ACE in the Community
Two of the newest cities to welcome ACE teachers, Oakland and Solano, are already yielding enriching partnerships. In Oakland, which welcomed ACE Teaching Fellows for the first time in 2011, five teachers currently serve four schools: St. Elizabeth Elementary, St. Elizabeth High School, St. Jarlath Catholic School, and St. Martin de Porres. In ACE's Solano community, established in 2013, four teachers serve four schools: Notre Dame School, St. Basil School, St. Patrick-St. Vincent High School, and St. Vincent Ferrer School. The first three of our teachers to serve Oakland have returned to the area to continue their teaching ministry after their graduation with the M. Ed. degree last summer.
ACE first partnered with the Diocese of Oakland in 2010, when the diocese welcomed our Catholic School Advantage campaign. Stemming from that partnership and the loving dedication of school leaders, the diocese has energetically embraced the Latino community and consequently has seen an impressive increase in Latino enrollments. Diocesan school administrators were also among the founding members of ACE's Latino Enrollment Institute, in which particular schools commit to an extended, measured, and collaborative effort to reach out to the Latino populations within their communities.
Where We'll Be
Friday, May 9
11:15 PST -- School event at St. Jarlath Catholic School
2634 Pleasant Street, Oakland, CA
The University of Notre Dame Sorin Award for Service to Catholic Schools
John and Bobbie Wilson generously channel resources, leadership, and inspiration toward a life-changing initiative in the Diocese of Oakland. The initiative, called Family Aid—Catholic Education, or FACE, provides tuition assistance to enable ethnically diverse children of low-income families to attend Catholic school. In school year 2013-2014, FACE made 684 need-based grants—worth $1,750 for each elementary school child and about $3,000 for each secondary school child. Grants are made without regard to a student’s religion, gender, ethnicity, or citizenship.
The diocesan Office of Mission Advancement oversees FACE, with John Wilson having chaired the initiative’s board in the past. The Wilsons’ enthusiastic advocacy for Catholic schools as a source of hope for kids and their families has helped to elicit the broad community engagement that gives FACE the financial backing it needs. Donations come from individuals, corporations, foundations, and invested funds. The Wilsons personify for these donors the shared values of justice and solidarity that can equalize educational options for America’s next generation. John Wilson adds to the mix a specific fundraising zeal for his own Jesuit high school alma mater.
The University of Notre Dame Champion for Education Award
The BASIC Fund, which stands for Bay Area Scholarships for Inner-City Children, counterattacks with generosity an educational imbalance that plagues the entire San Francisco Bay area and much of the United States. That imbalance comprises the desire of so many low-income families to send their children to an excellent school, alongside the tragic surplus of seats that go unfilled in many private schools offering top-notch academic standards and high graduation rates.
The Fund provides between $6 million and $8 million annually to these schools, which include Catholic schools like St. Jarlath’s and others which may or may not be faith-based. Schools can then award this money to disadvantaged families in the form of scholarships to help them afford private school tuition for their children. Individual donors and foundations contributing to this Fund are leveling the playing field so that parents can send their children to fill some of the thousands of unfilled seats in the Bay area. But this partnership between parents, children, and schools can shrink the gap even further as more donors step forward.