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gather at the

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Leo Keegan
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St. Bede pupils
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Physicians' group supports life

placeholder October 6, 2014   •   VOL. 52, NO. 17   •   Oakland, CA
Elementary Schools Information Guide

Not a drop of water was wasted when St. Bede Principal Jocelyn Pierre-Antoine raised awareness about ALS and took the Ice Bucket Challenge.
Courtesy photo

St. Bede pupils learn about ALS
and drench the principal
St. Bede celebrates 50th
St. Bede Catholic School, 26910 Patrick Ave., Hayward, will celebrate 50 years of providing Catholic education in events from 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Oct. 12. The free event begins with Mass by Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, at St. Bede Church, followed by a multicultural potluck, school open house and a variety of entertainment.

Principal Jocelyn Pierre-Antoine took a pop culture phenomenon — the Ice Bucket Challenge — and turned it into a teachable moment for her students at St. Bede School in Hayward.

Her husband, Rodney Pierre-Antoine, inspired by the ice bucket challenge accepted by his new boss, Father John Jenkins, CSC, president of the University of Notre Dame, had challenged his wife, in the first days of being principal of the Hayward school, to accept the challenge.

She told her pupils at a morning assembly that she would accept the challenge only if the upper grade students researched information about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and why people were doing this Ice Bucket Challenge. She provided video clips for the teachers to use in their classrooms and for families to watch together at home.

The next morning, students came prepared with notes in their hands, eager to tell Pierre-Antoine what they had learned.

"I told them that I was going to choose upper grade students randomly," she said. She turned to a page in the previous year's yearbook with the seventh-graders who are now eighth-graders, and asked a kindergartner to close his eyes and point to a student. The chosen eighth-grader stood up and shared how ALS is a disease that affects your muscles and nervous system.

Other randomly chosen eighth-graders shared facts such as the disease being named after Lou Gehrig, a famous baseball player, and what the initials ALS mean.

She then asked her students to do various things, such as lift their arm up and down, close and open their mouths, and move their heads from side to side. "The science teacher in me explained how the brain sends messages to our nervous system which then tells our muscles to move," she said later. "I talked about how with ALS, our body does not work properly so eventually people with ALS are unable to move, speak, eat on their own and do the things that we can do so freely. I shared why it is important that we pray for people with ALS and their families who help them."

At the end of the school day, she stood in a planter on the school grounds and let the ice bucket be poured over her, in front of students, parents, faculty and staff, and even the pastor, Father Seamus Farrell and parochial vicar, Father Derrick Oliveira.

Pierre-Antoine challenged the faculty and staff to join her in solidarity and prayer for those with ALS.

A week later, teachers and staff accepted the challenge. With chairs lined up and various sized buckets filled with ice water, the students cheered the names of each staff member as student council dumped the frigid water on their heads.

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