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SHINE THE LIGHT: Creating Stronger Connections

This is the second post in a series sharing how local Catholic schools used a small communications capacity building grant from the Crimsonbridge Foundation to serve, reach, engage, and enroll Hispanic students and families.

Holy Redeemer School, a Pre-K to 8th grade school in Prince George’s County, MD, is committed to excellence in education and connecting with families in its community through its Catholic mission. Eighth grade teacher, Jennifer Eller, shared, “Reaching out to our local Catholic families and providing a Catholic education to those that desire it fulfills our school mission and our mission as Catholics.” It was this faithfulness to Holy Redeemer’s Catholic mission that inspired the school’s administration to use the Bridges for Schools grant to translate admissions and enrollment information for the school website, translate the parent-student handbook, and assembled a team of “Madrinas.”

Designed by the Alliance for Catholic Education and the University of Notre Dame, the Madrinas Model employs a grassroots marketing approach in which Madrinas serve as mentors for parents who are interested in enrolling their children in a Catholic school. Holy Redeemer recruited current parents at the school to serve as Madrinas. The Madrinas attended school open houses to translate and speak to potential families and worked with the school faculty to create a welcoming community.

Holy Redeemer also worked with a professional translation company to translate school promotional materials and website content. To help share these new Spanish-language materials, the school administration connected with pastors at nearby parishes that offer Spanish-language masses and received their help in distributing materials.

Jennifer reflected on the impact of the grant saying, “This grant opened my eyes as a teacher to how I am and can be communicating with my current Spanish-speaking families. It also allowed us to welcome more people into our community who might otherwise have stayed away.”


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