Discovering personal greatness in pre-school through grade 8 students - Burlington, Vermont

Academic Enrichment

The opportunities for enrichment are plentiful at Mater Christi.

Middle School Scholars Bowl team won the Scholars Bowl Tournament in 2012 and 2013.

Middle School Scholars Bowl team won the Scholars Bowl Tournament in 2012 and 2013.

National Academic Quiz Tournament, NAQT (Scholar’s Bowl)

At the middle school level, Scholar’s Bowl is a competitive, academic, interscholastic activity for which players attend periodic practices and then represent their school at tournaments. Tournaments may be based on the school’s athletic conference, school district, county, or state; they may also be open to all comers.  The questions for Scholar’s Bowl range over the entire spectrum of the middle school curriculum and also include a certain amount of current events, sports, and popular culture. The matches feature a blend of individual competition and team collaboration, since no individual player is likely to be an expert in all subject areas. Quiz bowl can reinforce classroom lessons and also encourage players to go beyond their assignments to master other areas as well.  The two major aspects to a school’s quiz bowl program are practicing and competing at tournaments.  To learn more, click here.

The Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth

The Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth identifies and develops the talents of the most advanced K-12 learners worldwide. As part of Johns Hopkins University, CTY helps fulfill the university’s mission of preparing students to make significant future contributions to our world.  To learn more, click here.

From 2012-2014, more than 40% of MCS students in grades 5-8 qualified to participate in the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth Talent Search.  (To qualify, a student must score in the 95th percentile or higher on a reasoning section of a nationally-normed test.)

Odyssey of the Mind

Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. Team members apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics. They then bring their solutions to competition on the local, state, and World level. Thousands of teams from throughout the U.S. and from about 25 other countries participate in the program.


Girls on the Run

Girls on the Run

Girls on the Run

Girls on the Run is a transformational physical activity based positive youth development program for girls in 3rd-8th grade. GOTR teaches life skills through dynamic, interactive lessons and running games. The program culminates with the girls being physically and emotionally prepared to complete a celebratory 5k running event. The goal of the program is to unleash confidence through accomplishment while establishing a lifetime appreciation of health and fitness.

four winds

Four Winds


Four Winds Nature Institute

One hundred schools in Vermont and neighboring states participate in this natural science program that trains adult volunteers to lead engaging, experiential lessons in classrooms and in nearby nature for children grades K-6. Throughout the school year, Four Winds’s Nature Program offers monthly two-hour natural science workshops for adults interested in sharing their love of nature with elementary school children. With engaging indoor and outdoor activities and explorations, adults give young students an opportunity to study nature in their own schoolyard and neighborhood. Children learn important science concepts and practice science skills such as asking questions, making observations, recording data, and communicating information. In addition, children see that many adults care about their education, about the natural world, and about them! For more information, click here.

National Geographic Bee

Each year thousands of schools in the United States participate in the National Geographic Bee using materials prepared by the National Geographic Society. The contest is designed to encourage teachers to include geography in their classrooms, spark student interest in the subject, and increase public awareness about geography. Schools with students in grades four through eight are eligible for this entertaining and challenging test of geographic knowledge.

Scripps National Spelling Bee

The National Spelling Bee is the nation’s largest and longest-running educational promotion, administered on a not-for-profit basis by The E.W. Scripps Company and local spelling bee sponsors in the United States, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Department of Defense Schools in Europe; also, the Bahamas, Canada, China, Ghana, Jamaica, Japan and South Korea. The purpose of the National Spelling Bee is to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives. Students prepare for local spelling bees using a variety of materials provided by The National Spelling Bee organization and Merriam-Webster and they advance to the Scripps National Spelling Bee near Washington, D.C. by winning a series of spellings as outlined by their local spelling bee sponsors.  Each fall, thousands of schools enroll in the program and during the fall and winter, schools conduct spelling bee programs at the classroom, grade and school level and send their spelling champions to the next level of competition as designated by their local spelling bee sponsors.

Each year, first graders learn how to write limericks and their writing is entered  in the Creative Communications poetry contest.  Eight of our 2013-2014 first grade students were selected to have their poems entered into the annual anthology. This is the highest number of poems that MCS has ever had selected.

Each year, first graders learn how to write limericks and their writing is entered in the Creative Communications poetry contest. Eight of our 2013-2014 first grade students were selected to have their poems entered into the annual anthology. This is the highest number of poems that MCS has ever had selected.

Creative Communication

Creative Communication is a company who is devoted to the promotion of writing, teaching and appreciation of student writing. The intent of our student writing contests is to motivate creative writers. The top entries are published in an anthology that will record the creative insights of today’s student writers. There is no requirement for a student to purchase an anthology, however, if a student wishes to purchase one, it is made available at an affordable price. Top ten winners of the contest receive a free copy of the anthology. In addition, any teacher with five or more students who give permission for publication will receive a free anthology that features their student writers.

Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award Program

First given in 1957, the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award has honored quality literature for children for over 50 years now.  Each spring, a committee of eight carefully selects 30 books to comprise the DCF Master List.  After reading at least 5 books from the list, students then vote for their favorite titles the following spring.  The winning author is invited to visit Vermont to speak with children about the experience of writing such fine literature for such fine people.

The University of Vermont Math Awareness Poster Contest

For over 25 years, the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Vermont has hosted the Math Awareness Poster Contest.  Each year, the department decides on a math theme and Vermont students in grades Kindergarten through 8th are able to compete for a cash prize.  Prizes are given to the Grade Level Champion and 5 Certificate of Merit Winners in each grade, K-8.  For more information, click here.

Student Council

The Student Council at Mater Christi is very active in the school. The Council has many roles including choosing project each year that will help the needy in the Burlington area, it plans Spirit Week, the council coordinates the middle school dances (Halloween, Christmas and Valentine’s) and the Council is a forum through which students can give input on activities and events that occur throughout the school year. Meetings take place monthly or more frequently if the agenda calls for them. The Student Council provides a voice for students and it fosters leadership abilities in those who are members of the Council. One result of these elections is that it gives everyone in the school “an up close and personal” idea of what it means to run for an office!  Interested students in grades 3 through 8 must present their qualifications and ideas both in writing and orally to be accepted as candidates.

After School Academic Enrichment Opportunities

Mater Christi School offers a rotating schedule of academic clubs and classes.

Some of the past academic clubs and enrichment opportunities have included the following:

  • Computer Coding Club – Grades 4-8
  • Science Team – Kindergarten – 8
  • Chess Club – Kindergarten – 8
  • Rocket Launch – Grades 4-8