Catholic schools in the eastern suburbs plan plenty of activities to mark next week's Catholic Schools Week.
This year's theme is "Catholic Schools Raise the Standards." Among the events on school calendars:
• Students at North American Martyrs School in Monroeville will participate in a cakewalk Wednesday to benefit the diocesan mission in Chimbote, Peru.
The following day, students in kindergarten through third grade will make toys for animals at Animal Friends, with the help of the Stitching Angels, a North American Martyrs Church group that donates handmade items to local organizations. Also, all students will make valentines for retired religious personnel.
The school will host a midyear mixer for families of kindergartners and new students at 6:30 p.m. Monday.
• St. John the Baptist school in Plum has programs planned for Monday and Tuesday, including a visit from Allegheny General Hospital's LifeFlight medical helicopter and presentations by the University of Pittsburgh Mobile Science Lab.
Joe Wos, founder and executive director of the Toonseum in Pittsburgh, will speak about the art of cartooning.
• St. Bartholomew School in Penn Hills will hold a benefit for the Chimbote mission with a "pay to dress up day" next Thursday.
Mad Science of Pittsburgh, a science enrichment provider, will present a Slime Time chemistry education program for all students Tuesday. A teacher appreciation lunch will be held Feb. 1.
• St. Irenaeus School in Oakmont will have a faculty cook-off Tuesday. On Wednesday, a daylong workshop for students will be held on Japanese culture, featuring the Japan Association of Greater Pittsburgh.
• Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament School in Harrison plans an Australian animal outback adventure Tuesday. Costumed Dr. Seuss characters will visit Wednesday, and next Thursday is Swap Day, as students change places with teachers the first two periods.
Catholic schools in the Diocese of Greensburg also have plenty planned.
• Queen of Angels in North Huntingdon will host Family Game Day from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday. A game show called "You Can Win It" starts at 1 p.m. Tuesday.
On Wednesday, an open house is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 6 to 7 p.m. Dennis Bowman, KDKA meteorologist, will visit at 2 p.m.
A teacher luncheon is scheduled for Thursday, which is Dress Down Day. Student activities include Beach Blanket Bingo from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., and fourth-graders will Skype with students from Queen of Angels School in Louisiana.
Student Jeopardy is at 12:30 p.m. Friday, and eighth-graders will face students in a volleyball match at 2.
• Holy Trinity School in Ligonier is scheduling a variety of special events, starting Monday with Pajama Day for prekindergarten through second-grade students and Mix-Match Day for third through eighth grades.
On Tuesday is a Teacher Swap from 9:40 to 10:15 a.m. A volleyball match pitting seventh- and eighth-graders against parents and staff members starts at 2 p.m.
The school will host an open house from 10:15 to 11:25 a.m. Wednesday, followed by a science fair at 1 p.m. On Thursday, the drama club will present a skit at 12:30 p.m., and a skating party is from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Latrobe Skating Center.
A picnic lunch is from 11:25 a.m. to 12: 25 p.m. Friday, and a fish fry is from 4 to 7 p.m.
• Aquinas Academy in Greensburg will host an open house from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday.
• Christ The Divine Teacher School in Latrobe will host a preschool open house at 11:30 a.m. Sunday. A "school showcase" open house for all grade levels is at 9 a.m. Wednesday
• Mary Queen of Apostles School in New Kensington will hold a teacher appreciation luncheon Feb. 1. Students will be dismissed early.
-- Compiled by Harry Funk, freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org.