Record Numbers Attend ACE’s Latino Enrollment Institute 2019
The Latino Enrollment Institute (LEI) welcomed 92 schools from 44 (arch)dioceses this month – its largest group ever – as part of its annual conference to equip schools with strategies to serve Latino families.
Started by the University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education in 2012, the LEI brings together principals, teachers, and pastors – more than 240 this year alone. Dr. Katy Lichon, the director of ACE’s Catholic School Advantage, welcomed this year’s group into the LEI’s mission.
“We are incredibly grateful for the time we will spend together these days and it is a blessing to share in this important mission with you,” she said. “We are honored to have you share in our vocation as we work to assist schools and leaders in embracing, educating, and empowering Latino families and children.”
The LEI helps Catholic schools more effectively welcome students from Latino families and empower their families through Catholic education. Attendees immersed themselves in seminars and conversations that spanned four days on topics such as Relationships Before Flyers: Engaging Latino Families through a Team of Madrinas, The Role of Latino Culture in Classroom Management, Recruiting Millennial Latinos, and Why El Padre Encouragement and Support Makes a Big Difference.
“The LEI is well-organized, professional, and jam-packed with information you can take back to your school,” said Mary Parrish, the principal of Nativity of Mary School in the Diocese of Kansas City St. Joseph. “I particularly love the Madrinas model, as well as all the general strategies on how to create a more welcoming school.”
Amy Hogan, the principal of St. Gabriel Catholic School in the Diocese of Kansas City St. Joseph, was excited to take what she learned back home with her. “The LEI provides information that is usable immediately. They’ve given you all the steps needed, so even on the airplane or car ride home, you can start implementing your action plan,” she said. “I particularly like the principal-mentor program. You are paired with a mentor principal who has a similar school in terms of demographics, and they will be a vital resource for collaboration.”
In addition to specific tools and strategies, Pre-school Coordinator Kaitlin O’Connor and Principal Robin Fisher of St. Regis Academy in the Diocese of Kansas City St. Joseph also appreciated the supportive community created by the LEI. Fisher said, “Our experience has been so moving! It has been amazing to be surrounded by like-minded educators who are all just doing everything we can to get as many little souls to heaven as possible. We have been transformed by every session and the community we were able to join, and we look forward to the continued collaboration. We can only hope to ignite even a small portion of the fire that the LEI has ignited in us.”