TEACHER, FIVE CATHOLIC SCHOOLS RECEIVE CCSE GRANTS TO BUILD INCLUSIVE PROGRAMS FOR STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
Catholic Coalition for Special Educationís Fifth Believe in Me! Grants
The Catholic Coalition for Special Education awarded six grants totaling almost $64,000 to a Catholic school teacher and five Maryland Catholic schools to develop or enhance their special education programming for students with intellectual and physical disabilities and special learning needs.
The CCSE grants, awarded in mid-September at a ceremony at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, Silver Spring, included the first-ever “Tuition Grant for Advanced Study in Special Education” given to a Catholic school teacher to continue advanced training for working with children with special needs.
In addition to this first wave of grants, the Catholic Coalition for Special Education expects to award additional grants to support education for children with special needs later in the 2010- 2011 school year.
The recipients of the CCSE grants were:
Also receiving a CCSE grant of up to $5,000
was Catholic school teacher Tara Quinn Zancan, who
became CCSE’s first recipient of a Tuition Grant for Advanced
Study in Special Education. Zancan told the gathering that the grant,
which will help fund a
The ceremony began when three students who are directly benefitting from grants provided by the Catholic Coalition for Special Education introduced themselves to the gathering. In addition to the students, teachers and administrators, the ceremony was attended by the new Archdiocese of Washington Superintendent of Catholic Schools Deacon Bert L’Homme, and Doreen Engel, Director of Special Education.
Recipients included schools that are just beginning inclusion programs for children with special needs, as well as schools that are expanding the programs they began in recent years.
One of the newcomers was Bishop McNamara, whose President Marco Clark pledged the school’s commitment to reaching out to all children. McNamara’s school community raised an additional $20,000 to fund the recently opened St. Joseph’s Center, and Clark said the program is already serving 10 students, including students with Asperger’s syndrome or on the Autism spectrum, ADHD, and other learning disabilities.
“We would not have been able to serve these students before,’’ Clark said in thanking CCSE Founder and President Francesca Pellegrino for the grant. “Bishop McNamara is committed to meeting the needs of all the students who wish to be enrolled in Catholic high school.”
Our Lady of Lourdes Principal Patricia McGann explained that her school, which received a CCSE grant for the third year, had used CCSE funds to double the size of its Resource Room and added more students with low incidence disabilities to the program as well.
“We wouldn’t have been able to do any of that without your help,’’ she said. McGann asked other grant recipients to encourage all Catholic schools to take up the cause for serving all children.
“We have to educate people not to be afraid of what we’re doing,’’ she said, citing the many benefits of educating these special students. “Our special education children are educating our children.”
The mission of the Catholic Coalition for Special Education is to ensure that children with special needs are able to attend and receive an appropriate education in their local Catholic elementary schools and high schools. In the words of Pope Benedict XVI “no child should be denied his or her right to an education in faith, which in turn nurtures the soul of a nation.” CCSE provides grants and technical assistance to help Catholic schools in Washington, D.C. and Maryland achieve this goal.
If You Believe in Me. . . I’ll Believe in Me!
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