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SFA Awarded Over $72K Beyond Sunday Grant For Innovative Middle School Program, “CATHOLIC CONNECTIONS”

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02, May, 2018Posted by :Stacey

ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI CATHOLIC SCHOOL and PARISH SCHOOL OF RELIGION AWARDED OVER $72K BEYOND SUNDAY GRANT FOR INNOVATIVE MIDDLE SCHOOL PROGRAM, “CATHOLIC CONNECTIONS”

St. Louis, MO, April 25, 2018– St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School and PSR announces that Mrs. Bartolotta and Mr. Herries have been awarded a two-year grant for $72,900 to develop and implement an innovative middle school program called “Catholic Connections”.

Through this grant, St. Francis of Assisi and their strategic partners, St. Mary’s High School and Rosati-Kain High School will engage students, teachers, community members, and parish members in creating and implementing project-based, interdisciplinary learning pathways that will allow middle school students to better connect within their school, out-of-school, and through on-line learning experiences.  Mentors at the high school, parish, and community levels will partner with them to solve real world problems and to connect our faith to our world.

Learning pathways may include engineering, architecture, sustainability, production and design, incubator creations, bioscience, health sciences, and more. Developing high school credit courses for middle school students is a goal of this grant as well. Based on effective models already in use in other parts of the country, students of St. Francis and our strategic partner schools will break the mold of a 129 year-old education model of the U.S. to bring the best of what is traditional and the best of what is new, while studying them through the lens of faith. In the end, this will be an opportunity to create a “playbook” of tried and tested connections, working to enhance learning and faith that can be replicated by other Catholic schools to benefit the entire region. The relationships built through these connections will allow others to see the treasure of our Catholic schools and will allow our students to grow in their faith and discover their God-given gifts.

In anticipation of this grant opportunity, St. Francis middle school students have been participating in a “20 Percent Time” program throughout the year. Initiated by Google, 20 Percent Time allows student to study in-depth a topic of interest to them. Using the Design Thinking Process, they research an essential question, propose a solution, gather data, create models or products of some sort, and report findings.  Students prepare a “pitch” of their project and a concluding TED Talk of their findings. TED is a non-profit that promotes idea sharing through short, powerful, data-based talks. This type of learning supports needed growth in creativity, collaboration, communication, in-depth research and analysis, and more. We will showcase this and other innovative learning outcomes in a gallery format at St. Francis on May 16th from 5pm to 6pm, followed by our State of the School Address and Home and School Meeting at 6:30pm.  All are welcome to attend.

PASSIONATELY CATHOLIC, ACADEMICALLY EXCELLENT

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Beth Bartolotta at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School at 314-487-5736 x121 or email at beth.bartolotta@sfaschoolstl.org.

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