Recognized annually, National Catholic Schools Week acknowledges the value that a Catholic education provides to young people. This year it is celebrated Jan. 26 ­– Feb. 1.

The Joplin Area Catholic Schools System enjoys a variety of activities throughout the week to celebrate the community, the schools, and their faith.

Sunday, Jan. 26: Students Celebrate our Parishes by wearing their uniforms to their respective churches, JACS supporters will speak at various masses, and the St. Mary’s School choir will sing at 11 a.m. mass at St. Mary’s.

Monday, Jan. 27: We Celebrate our Students by recognizing our St. Mary’s students will enjoy a movie, wear comfy clothes and donate pajamas for Project Jammies. Students at St. Peter’s and McAuley have the ability to wear comfy clothes to school.

Tuesday, Jan. 28: We Celebrate Vocations with Bishop Edward M. Rice, from the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, presiding over an all-schools mass at 1 p.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 3025 South Central City Rd. Students from St. Mary’s, St. Peter’s, McAuley and St. Ann’s will attend. JACS will also recognize their Benefactor and Educator of the Year at the conclusion of Mass. Students at St. Mary’s will write thank you notes to clergy. McAuley will host a breakfast for community members in vocations.

Wednesday, Jan. 29: The schools Celebrate our Faculty and Staff with St. Mary’s Home and School allowing teachers to enjoy lunch together. St. Peter’s and McAuley’s Home and School will host a luncheon for teachers as well as other treats.

Thursday, Jan. 30: The schools continue the week by Celebrating our Nation and Volunteers with St. Mary’s students making Valentines to send to veterans in the VA Hospital and to the Joplin-area VA Center. Students will also have prayers and song at the flagpole at 2:50 p.m. at St. Mary’s. Students in McAuley’s culinary class will visit local fire and police stations to deliver treats while St. Peter’s students will make cards for them.

Friday, Jan. 31: Students Celebrate our Community with a pastries with parents at St. Mary’s and at McAuley/St. Peter’s at 7:30. McAuley will host a pep rally at 2 p.m. for Homecoming. The JV boys will play at 5:30 p.m. with a reception for alumni including the 1,000-point scorers Homecoming ceremonies at 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 1: Families will conclude the week with Catholic school supporters speaking at the local masses.

School administrators and members of faculty are available for interviews to speak about the importance of Catholic schools to the community, students and the nation. Call any school office to schedule interviews about activities throughout the week.

Visit www.ncea.org/csw for more information about National Catholic Schools Week.