For many years, St. Mary's has made a conscientious effort to unite the school community in activities that help our students see their place in the larger world. In 2013, the administration decided to be more deliberate and appointed a global coordinator, social studies teacher Linda Boza, to coordinate an annual theme for the entire school to study.
Global Program Goals:
·To help our students develop an understanding and appreciation for their place in the global community
·To expose our students to different cultures and environments
·To educate our students on areas of the world with which they may interact
·To create building blocks of world peace and health through understanding other cultures
·To unite the school through an annual theme of study

World of Music 2023-2024

    • World of Music 2023-2024

St. Mary’s 2023-2024 global theme is World of Music! School experiences throughout the year will increase our awareness and appreciation of music from all parts of the world. Every month there will be a different and exciting focus.
Music Topics for each month
August: Mozart (Topic of Intermediate and Middle School Summer Reading Books)
September: Percussion with SMEDS Drummers Welcome to Assembly
October: Vocals (including opera & musicals, i.e. 8th Grade’s Addams Family production)
November: Music from Africa
December: Christmas Music across the Globe
January: Orchestra with Special Assembly Concert
February: Music from Asia
March: Country, Folk and Bluegrass Music with Evening Family Event
April: Blues and Jazz
May: Review of the Monthly Themes
For a little inspiration, theme-related summer reading books included:
  • Primary: Because by Mo Willems and Amber Ren
  • Intermediate: Who Was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart? by Yona Zeidis McDonough
  • Middle: Mozart: The Boy Who Changed the World with his Music by Marcus Weeks

National Parks Around the World 2022-2023

    • National Parks 2022-2023

There are more than 4000 national parks all around the world, including 423 in the United States. The home countries of all of these places decided that they should be preserved and protected so that people now and also in future generations could benefit from visiting and learning about their natural beauty, their environmental importance, and their historical significance.
During the summer of 2022, St. Mary’s families who visited national parks were invited to take Halo with them for an on-location photo-op and then photos were shared on St. Mary’s social media. Also, during the summer, every student read one of the following books that included information about national parks.
Summer Reading Books:
Primary – You Are Home by Evan Turk
Intermediate – National Geographic Kids National Parks Guide USA
Middle School – The Wolf Keepers by Elise Broach

The National Parks Around the World theme inspires activities in every grade and in every subject, and it is highlighted each week on the morning show. Every full week of school, there is a Park of the Week from somewhere in the world. In each homeroom, students will find its location on a world map. Middle school Global Ambassadors pick parks from student nominations and then make flyers of each park to distribute to homerooms. Additionally, Global Ambassadors make camping treats with younger students and teach older students how to play Trekking National Parks. No doubt the global theme about national parks has inspired family travel around the U.S. and beyond its borders, helping our students value land preservation to protect our environment for the future. Learn-Love-Lead!

Costa Rica 2021-2022

Why Costa Rica? Themes have been locations and issues. They have transported our students around the world, both figuratively and literally. One area of the world that we have yet to explore is Central America. Children (and adults) are amazed by Costa Rica's interesting creatures, like sloths and toucans, and breathtaking environment, which includes mighty volcanoes. Its natural resources will inspire many conversations and activities throughout the school.

Our Spanish teachers are thrilled to motivate student learning through the rich culture of Costa Rica, including live video chats with students at the Credos San Diego School in San Jose. As a matter of fact, Profesoras Olivia Delgado and Maria Cosentino will join the delegation of St. Mary's family ambassadors' trip to Costa Rica in June of 2022. Ms. Delgado will team with global coordinator Linda Boza to lead this year's theme, helping colleagues with ideas and lessons.

In addition to the lively lessons from jungle to music, there is a more practical reason for studying Costa Rica. One goal of our global themes is to educate our students on areas of the world with which they may interact in their careers. Though smaller than the state of Florida, the United States presently purchases almost five billion dollars of exports from the country of Costa Rica. Of course they are famous for their tropical fruits, coffee, and chocolate, but their biggest export is medical instruments. Our students gaining a comfort level with this vital trading partner is simply sensible.

Costa Rica's reputation for being among the happiest countries in the world is represented by its most common expression "pura vida." Literally translated it means "pure life," but it is widely used to express a positive attitude in a variety of situations. This year's global theme of Costa Rica is destined to spark Pura Vida.

Food for Thought 2020-2021

Here’s some food for thought: Next to love and water, what is most important to our survival? FOOD! What we choose to eat, as well as how it is grown, transported, packaged, prepared, protected and shared, affects not just us individually, but it has an impact on the world. Countries are connected through food sources. We depend on our environment for our food, and our environment is depending on us, too. Throughout the 2020-2021 school year, students, as well as faculty and parents, will have numerous opportunities to explore the topic of food.

Spain 2019-2020

During the 2019-2020 school year, St. Mary's will celebrate Tampa's Spanish roots through an exciting school-wide study of Spain. During the summer of 2019, Mrs. Linda Boza and Miss Katie Rief, as well as multiple SMEDS families visited Spain. Their experiences will be shared with the SMEDS community throughout the school year. We look forward to learning about the rich history, varied geography, changing economics, and lively culture of España.

India 2018-2019

During the 2018-2019 school year, SMEDS students will celebrate the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and feelings of the rich and beautiful Indian culture. We anticipate the bright and colorful lights of the Diwali Indian New Year celebration in November as the music of the sitar fills the air. Students will have the opportunity to breathe in the rich scents of Indian spices, such as turmeric and cumin, and the beautiful fragrances of tuberose and jasmine. We look forward to the stretch of yoga and the crack of the cricket bat. Together our senses will weave an awareness and appreciation for the vast and vital country of India.

Canada 2017-2018

The global theme for the 2017-2018 school year is our northern neighbor Canada, including a school-wide study of the vast region, its plethora of resources, and its interesting culture. Several St. Mary’s families are from Canada and offer our community a personal view. Mrs. Boza, Mrs. Lockhart, and Mr. Schifeling visited the province of Alberta in July and together will lead this school-wide theme during the 2017-2018 school year. Middle school students and intermediate families will explore the province of Quebec from May 30 to June 3, 2018. These ambassadors from St. Mary's to Canada will assist in leading the Canada theme.

Water 2016-2017

    • We Are United for Water

    • World Conference Summary Video

Brazil 2015-2016

    • Trip to Brazil

Africa 2014-2015

    • Trip to Papoli, Uganda

    • African Eco Safari (Pictures taken by Ms. Bauer)

China 2013-2014

    • Trip to China