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ACE Visits South Bend, IN

ACE in the City

The South Bend area has been the home base for the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) ever since Rev. Timothy Scully, C.S.C., and Rev. Sean McGraw, C.S.C., hosted an on-campus information session on Nov. 4, 1993, which constituted the founding day of ACE. They were expecting a small crowd for that session but were surprised to see the overwhelming enthusiasm of more than 180 students who responded to the invitation to serve through teaching.

That enthusiasm still surrounds ACE at its home base. Every participant in teacher formation programs begins with summer classes at Notre Dame. The ACE Teaching Fellows formation also includes summertime practicum opportunities to work with children in South Bend area school settings. ACE summer endeavors include the annual Catholic Schools Summer Camp Educational Program, in partnership with Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend schools.

In addition to enhancement in language arts and math offered during the three-week Educational Program, ACE sponsors a unique science program for middle school students. Many studies have shown that American students perform below average in science, but through hands-on learning, this program aims at increasing students’ interest in and knowledge of science. The ACE educational programs add an important summertime option for many students from both public and Catholic schools.

ACE’s Play Like a Champion Today (PLC) sports-as-ministry program was founded in 2005 at the University of Notre Dame. It is the only university-based initiative focused on promoting a positive sports culture for all young people. Part of the Institute for Educational Initiatives, the program works with coaches, parents,athletes, and administrators to teach character education through sports. The program was piloted in South Bend at St. Joseph Grade School and has since expanded to serve over 125 organizations across the country. This work includes several local groups, such as the Kroc Center, Boys and Girls Club of South Bend, and numerous schools in the community.

More than a dozen graduates of ACE Teaching Fellows and the Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program, as well as graduates of the English as a New Language and Teaching Exceptional Children licensure programs, currently teach and serve Catholic schools in the South Bend area and around the Diocese.


Where We’ll Be

Tuesday, November 19

1:30 p.m. School visit to St. Adalbert School and award presentation


Award Recipients

About the Awards

The University of Notre Dame Sorin Award for Service to Catholic Schools

Netherlands native Peter Veldman arrived in America in 1949 and has served his country in numerous ways since, including military service and leadership of a successful tire sales business. Peter and his wife Wilma are now serving Catholic education with a local, national and international perspective. Their partnerships include St. Brendan’s Parish in Kitete, Tanzania, East Africa. There, the Veldmans have funded the Audrey Veldman Vocational Training Center, named for the Veldmans’ late daughter. The school continues to expand both in infrastructure and academic offerings. Their embrace of Catholic schools in the South Bend area and in other areas has been equally impactful.

ACE Point of Contact in the City:
 Ricky Austin -