National Catholic Schools Week
Why area schools keep the faith in Catholic education
Jan. 26-Feb. 1 is National Catholic Schools Week. We asked folks at several schools in the Delaware Valley why they believe a Catholic education continues to give kids an edge in 2014 America.
Integrating religion into learning is something that remains an essential aspect of Catholic education, says Michelle Molz, marketing director at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Moorestown, NJ: “We feel that the relationship with Jesus Christ is first and foremost in our Catholic identity, so it’s extremely important to have religion in the classroom.”
“By approaching the education of the whole child, we allow them to see the role their faith plays in every aspect of their lives,” explains Donna Davidson, associate director of school services at the Diocese of Trenton, NJ. This includes the basic Biblical tenet of doing unto others.
“Students are engaged in community service from PreK through 12th grade in age-appropriate ways and develop a lifelong passion for helping others,” says Lisa Brairton, communications coordinator at Country Day School of the Sacred Heart (CDSSH) in Bryn Mawr, PA. “This is what will make the world a better place and will nurture the individual’s relationship with God, a key component in today’s world.”
Forget that fusty image of yore; many Catholic schools stay on the cutting edge of classroom technology. Davidson says Catholic schools in Trenton offer technology courses and complement traditional lessons with laptops, tablets and smartphones. Some classes also utilize distance-learning programs, allowing students to interact with schools and agencies worldwide.
At CDSSH, where all incoming high school freshman are equipped with an iPad, “The collaborative capabilities the apps, interactive textbooks and endless creative tools offer have enhanced the way we educate our students. The success of such technology in the classroom also requires significant investment in educating the teachers utilizing these interactive teaching tools.”
The Catholic school experience
Speaking of investment, mom Lisa D’Avanzo says the stability and quality she believes Catholic education affords makes keeping her three daughters at Our Lady of Good Counsel her top priority: “We own our own business, so I’ve had tough times struggling to pay tuition, but I would sacrifice anything to send my kids to Catholic school.”