St. Francis hosts annual welcome back picnic

T-R PHOTO BY SARA JORDAN-HEINTZ St. Francis Catholic School’s annual back to school Lunch on the Lawn was held Friday afternoon in the facility’s gym. Grilled pork patties were served, donated by the Iowa Pork Producers, as well as a variety of sides. Attendee Cassie Sawyer dined with her daughter Kinzey, 6, (center) who was celebrating her birthday, and friend Lizzy Randa, 5.

At the start of each school year, St. Francis Catholic School hosts a picnic lunch for its pupils and their families. Usually held outdoors, inclement weather relocated the Lunch on the Lawn meal to the facility’s gym Friday afternoon.

“It’s to welcome families back and give them another chance to get in and see the school – to allow for more exposure for our parents and grandparents,” principal Matt Herrick said.

Grilled pork patties were served, donated by the Iowa Pork Producers, as well as a variety of sides. Attendees were also able to bring in their own picnic foods, including take out. Cassie Sawyer dined with her daughter Kinzey, 6, who was celebrating her birthday.

“St. Francis is a great place for families to interact with their children; I think that’s a really important aspect. Parents get to meet their classmates, and that’s super helpful in engaging the children,” Sawyer said. “I also like that (the school) does Muffins with Mom, later in the year, and Donuts with Dad – great opportunities.”

Likewise, the faculty appreciates getting the chance to dine with their students’ loved ones.

“I think our staff and families enjoy having Lunch on the Lawn as a positive kick-off to our school year. It is a wonderful opportunity for staff and families to relax, enjoy time visiting, and getting to see/revisit our school building,” instructor Cherilyn Eveleth said. “It helps to get everyone started off on the right foot for another successful, fun school year.”

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Contact Sara Jordan-Heintz at 641-753-6611 or sjordan@timesrepublican.com