During the first week of DECATS at All Saints Catholic School, the theme, “I am here,” was announced. Students’ interpretations of the theme varied.
Mia C. of the Science major said that it means that she is a part of DECATS. Other students have said that they are here to have fun and to have new experiences. Silas H. of Science said, “It means that we have chosen to be here because we are smart and like to be here. You can wear cat ears and it’s okay.” Most of the people interviewed seemed to think that this year’s theme was complex and required thoughtfulness to interpret.
Some students had personal connections that they associated with the theme. Alyssa G. of Psychology said that one of her family members recently died, but they can still be with her. Tori N. of Visual Arts said, “You’re not just sitting. You’re actually helping. I’m really active. I feel good about getting out and helping.”
Other people interpreted the theme in a religious way. Maxine P. of Psychology said that the theme means that God is with us. Another student associated the theme with giving. Lyndon F. of Psychology said, “My family donates clothes that we’ve outgrown to Goodwill, so we’re there for people that don’t have as much.” The students at DECATS all interpreted the theme in different ways, but most thought that it was about giving.
According to Mr. Solomon, the theme for DECATS this year was adopted from the Halliburton Foundation, a foundation that aims to help people cope with stress and depression. The money from the sale of snacks, the dance and the sale of pizza during lunch goes to the Halliburton Foundation. In the past, the Halliburton Foundation has visited DECATS to talk to students about these topics. “I am here” is a phrase that the Halliburton Foundation has emphasized to make people feel like they belong.
The teachers have been allowed to choose how they want to incorporate the theme into their classes and activities. Some teachers, like Mr. Solomon, have incorporated the theme into their perspectives classes by asking the students to write journal entries about the theme and to encourage a sense of belonging in the students.
The theme for this year helped to create a sense of community at Senior DECATS by making the scholars feel like they belong and will be welcomed and accepted by their fellow students in an environment that fosters creativity and individuality.
Written by: Imani G., Reporter