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Some ideas for what pastors can do:

  • Talk often and regularly from the pulpit about your school. Mention the school in your homilies. Do playground duty once per week for 30 minutes or do traffic duty in the morning.

  • Help your parish staff to see the critical role that Catholic education can play in helping Latinos move out of poverty. Latino/a students that attend Catholic schools are 42% more likely to graduate from high school and 2-1/2 times more likely to graduate from college.

  • Support the principal of the school. Ask her/him to give a State of the School address once per year from the pulpit at all the Masses.

  • Work closely with the principal and advisory board on recruiting and marketing strategies for Latinos.

  • Find one or two women who are the movers and shakers in the Hispanic community of your parish and ask them to talk with other parents about Catholic schools. Set up a program whereby these parents welcome and give tours to perspective parents.

  • Meet with your director of Hispanic ministry to ask for their help. They usually know all the kids and families in sacramental prep. They can help identify children who can go to the parish school.

  • Find parents to speak from the pulpit about why they are willing to make sacrifices to put their children in the parish school.

  • Be creative when offering financial aid. You don’t have to have outside aid to cover every dollar of aid that you are offering. Find out how many children you have to have in a room to meet the expenses. Usually it’s about 18 to 20. Then take children after that at different tuition prices.

  • Establish a madrina program. Existing school moms assist new moms as they enroll in the school. For example, Violeta has had children in your school for two years. She knows the system now. When Inocencia comes to enroll her children in the school, Violeta is assigned to be the madrina or sponsor of Inocencia. After two years or so, Inocencia takes on that role for a new family.

  • Help the school to function as a community center in the evenings. Offer ENL classes, citizenship classes, or basic keyboarding in Spanish. This will draw people into the school who have never been in the school. It is a great way of advertising the school.

  • Hire a recruiting and development person who will raise money for the school and help attract new families to the school.

  • Look for a few Latino parents who can serve on the parish council or school advisory board.