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Making a Difference in Catholic Schools

Guest Post by Ignatian Volunteer Corps

The Ignatian Volunteer Corps (IVC) of Washington DC/Metro Maryland partnered with the Crimsonbridge Foundation to place three service corps members in Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Washington during the 2021-22 school year.

IVC animates the expertise of individuals over 50 who have the passion and commitment to direct their attention to issues impacting the world. Service corps members use their time and experience to give back and make a difference. They are leaders of change, offering vital resources to organizations, churches and schools. Through their direct service, members enter the lived experience of others, showing respect for the dignity and equality of those they serve and serve with. Members are sustained through their commitment to Ignatian Spirituality and the community they create with one another. Seeking the presence of God in each person, they bring their stories back to one another in community to reflect, enrich, teach, and learn.

Our partnership with the Crimsonbridge Foundation included the placement of service corps members at three of the Foundation’s community partner schools. Aleksandra Braginski has been able to serve as a tutor at St. Francis International School on the campus of her home parish, St. Camillus in Silver Spring, Maryland. Retired teacher Nancy Shea-Starkenburg has been doing some much-needed one-on-one instruction with the elementary school students of St. Joseph Regional Catholic School in Beltsville, Maryland. In southeast Washington, school nurse Judy Brinckerhoff has taken on the dual roles of health educator and COVID compliance specialist at the Washington School for Girls.

School leaders reported that the capacity building support provided by their service corps members was so valuable that the schools will likely maintain their partnerships with IVC for the 2022-23 school year.

This post includes information submitted in a final report to the Foundation. Ignatian Volunteer Corps is part of the Crimsonbridge Foundation’s Education Imperative program, which takes a whole-community approach to increasing Hispanic family engagement and student enrollment in Catholic schools. IVC corps members were placed in Education Imperative partner schools as part of the Foundation’s multi-pronged capacity building approach.


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