Bishop Henning visits Immaculate Conception School, blesses new Innovation Center


CRANSTON — Thousands of pieces of art lined the walls as students Immaculate Conception Catholic Regional School, or ICCRS, prepared for their second annual art show on May 22, but that was not the only exciting event happening that day. The students also prepared for a visit from Bishop Richard G. Henning.
The day started with a Mass celebrated by Bishop Henning. Afterward, the principal, Mike Miele, escorted him over to the school for a tour.
Bishop Henning was serenaded by the 4th through 8th grade choir, led by Meagan Morales. The students harmonized "We Believe in Music,” by Teresa Jennings before going into "With One Voice,” by Rick Manalo.
The tour continued with the new state-of-the-art Innovation Center. Unveiled last fall, it is home to the school’s Pathway’s Program.
According to the school, “ICCRS Pathway Program is an educational initiative designed to foster a culture of innovation, creativity, and problem-solving among students. The program offers a well-rounded curriculum that nurtures students' creativity, critical thinking, and academic abilities to prepare students for high school and beyond. Students will develop the skills, mindset, and knowledge needed to become creative, compassionate builders of the future.”
The center’s large room is designed to cater to students with different learning styles and provide a space to nurture creativity, critical thinking, and technological proficiency.
With multiple centers and configurative furniture, students have access to a markers and robotics lab, a mini-media production studio, a Socratic seminar hub, a technology research center, and a storytelling nook.
During the tour of ICCRS, Bishop Henning visited and blessed multiple classrooms. In the gym, he sat with the Pre-K students and answered their questions ranging from curiosity about his dog Agnes to hot dogs. The students in Sandra Minervino’s Spanish class were delighted when he popped in and said a prayer in Spanish with them.
Next, Miele led Bishop Henning to the schools' Performing Arts Center, which also plays a significant role in the ICCRS C.A.S.E. program, or Cultural Arts and Science Education, and is home to the Immaculate Conception School Theater Company. The Performing Arts Center is equipped with professional lighting, sound equipment, and two hundred seats.
In a room behind the stage, Christiana Caprarelli, the performing arts teacher, was role-playing various careers with the “Little Saints,” the program ICCRS offers for 3-year-olds before they enter pre-K. The Little Saints were excited to show Bishop Henning their “career costumes” and to show him a fun dance they had just learned.
Bishop Henning concluded with lunch with Father Edward J. Wilson, pastor, Miele, and Hannah Tejeda, a representive from NorvaNivel which partners with the school to transform learning environments to be more accessible especially for the neurodivergent.
Over the next two years, ICCRS will transform three more learning environments to cater to all their students' needs.