Partners in Faith: TFS & St. Francis Preschool

Birthed from St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, both The Franciscan School and St. Francis of Assisi Preschool have laid a firm foundation of faith as a pillar of their schools. The Preschool infuses Gospel teachings and Catholic Christian values into all they do. TFS creates a faith-filled environment that draws each member of the community closer to Christ, through morning prayer, community Mass, Catholic Social Teaching, and more. This shared foundation has connected the schools as they seek to build students in their faith. Both schools have a rich history of working together and deepening the faith experience for students.

“At Preschool,” shares Heidi Hobler, Preschool Director, “we are lucky to be at the very beginning of a child’s faith journey. We aim to set them on the road that leads them to being a kind, compassionate, giving individual who has the beginnings of a solid faith foundation.” Part of that faith journey evolves if the child then attends TFS, where they can continue building and strengthening that foundation of faith and modeling a Christ-like life. 

TFS and preschool students are taught to love like Jesus, with Christ as the foundation on which both schools rest. Faculty and staff work diligently to share how we are rooted in faith and instill Christian teachings of service, as well as emphasize the benefit of community. Being a Catholic school means that loving our God and neighbor are exemplified and practiced throughout our days. They are intentionally interwoven into the fabric of our daily lives.

“We are always looking for ways to provide our students with direct service opportunities. We look for every opportunity to practice faith, particularly if these opportunities allow us to have a strong collaborative effort. The purpose is for our students to make a connection to someone outside of our community,” shares TFS Principal, Dawn Smith.

Some of the tangible ways the schools work together can be seen in service projects, school lessons, and Mass. Once a month, TFS students partner with preschoolers to greet at the door for community Mass and carry up gifts for the offertory during the service. The preschool and TFS seventh-grade students have collaborated on making soup kits in the past. Our kindergarten students have worked with preschool students to paint bolsters for Habitat for Humanity homes. When the administration and staff practice faith together, this provides a model for students on what a faithful person does, such as participating in Parish day of service, attending mass with others, and participating in Parish day of reflection.

Our staff and teachers at both schools work hard to creatively find time, space, and projects that are meaningful and purposeful to children ranging in age from 18 months to 14. But this practice is more than worth it -  something that can truly make a connection and help students feel empowered. 

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