By Kate Quesada

If you are considering a Catholic school education for your children, mark your calendars for Friday, January 20 as St. Stephen Catholic School in Riverview is hosting an open house where prospective parents can learn the many things the school has to offer.

Founded in 2001 and accredited by the Florida Catholic Conference, St. Stephen is open to students in Pre-K through eighth grade. “St. Stephen provides a learning environment where every student is encouraged to reach their full potential,” said Principal Linda Umoh. “We offer a core curriculum, experiences in the arts, foreign languages, sports and many extra-curricular activities.”

In addition, the middle school has a one-to-one iPad and Chromebook program and eighth grade students are able to take and receive high school credit for Algebra 1 and Physical Science. The school’s Resource Department has three instructors who meet the needs to students on support plans and students who excel and need enrichment. Extra-curricular activities include show choir, drama club, chess club, Little Flowers, 4-H, Student Council and National Junior Honors Society. “The greatest compliments we receive are from area high schools,” said Umoh. “We are constantly told that teachers appreciate students that come from St. Stephen as they come to high school with the necessary skills and attitudes towards learning and also with strong leadership qualities and good character.”

But Umoh is quick to add that St. Stephen focuses on more than academics. “We are committed to instilling Catholic values into everything we do through academic, spiritual and service experiences that help students develop a personal relationship with Jesus,” said Umoh. “We are a forward-thinking school, rooted in Catholic traditions and values and devoted to preparing students for high school and the 21st century.”

Students pray daily, celebrate Mass together, participate in reconciliation and spiritual retreats and provide service to the community. They have opportunities to live their faith through events such as the Week of Caring, Pro-life rallies, Advent and Lent retreats, Focus 11 and Catholic Schools Week. “St. Stephen is perfect for those seeking a school where they can feel part of a family,” said Umoh, who added that this is a very exciting time for them with the addition of the Family Life Center and the much anticipated opening of a new church this summer. To sign up for the open house or information about the school, which is located at 10424 St. Stephen Cr. in Riverview, call 741-9203 or visit www.sscsfl.org.