I was immensely pleased to learn today that the funding for our Latino Initiative for Catholic schools has been increased and extended. This funding will allow us to continue to reach out to Latino families throughout the Archdiocese. The following Press Release was distributed by our office earlier today announcing the wonderful news:
ARCHDIOCESE CATHOLIC SCHOOL OFFICE EXPANDS LATINO OUTREACH
The Archdiocese of Cincinnati has received funding to continue and grow its Latino Initiative for Catholic Schools.
This initiative was begun during the 2011-2012 school year to recruit and support more Latino students into Catholic schools. In its pilot year, the Archdiocese employed a part-time Coordinator of Latino Outreach, Ms. Mayra Alza, to work with 25 Catholic elementary schools within the boundaries of the Cincinnati Public Schools. With the new funding, provided by the SC Ministry Foundation, the Coordinator will become full time, and outreach efforts will expand to reach Catholic schools throughout the Archdiocese.
“Latinos are a critical part of the future of our Church,” said Dr. Jim Rigg, Superintendent of Catholic Schools. “Our schools were founded by immigrants from Europe. We must be poised to embrace the next significant immigrant population.”
In the pilot year, Ms. Alza worked with Latino families to broaden their awareness of Catholic schools and connect them to school leaders. At the same time, she worked with schools to overcome language barriers and build sensitivity to Latino culture. Through Ms. Alza’s initial efforts, it is expected that as many as 50 new Latino students will be enrolled in Cincinnati Catholic elementary schools by the start of the new school year.
“The Latino Initiative has been an unqualified success,” said Dr. Rigg. “In its second year, Ms. Alza will be a resource for all 91 Catholic elementary schools in the Archdiocese. However, she will focus most of her time on a smaller number of schools within the urban cores of Cincinnati, Dayton, and Hamilton.”
The Initiative represents the Archdiocese’s response to the Catholic School Advantage Campaign, a national effort to double the percentage of Latinos enrolled in Catholic schools from 290,000 students to 1 million in the next 10 years.
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati is the 38th largest Catholic diocese in the country, with almost 500,000 Catholics, and has the seventh largest network of Catholic schools in terms of enrollment. The 19-county territory includes 214 parishes and 113 Catholic primary and secondary schools.