The Education Imperative is a call to action!
Catholic school vitality, parish vitality, and Church vitality are all intimately connected. The Crimsonbridge Foundation’s Education Imperative takes a whole-community approach to increasing Hispanic family engagement and student enrollment in Catholic schools. Crimsonbridge partners with schools, nonprofits, and dioceses to bring about systemic change to make schools more welcoming and inclusive to Latino families, while enriching the Catholic school experience for all students and families and contributing to Catholic school vitality. By investing in expanding Spanish language and cultural capacity building, professional development strategies, tuition assistance, and English language programs for adults, Crimsonbridge is taking a strategic approach in partnership with key stakeholders.
Watch this short video to learn more about the Education Imperative!
BUILDING INCLUSIVE, DIVERSE, AND ENGAGED SCHOOL COMMUNITIES
This work has positive implications for all families, schools, parishes, and dioceses. The Education Imperative® is working towards a vision that aligns with the mission of Catholic education and the Catholic Church. This vision includes:
Thriving Catholic schools with strong enrollment numbers
Schools that contribute to parish and Church vitality by welcoming students and families into the sacramental life of the Church
School communities with strong parent engagement, where all families are invited to share their gifts and talents
Schools that are representative of the rich and beautiful diversity of the Catholic Church in the United States
Studies show that school leadership engagement is critical to building a school culture that is welcoming and meets the needs of all students. Crimsonbridge investments have supported:
• The University of Notre Dame’s Latino Enrollment Institute On the Road in the Archdiocese of Washington to provide professional development for principals, pastors, and school staff on how to foster a welcoming environment and grow Hispanic enrollment.
• Research and programming focused on increasing representation of Latino leaders in Catholic education.
• A mentorship program with the Latino Enrollment Institute for principals to learn from school leaders with demonstrated success in engaging Latino families.
• A collaborative cohort of Catholic schools to share best practices and achieve each school’s cultural competency, recruitment, and retention goals.
Crimsonbridge Foundation partners at the school and diocesan level to build a culture of inclusion through language access, parent engagement, and strategic communications. Crimsonbridge investments have supported:
• A new full-time Hispanic Enrollment, Marketing and Administrative Assistant at the Catholic Schools Office, dedicated to working with schools, parishes, and parents to increase Hispanic enrollment and improve Spanish-language communications capacity.
• Establishment of a Parent Ambassadors group who employ grassroots marketing, recruitment, and mentoring approaches to engage new parents.
• Creation of extensive new Spanish-language school and parish communications resources at the Archdiocese level.
• Bridges for Schools provides resources and tools for schools to successfully welcome, enroll, engage, and retain Latino students and families. Projects include bilingual website content, virtual school tours, social media, and professional marketing materials with representative imagery.
The Crimsonbridge Foundation created the Education Imperative Fund to provide tuition assistance as one piece of a holistic approach to serving students and families. Crimsonbridge partners with the Latino Student Fund (LSF), a regional nonprofit, to increase the availability of partial scholarships for new students to attend Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Washington. Schools must demonstrate they are making systemic improvements towards welcoming and engaging Hispanic students and their families in order to qualify.
“The vibrant Hispanic presence in the US Catholic Church continues to grow steadily, bringing life to our parishes across the nation. Today, we are called to bring this thriving presence to our Catholic Schools, by increasing representation of Hispanic students in our classrooms. In the Archdiocese of Washington we are delighted to partner with the Crimsonbridge Foundation, as we continue to build inclusive schools in our region."
The Most Reverend Mario E. Dorsonville,
Auxiliary Bishop of Washington