Catholic Schools Open to Young Victims of Katrina

Tuition Waived, Teachers Needed

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WASHINGTON, D.C., SEPT. 2, 2005 ( Catholic schools from across the nation are opening their doors to students displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

The Diocese of Shreveport, Louisiana, which has seven elementary schools, for example, enrolled more than 200 students in the days after displaced people from afflicted dioceses moved into the Shreveport area.

Shreveport Superintendent Sister Carol Shively said the increased number of students calls for an increased number of teachers.

«We are in need of teachers who are willing to simply donate in the name of the Lord,» she said.

Dioceses are offering tuition-free attendance, free books and backpacks, and whatever else students need as students begin the school year away from home.

In some areas teachers also have been advised of special needs that students will have because of the trauma of the upheaval.

Schools in non-affected areas, such as the Diocese of Owensboro, Kentucky, are twinning with affected schools and planning various fundraising activities. One named «Katrina’s Kids» already is under way in the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee, Florida.

Sister Glenn Anne McPhee, the U.S. bishops’ Secretary for Education, praised the work and pledged that Catholic schools across the country would do whatever was needed to bring stability and hope to students affected by Hurricane Katrina.

«Throughout the country,» she said, «there are efforts to bring stability to students’ lives by providing them with educational opportunities so that their schooling will be as uninterrupted as possible.»

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