News & Press

Campaign For Catholic Schools Awarded Major Grant From The Boston Foundation

Major support for a new reform model of Catholic education being implemented at Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy in Dorchester and Mattapan

Braintree, MA, December 23, 2010 – The Campaign for Catholic Schools today announced receipt of a $100,000 grant from The Boston Foundation to support building teacher capacity at Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy.  The grant is aimed at improving student literacy in reading and writing English and in mathematics by investing the Academy’s teachers with the training and tools they need to improve daily classroom instruction in these subjects.

In making the grant, Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation said, “Pope John Paul II Academy represents both an example of great service to the city’s children by Catholic educators and institutions, and a significant force for innovation in education. The Boston Foundation is proud to stand as a partner in this important venture.”

Russ W. Wilson, regional director of Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy, said, “Teachers are a school’s most important resource, and this major investment by The Boston Foundation will do much to advance our efforts to further equip our teachers with the education and resources needed to do their best work.  This major grant, for which we are deeply grateful, is a key component of our strategy to provide students with the solid educational foundation they need to successfully compete for acceptance to the best high schools and colleges, putting them on the path to having career choices and better lives. It is also contributing to our teachers’ career development and to helping us to retain and attract the best and brightest professional educators.”

Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy is a new elementary school (PreK-8) serving over 1,300 students on four campuses in Dorchester and Mattapan.  It is the largest elementary school (private or public) in Boston and is educating 30% of all Catholic elementary school students in the city.  The Academy’s student body is racially and culturally diverse, with the majority of its students coming from low income backgrounds. 

In part because of its size and diversity, Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy is considered to be a flagship school in the Archdiocese of Boston’s efforts to implement a new sustainable and replicable reform model of Catholic education in its schools, particularly those in low-income, urban areas.

Major changes being implemented encompass areas such as governance, school management, teaching and professional development, academics and technology, marketing, and development, and facility infrastructure.  These are areas that were identified during a two-year strategic planning effort undertaken at the behest of Boston’s Cardinal Seán O’Malley to identify the changes that need to be made now to keep the Archdiocese’s schools strong for the future.

The Campaign for Catholic Schools (CCS) was established (12/07) to raise the private philanthropic funds required to make these systemic changes and implement the new reform model of superior, affordable, values-based Catholic education which can be sustained and replicated. To date, over $53 million has been raised in support of a number of school projects, including leadership funding from the Yawkey Foundation, the Lynch Foundation, EMC Corporation, Liberty Mutual Foundation, and the State Street Foundation, as well as a number of private individuals.

Visit the Academy’s website at www.popejp2catholicacademy.org to learn more about this vibrant, growing school.  To learn more about the Campaign for Catholic Schools, please visit www.campaignforcatholicschools.org.

About the Boston Foundation: The Boston Foundation, Greater Boston’s community foundation, is one of the oldest and largest community foundations in the nation, with assets of $733 million.  In Fiscal Year 2009, the Foundation and its donors made $82 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and received gifts of almost $82 million.  The Foundation’s competitive grant making is supported by the Permanent Fund for Boston at the Boston Foundation, which continues to receive grants and bequests from those who want to ensure that Greater Boston has a permanent endowment.  The Boston Foundation also serves as a major civic leader, provider of information, convener, and sponsor of special initiatives designed to address the community’s and the region’s most pressing challenges.  For more information about the Boston Foundation, visit our website, www.tbf.org or call 617-338-1700.

Discretionary grants from the Boston Foundation are made possible through a family of funds known as the Permanent Fund for Boston, the Boston Foundation’s discretionary endowment, which has allowed the Boston Foundation to make critical grants to support Greater Boston for over 90 years.  The Permanent Fund for Boston exists today due to the generosity of donors, often through bequests, enabling the Foundation to meet the most pressing needs of our community. 

For more information about the Boston Foundation and its grant making, visit www.tbf.org, or call 617-338-1700.

About the Archdiocese of Boston: The Diocese of Boston was founded on April 8, 1808 and was elevated to Archdiocese in 1875. Currently serving the needs of nearly 2 million Catholics, the Archdiocese of Boston is an ethnically diverse and spiritually enriching faith community consisting of 291 parishes, across 144 communities, educating approximately 42,000 students in its Catholic schools and 156,000 in religious education classes each year, ministering to the needs of 200,000 individuals through its pastoral and social service outreach and in support of a health care ministry that meets the needs of some 1 million patients each year.   Mass is celebrated in nearly twenty different languages each week. For more information, please visit www.BostonCatholic.org.