As I mentioned earlier, I would like to focus on the importance of our school in our parish and in our community in a special way this year. I hope to write nearly every week about our school in some way.
Providing a Catholic education involves sacrifices. It entails a sacrifice of the resources and time of our school parents, who pay tuition to give their child an education and otherwise sacrifice their time for our school events and activities. It involves the sacrifices of our parish community which helps to offset some of the costs of providing a Catholic education. It involves the sacrifices of many others who help pray for our school and support it financially and in other countless ways. We’re all saying that our school is worth it. Today, I thought it might be helpful to look at why.
First, here are some brief facts from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:
- Catholic school students are more likely to pray daily, attend church more often, and retain a Catholic identity as an adult.
- Students in Catholic schools demonstrate higher academic achievement than their public school peers from similar socioeconomic backgrounds.
- The more disadvantaged a child is, the greater the relative achievement gains he or she experiences in a Catholic school.
- Catholic school graduates enjoy higher earning potential than public school graduates.
- Catholic school graduates are more civilly engaged, more likely to vote, more tolerant of diverse views, and more committed to service as adults, and less likely to be incarcerated than their public school peers.
(Source: Here )
Of course, the most important statistic is the first one. By investing in our youth now through our time, treasure, and talent, we’re ensuring a strong faith for decades to come. We see how the school brings in many young families to our parish and helps parents pass along the faith to their children.
As part of the survey that I sent for this year to focus on the school, I asked, “How has a Catholic education helped you, your family, or your children?” In other words, how does this matter?
I will post these responses throughout the year. Here are a few:
One parent says:
I am stronger not only in my faith, but also academically, because [of my education in a Catholic school]. My son, in school now, loves learning about what we believe as Catholics and it helps us as parents that what we teach at home is reinforced at school.
It has brought us closer together as a family and has really helped us teach our boys about God. We are learning just as much as they are.
A third says:
They have been able to find good friends, deepen their faith, and learn in a safe environment where bullying and put-downs, etc. are handled effectively and don’t happen much.
Yet another says:
I went to Saint Timothy’s for my elementary school career and I feel that it helped me to gain the values and spirituality I needed to be here today. I loved it as a child and my son loves it now! I am so happy to see the same values taught to my son. I also love the other families. I know he is in good hands all day with the volunteers and teachers. It has helped me not to worry as much.
These are just a few of the answers to the question, and I look forward to sharing more. Again, whether you have a child in the school or not, thank you for your support for all of our children and our families. Catholic education really does matter and is helping to instill faith in the hearts of our children and parents. I hope you’re having a great week.