Kellogg grant supports ACE initiative in Chicago school

by Dennis Brown

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has awarded a $48,000 grant to the University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) to develop service-learning initiatives within the curriculum of Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Chicago.p. Founded in 1996, Cristo Rey is a coeducational, college preparatory high school located in southwest Chicago’s Pilsen/Little Village neighborhood. The school features a rigorous dual-language curriculum and an innovative program in which all students work one full day each week to offset the costs of their education and to gain experience in actual workplaces.p. The partnership between Notre Dame and Cristo Rey will focus on the integration of successful service-learning models developed by ACE into the high school’s curriculum, with the goal of inspiring young Latinos to take an active role in community service.p. A cadre of ACE graduates will serve this summer as consultants to Cristo Rey faculty and administrators, identifying best practices in service-learning and developing and implementing them into most of the school’s courses. The program will be under the direction of the Campus Ministry staff at Cristo Rey.p. Founded in 1994 by Rev. Timothy R. Scully, C.S.C., executive vice president at Notre Dame, and Rev. Sean McGraw, C.S.C., ACE is a master’s in education program that serves the dual purpose of training highly qualified young college graduates as teachers while also providing assistance to understaffed Catholic elementary and secondary schools nationwide. In exchange for a modest stipend and a tuition-free graduate program, ACE participants make a two-year commitment to the program.p. Some 80 recent college graduates enter ACE each year. Coming from a wide variety of educational disciplines, the students take courses and engage in teacher-training projects at Notre Dame during their two summers in the program, then are assigned to full-time teaching positions at schools in some 30 cities in 14 states. Within each city, the ACE students also live in community, sharing the rewards and challenges of teaching.p. After two years, the students have completed the requirements for a master’s degree in education and, while under no obligation to continue teaching, more than two-thirds stay in the profession in both public and private elementary and secondary schools through the country.p. The Kellogg Foundation was established in 1930 by W.K. Kellogg, the cereal industry pioneer, and makes grants in four areas: health, food systems and rural development, youth and education, and philanthropy and volunteerism.

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