St. Gregory Barbarigo Catholic School hosts “Mommy and Son” Date Night

Mother and son enjoyed the nerf gun challenge during St. Gregory Barbarigo Catholic School’s Mommy and Son Date Night.  Nearly 150 mothers and sons attended from the extended community.  (Sara Kraft/Key photo)

By Sara Kraft

Mothers and sons from St. Gregory Barbarigo Catholic Elementary School in Maryville danced the night away at their third annual “Mommy and Son” date night, held Friday, February 2 in St. Gregory’s gymnasium. The gym was transformed into a winter wonderland with beautiful decorations. This year, the event was the finale of the Catholic Schools Week celebration and worked to support the relationship between mothers and sons. During Catholic Schools Week, they also celebrated Mass with the parish community, held a prayer service, each class wrote thank you notes to school volunteers, and celebrated Candlemas.

The “Mommy and Son” date night idea was born several years ago to fulfill a need in the extended Maryville community. For years, the Maryville Community Center has hosted a very successful Daddy and Daughter Dance. Several years ago, event organizer Jennifer Jordan’s son questioned why there wasn’t something for mommies and sons. Jennifer realized he was right. “There was nothing in our community for moms and sons,” stated Jennifer. After consulting with the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) she decided it would be a perfect event for St. Gregory Barbarigo Catholic School. The first event was held three years ago with great success and has continued each year.

The event had a professional DJ playing fun, age appropriate songs for mothers and sons to dance. The DJ also hosted an age appropriate group game for each age group. Mothers and sons enjoyed upbeat music, but also a few slow songs. Additionally, there was an opportunity to get a great staged photo together, complete with props which was texted or emailed to the family. Refreshments including cookies and drinks were also available.

Perhaps the sons’ favorite part was the nerf gun challenge. Moms and sons had the opportunity to play together or compete against each other. Targets with varying point values were posted. Those who earned the most points won the challenge.

The event is a natural fit for St. Gregory Barbarigo Catholic School, which welcomes strong parental involvement.

“This event brings moms and sons together. It promotes doing things with the family,” stated Susan Martin, principal of St. Gregory Barbarigo Catholic School. “People come back year after year.”

While there are no age limitations, most sons were age 2 to fifth or sixth grade. Approximately a 150 mothers and sons attended this year’s event.

The event was hosted by St. Gregory School Parent Teacher Organization (PTO). Funds raised went to the PTO general fund. The PTO helps St. Gregory Barbarigo Catholic School keep up to date with technology, including funding Chromebooks on a one-to-one basis from third grade through eighth grade. The PTO has also helped fund their next science series textbooks, playground equipment, field trips, and much more.

“The event draws families, not just from our school, but also our extended community,” explained Principal Martin. “It makes people in our community more aware of our school and all it has to offer.”

St. Gregory Barbarigo Catholic School has 160 students from preschool to eighth grade. In addition to strong academics, students receive a faith-based education, including praying every day.

“They learn their faith daily in the classroom,” stated Theresa Groomer, St. Gregory Barbarigo Catholic School mother. She attended the event with her two fifth grade boys and a second grader and was happy to support the school. “I love how they are taught about character and formation. I also love the small class sizes.”

“We came because the boys wanted to, and that was mainly because of the nerf gun wars,” stated Theresa.

Participants came from Maryville and surrounding towns including Maitland, Conception, Stanberry, and Bolckow. Some drove over 25 miles to attend the event.

“I came because I was asked by my son,” explained Keegan Starkey. “The dancing has been my favorite part.”

“This was just a good way to have fun with my son,” said Beth Wonderly, who attended for the first time with her son Creed. “We enjoyed spending time with each other without sibling and father.”

St. Gregory Barbarigo Catholic School was pleased with the turnout and the support of both the parish community and extended community.
“We are really blessed with a really supportive parish community here at St. Gregory,” stated Principal Martin. “They support the event we have, not only financially but with their prayers and presence. Many have had children or grandchildren here and they continue to support us with their presence.”


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October 31, 2020
The Diocese of Kansas City ~ St. Joseph