At the heart of The Franciscan School lies the families that make up our community. Each year, our dedicated parents volunteer their time and talents to be a part of the TFS Home School Association (HSA). The HSA’s mission is to support the spiritual and educational objectives of TFS in the spirit of Christian friendship and appreciation of Catholic education. The HSA impacts every aspect of the school by supporting teachers, distributing grants, raising funds for the school, and contributing to the positive environment that embodies TFS. And the most exciting aspect is that every parent, guardian, and teacher at TFS is an active member of the HSA.
The HSA holds three general meetings during the year that are open to all those engaged at TFS. A guest speaker is brought in to present a topic that is relevant to the TFS community, such as mental health, internet safety, how to prepare for success in college, and other topics that help parents and students find success both at home and at school. HSA President Melissa Yeazel shares that, “I am an educator by background and know from my own experience how rare it is to find the type of community we have at TFS. As a parent, HSA has been a terrific place for me to tangibly support the school.”
One of the landmark opportunities provided by the HSA is The Franciscan Experience. The Franciscan Experience is the school’s primary annual fundraiser and online silent auction. This year, the Franciscan Experience will be held September 30-October 7. In addition to raising funds for the school, this experience allows the school to put on other events and activities that bring the community together and give opportunities for parents and guardians to get involved. The more funds raised, the more the school is able to give back through teacher and innovation grants and enhancements.
“The Franciscan Experience is always a fun way to kick off the year,” says TFS Principal Dawn Smith. “It helps us to celebrate our school spirit and come together as a community by funding a ton of fun, long-standing activities throughout the year.” During the event, there are numerous experiences for all ages and interests up for bid or purchase, along with tickets to activities like Trunk or Treat, the Father-Daughter Dance, Principal for a Day, popsicle parties, an art project with the art teachers, and class movie afternoons. The HSA also provides opportunities for the students to receive mid-month snacks during lunch each month, as well as additional hot lunch options. Tickets for these experiences and treats can only be purchased during The Franciscan Experience.
The silent auction includes a wide variety of items, including reserved parking spots, dress out passes, locker reservations, tickets to sporting events, vacation rentals, and sports memorabilia. TFS is fortunate and grateful to receive support from our families and local businesses.
All proceeds from the Franciscan Experience help fund HSA-sponsored activities throughout the school year, as well as teacher grants, innovation grants, and various school enhancements and improvements. Some examples of these HSA-funded activities include Field Day, Teacher Appreciation Week, grants for programs like “One Book, One School,” initiation of a middle school library, new water fountains, updates to the library, playground improvements, security features to the school and fields, the iPad and Chromebook program, new seating in the cafeteria, and updates to the teachers’ lounge.
In addition to all of these activities and programs, the HSA facilitates the Passage Home food drive, the annual art show, parents’ night trivia, the staff holiday cookie exchange, the 8th grade graduation reception, pizza bingo nights, and Catholic Schools Week.
Melanie Elliott, past HSA president, has tirelessly served our community for many years. “I have had the privilege of sitting on our HSA Board for the past 5 years and it has been an honor to work with our faculty, staff and school community in supporting the mission of The Franciscan School.” Together, with current HSA president Melissa Yeazel, they encourage parents to get involved: “It takes all of us working together to build something special and support the work of the school. HSA is a marvelous way for parents to become involved in that work.”