Waterloo student's letter chosen by bishop, sent to pope

News-DemocratApril 8, 2014 

Grace Floerke, a seventh grader at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic School in Waterloo, wrote a letter that will be delivered to Pope Francis.

Every year, the Most Rev. Edward Braxton, bishop of the Belleville Diocese, invites children from the diocese's Catholic elementary schools to write a personal letter to the pope on the anniversary of his election. Among the Catholic elementary schools in the diocese, one letter is chosen to be sent to the pope.

Grace's letter was selected this year by Braxton. She is the daughter of Brad and Michelle Floerke, of Waterloo.

Pope Francis celebrated the first anniversary of his election to the Chair of St. Peter on March 13. Braxton transmitted Grace's letter, along with a personal greeting and the greetings of the priests, deacons, religious and lay faithful of the diocese to the Holy See by means of the Diplomatic Pouch of the Apostolic Nunciature.

Upon hearing the news her letter was chosen, Grace jumped up and down in celebration and raced down the hallway to her mother's second grade classroom to share the news.


Madison Community Unit School District 12 invites area residents to attend its annual health fair with the theme of "Highway to Health" from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Bernard Long Elementary School, 1003 Farrish St. in Madison. The event is free and open to community members of all ages.

LaMar Hasbrouck, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, will discuss the importance of healthy and active lifestyles. Representatives from several local health and wellness agencies will be on hand to offer free screenings, healthy food samples and information about local community resources.

For more information, visit the district's website at http://www.madisoncusd12.org.


High Mount School in Swansea has a quarter auction Saturday at Tim and Joe's Tavern, 6500 W. Main St. in Belleville. Doors open at 6 p.m. The auction begins at 7 p.m. Food and cash bar will be available. Proceeds from the event will go toward classroom technology. For more information, contact Angie Downard at 618-233-1054, ext. 501 or e-mail adownard@highmountschool.com.


Miranda Henry, a saxophonist at Belleville East High School, was chosen as one of five finalists in the D'Addario Woodwinds Take First Competition. If she wins, East receives $1,000. Individuals can vote once everyday for Miranda online at http://woodwinds.daddario.com/takefirst.page. Voting is open until 11:59 p.m. Monday.


The Association of Perioperative Nurses of Southwest Illinois is offering a $500 scholarship to be awarded to a student nurse interested in the field of perioperative nursing. Criteria for consideration of this scholarship includes: enrollment in an accredited registered nurse program, an Illinois resident and maintain at least a B average. Applications must be submitted to the scholarship committee April 15. For more information, email Rhonda Price at rhondap63@live.com.


Triad School District 2 has an informational meeting at 6 p.m. April 15 for children who will attend kindergarten in the district for the upcoming year. Kindergartners will attend school all day in the 2014-15 school year. Children who enter kindergarten must be 5 years old by Sept. 1. The parent informational meeting will be held at Silver Creek Elementary for all of the Troy students who will attend Silver Creek or Henning. Students who will attend Marine will attend a meeting at Marine Elementary. Students who attend St. Jacob will attend a meeting at St. Jacob Elementary. Parents will receive a packet of information and forms to be completed. For more information contact the school your child will be attending.


Rotary International District 6510 is offering $10,000 in scholarships to Southern Illinois students. The district will award a $5,000 scholarship to a student wishing to attend a four-year institution, a $2,500 scholarship to a student planning to attend a two-year college and $2,500 to another student, who may attend either a two-year or a four-year institution.

Any high school senior living in District 6510 is eligible to apply. District 6510 consists of Illinois' 28 southern-most counties, with its northern edge including St. Clair and Clinton counties.

For an application, email Deputy Governor for The Rotary Foundation Dave Matthews at d-matthews@mchsi.com. Applications must be returned by Tuesday to Lorraine Cavataio at lcavataio@sandbergphoenix.com.


Congressman John Shimkus is accepting entries for the 2014 Congressional Art Competition. The contest is open to high school students in the 15th Congressional District with entries due by April 17. Acceptable mediums include: paintings, drawings, collages, prints, photographs, computer-generated art and mixed media. For more information call Shimkus' Danville office at 217-446-0664. Entries may be delivered to any of Shimkus' offices in Danville, Effingham, Maryville or Harrisburg.


St. Clair County farmer Robyn Weilbacher has been selected as a winner in America's Farmers Grow Communities, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund. Robyn Weilbacher selected Althoff Catholic High School to receive the $2,500 donation in St. Clair County.


Two of Father McGivney Catholic High School students were accepted into the Summer Talent Academy for Professions in Health put on by Truman State University. Madelyn Thiel and Bryan Dammerich will be two of the 50 highly-talented students participating in the summer program to get a headstart on college life and their future careers in medicine. They will live as college students while exploring the work of medical professionals. Students' nominations were based on their interest in medical professions and maintenance of at least a 3.25 cumulative grade point average.


Illinois State Police, local police, sheriff departments and National Guard are spearheading a week-long residency camp for youth from the metro-east area. The Youth Police Camp will be held at Principia College in Elsah and will start on July 13. The camp will end with a formal graduation on July 19. The camp is a highly-structured, week-long residency camp for teenagers age 13 to 15. For more information, contact Trooper Calvin Dye Jr. at 618-346-3524or Calvin_Dye@isp.state.il.us.

Do you have an item for Education Matters or an education-related story tip? We want to know about it. Send your ideas to Jamie Forsythe at education@bnd.com or call 618-239-2562. Follow her on Twitter at @BND_JForsythe.

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