FAIRFIELD—Notre Dame High School recently received two grants from Foundations in Education. Foundations in Education is a non-profit initiative created to assist the Diocese of Bridgeport’s ongoing mission to support Catholic education in Fairfield County by supporting innovation in academic and extra-curriculum programs, fostering opportunities for the professional development of school leaders and providing scholarship assistance to families in need.
The first grant, “Community Building with 3D Printing”, was awarded to Kathy Almeida, Chair of the Notre Dame Science Department and moderator of the school STEM Club. The $12,000 grant will be used to fund the purchase of three 3D printers and related equipment. With these resources, Notre Dame students will give back to the community. The students will become active participants in “The Helping Hand Project.” This project focuses on providing prosthetic devices to children in need.
Mrs. Almedia commented, “I am very excited to be able to implement 3D printing into our science curriculum and service projects. Imagine being able to print a 3D human organ, fossil, airplane engine, robot, or prosthetic device for a needy child. In addition, our students will have the opportunity to think outside the box as they design and create solutions to real world problems using this innovative technology.”
The second grant, “Performing Arts in Catholic Education” was awarded to Sally Hong, Notre Dame’s Dance teacher. The $4,800 grant will be used to support the school’s arts program. Funding will update the current sound system, purchase dance shoes, costumes, and props for future ND performances, and allow students to attend a Broadway show and take a dance workshop with a current cast member.
Mrs. Hong commented, “Notre Dame has proudly spearheaded Arts in Catholic Education as a way to reach young people and connect them to their faith. This Innovation Grant allows us to continue the outreach to young people and open their hearts and minds to be nearer to God. I look forward to guiding my students in Dance and in life.”
Upon receipt of these grants, ND Principal Chris Cipriano commented, “I am so excited by not only receiving both of these grants … but the great potential both of these proposals hold for our students. With one grant targeting STEM and service and the second supporting the arts, we are blessed to be able to support and impact three important areas of an ND education.”
In its historic first year of offering grants, Foundations in Education is pleased to announce 19 grant awards totaling $105,000 to benefit Catholic schools in the Diocese of Bridgeport. This competitive grant cycle is the first of its kind for Foundations in Education and Diocesan-wide Catholic schools alike.
“This is a historic moment for Foundations in Education,” explained Executive Director Holly Doherty-Lemoine. “We encouraged our schools to dare to dream and we were inspired by the many creative responses this first year.”
Foundations received thirty-five grant proposals from nineteen of the twenty six Catholic schools in Fairfield County. The grant requests totaled $235,859, more than twice the available funding. A grants committee carefully reviewed each proposal and submitted recommendations to Foundation’s Board of Trustees for approval. The committee is led by Dr. Julie McNamara, former President of Albertus Magnus College.
“I am honored to have witnessed the incredible enthusiasm from our Catholic school educators,” commented Dr. McNamara. “Their remarkable projects will ensure Catholic education remains on the cutting edge and will transform our students into our next generation of thinkers, leaders and entrepreneurs.”
An awards ceremony took place on February 1 at the home of the Most Reverend Frank J. Caggiano, fifth Bishop of Bridgeport and Acting Chairperson of Foundations in Education. At this event, grant honorees shared the vision of their projects with Foundation’s board members, grant committee members and donors.
“I am delighted that we have reached this milestone of offering grants to our schools,” remarked Bishop Caggiano. “The funded projects hold great promise of being replicated among all our Catholic schools. The opportunities are incalculable and priceless.”
Thanks to the generosity of its donors, Foundations in Education continues its ongoing commitment to strengthening and transforming Catholic education.
To learn more about Foundations in Education, please visit the Foundations in Education website at: www.foundationsineducation.org.
Notre Dame High School is a co-educational institution, founded in 1956, with an enrollment of 520 students representing 35 area cities and towns. For more information about Notre Dame, visit notredame.org.