Transforming Schools to Transform Lives

August 29, 2002

It’s a plan that worked. Five years ago, Catholic schools in center city Washington were struggling, with deteriorating buildings, declining enrollment and severely limited resources to serve students – most of whom are financially disadvantaged and non-Catholic. Several schools were on the verge of closing.

Today, 11 of those schools have new life thanks to the Center City Consortium. Started by the Archdiocese of Washington in 1997, an innovative consortium of eight schools began using creativity, hard work and partnerships with business leaders to bring extra resources, unique educational programs geared to students’ particular needs, expanded professional development and much-needed building renovations to the struggling schools. Now those schools, plus three new Consortium members, have a bright future.

Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, business leaders, elected officials and principals, staff and students (including a children’s choir) from the 11 Consortium schools will celebrate the Consortium’s success, honor the business leaders who have made so much of it possible and kick-off the public portion of a multi-million dollar campaign designed to ensure the viability of the city’s Catholic schools well into the future:

Wednesday, September 4
11:00 a.m.
St. Francis Xavier School
2700 O St., SE, Washington, DC
(half-block from Pennsylvania Ave., SE)

Sixty-five percent of the 2,000 Consortium students are non-Catholic; 89 percent are African-American and 9 percent are Latino. The 11 Consortium schools are Assumption, Holy Comforter-St. Cyprian, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, St. Francis Xavier and St. Thomas More Schools in Southeast; Immaculate Conception, Nativity Catholic Academy, Sacred Heart and St. Augustine Schools in Northwest; and Holy Name and St. Francis de Sales Schools in Northeast.

Jennifer Reed or Susan Gibbs
Office of Communications
301-853-4562 or 301-853-4516/301-758-7901 (cell)
[email protected] or [email protected]