Editorial | A pathway out of poverty

Related Articles: 

Nobody does it better.

And it's due to a lot of help from people such as you.

In August 2014, Religion News Service carried an article titled "In some poor neighborhoods, the Catholic school is the only hope." The interview subject was Nicole Stelle Garnett, who with fellow University of Notre Dame professor Margaret F. Brinig wrote "Lost Classroom, Lost Community: Catholic Schools' Importance in Urban America."

"There's a spillover into the community," Garnett said of the schools' impact.

Brinig and Nicole Stelle Garnett demonstrate that the loss of Catholic schools triggers disorder, crime and an overall decline in community cohesiveness and suggest that new charter schools fail to fill the gaps left behind.

The book shows that the closing of Catholic schools harms communities, and it has vital implications for both education and policing policy debates.

Anthony S. Bryk, president of The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, explained that the authors' findings bolster arguments about the important societal benefits that Catholic schools provide in educating disadvantaged children and strengthening the communities in which they live.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis is known for its excellent schools, in urban and other areas, and for assisting children who would not otherwise have the opportunity to obtain a quality Catholic education. This issue of the Review points to the Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation and its support of a senior at Cardinal Ritter College Preparatory High School who, thanks to the financial aid he has received combined with hard work, has had the success that he may never have imagined. His example is just one of many.

Since 1991, the Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation has provided need-based, tuition assistance scholarships necessary for children from underserved families to attend parochial or private elementary school of their choice. The foundation has impacted the lives of thousands of children and their families, and, in the process, has contributed to keeping outstanding urban schools functioning in the face of overwhelming odds. This makes a direct contribution to the health and vitality of the St. Louis community and the Church.

"Education is the key to a better life. Education is the sword and shield that combats poverty and defends against poverty in our community," Archbishop Robert J. Carlson said in a video produced by the Missouri Catholic Conference.

According to Archbishop Carlson, education has a twofold goal -- to provide a pathway out of poverty and to evangelize through sharing the Catholic faith.

In 2011, he unveiled the framework for a pastoral plan for Catholic education. Called "Alive in Christ," the mission advancement initiative includes 10 priorities focused on four goals: catechesis/academic excellence, evangelization, social justice and stewardship. Fruits of the initiative include increased collaboration among parishes and schools, the establishment of the Alive in Christ scholarship program and new approaches in marketing and enrollment for schools.

These and other efforts to support education are effective when you, the people of the archdiocese, lend your support. As that support continues, we'll see the success stories of so many more students. Because nobody does it better.

Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation
No votes yet