Inspired by a sense of pride and purpose, students at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic School in Grand Rapids are striving every day to be the best learners, leaders, role models and Catholics they can be.
They take that cue from signs and bulletin boards around the school encouraging them to “Live the Mission” -- visual reminders of what they've already been learning from their families and teachers.
One of those signs hangs low enough on the wall for even the youngest students to reach it, and Principal Michelle Morrow says students have quickly adopted a tradition around it.
“Students, when passing the slogan, will touch/tap the sign to show that they are ready to ‘Live the Mission’ that day,” Mrs. Morrow says, similar to how Notre Dame football players tap a sign they have that reminds them to “Play like a champion today.”
This is the mission they’re embracing: Saint Paul the Apostle School will provide a God-centered education, fostering spiritual, intellectual, aesthetic, social and physical growth which will enable students to live as faith-filled Catholics in a diverse world.
To “Live the Mission” is all about not only hearing the Gospel but also living it every day. They’ve created an acronym with ideas of what that mission means in practice. “PAWS” reflects their Cougar mascot, and it means:
- Practice respect
- Act responsibly
- Work hard
- Serve God
And when someone catches these moments of living the mission on camera, pictures are printed out and pinned to a bulletin board, building a collage that shows the love of Christ in action.
“We are so proud of our students stepping up and continuing to ‘Live the Mission,’ whether it is to help out a student in need, read to those younger than them, or simply to give a smile and greeting down the hallway,” Mrs. Morrow says. “St. Paul Students are pretty amazing!"