p.m. at Blue Mountain Ski Area.
On Friday, there will be a program: Our Faculty, Staff, Volunteers: All students are to report to the Palmerton campus for Mass in Sacred Heart Church. There will also be a magic show at 10 a.m., followed by early dismissal at 11:30 a.m. by buses or parents.
The theme of this year's celebration is Faith, Academics, Service. It began last weekend with a program: Our Parish: Our Parish Liturgies.
On Monday, there was a program: Our Community, followed by an Open House Meet and Greet at both campuses. The day also served as Crazy Hat and Sock Day For All, and a Scholastic Book Fair was held.
Tuesday featured the program: Our Students, a Special Persons Luncheon at the Palmerton campus, as well as the Scholastic Book Fair. It was also PJ Day at the Slatington campus.
Sister Virginia Stephanie, principal, said the week represents a "happy time of year to celebrate us."
"It's a time for us to celebrate that our students make great strides in education, and their goal is to go on to college and be well prepared to attend when they're older," Sister Stephanie said. "It's a lot of fun for everybody; the students, parents, family and staff."
The school has two campuses: Slatington, which houses pupils in grades K-3, and Palmerton, which houses students in grades 4-8.
Call either campus, (610) 767-2935, or (610) 826-2354, to arrange for a tour of the school.