An all-encompassing subject will help tie together numerous studies during St. Mary School's new school year.

An all-encompassing subject will help tie together numerous studies during St. Mary School's new school year.

For the 2008-09 school year, St. Mary students -- who started back to school last week -- will be immersed in the various intricacies of farming as part of the National Right to Read Week, which culminates next spring.

"Every teacher hopes to work farming into (their) literature somehow," said school librarian Annie Ruefle. "It'll be in and out of the curriculum the whole year."

After a year of learning how people farm, students will take part in the National Right to Read Week and various activities designed by the school to showcase student's knowledge.

This past school year, the staff placed a boat in front of the school as part of students' studies of the ocean. Ruefle and staff are working to secure a wagon to do the same this year.

"We are hoping to do some hay rides through the village," she said. "I don't know if we can pull that off."

In addition, Ruefle expects to have a smaller version of a state tradition.

"We hope to have a mini Ohio State Fair," Ruefle said.

Ruefle, who in the past said finding a theme each school year can be difficult, found the current theme through the suggestion of a third-grade student.

Somewhat apprehensive about whether the school could pull it off, Ruefle broached the topic with seventh-graders and was convinced.

Some of the things they will be studying are pie- and jam-making. The school is working on bringing live animals to the school, as well.

In other news, one of the three authors of the "Warriors" Series will visit the school Sept. 5.

The series, written under the pseudonym of "Erin Hunter" and published by HarperCollins, is a children's fantasy that follows the adventures of four clans of wild cats.

"The kids who read these books are fanatical," Ruefle said.

Ruefle said she is particularly pleased about the upcoming visit, because HarperCollins made it a point to stop at St. Mary because of the time students devote to preparing for author visits.

"They asked for us because we do a lot of work," Ruefle said.

Several new teachers have joined the school this year. They are: Callie Wible, kindergarten; Erin Burkett, second grade; Staci Pangle, eighth grade; and Denny Hartman, health and physical education.

"It's really not unusual for us to have that teacher turn-around," said Sister Regina Snyder, the school principal.