ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. – March 29, 2010 52 elementary schools within the Diocese of Rockville Centre, are participating in the Catholic Alumni Partnership (CAP), a groundbreaking new program designed to help reconnect schools with their alumni. To date, nearly 177,000 former students of Catholic elementary schools in the Diocese of Rockville Centre have been located and they all recently received a personalized letter welcoming them back to their elementary educational roots.
“The Diocese of Rockville Centre is delighted to be involved in the Catholic Alumni Partnership, joining the six other arch/dioceses who are participating in this exciting new endeavor to reach out to the graduates of their elementary schools,” said Sr. Joanne Callahan, Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Rockville Centre. “We’ve already had a great response from the initial letter that went out and we expect interest in CAP to continue to grow in the coming weeks and months ahead.”
CAP is a new privately-funded initiative designed to support Catholic elementary schools by implementing strong, sustainable annual fundraising programs for each participating school, with alumni support as the foundation. Funds raised through this initiative will directly benefit Catholic elementary schools to continue to provide current children, and future generations, with a high quality Catholic education.
Despite a strong history of excellence, Catholic schools today are faced with tremendous challenges. A 2008-2009 report by the National Catholic Educational Association emphasized the strong demand and enthusiasm for Catholic schools, and the significant need for increased support. Across the country 162 Catholic schools closed last year due to financially strapped budgets. Here in the Diocese of Rockville Centre, tuition covers an average of only 60% of student costs – we are facing the same financial challenges that have caused schools to close across the country.
Currently, there are seven Roman Catholic Dioceses participating in CAP: the Diocese of Bridgeport, the Diocese of Brooklyn, the Diocese of Buffalo, the Diocese of Norwich, the Diocese of Rockville Centre, the Archdiocese of Hartford and the Archdiocese of New York. In total, 303 Catholic elementary schools in these seven arch/diocese are benefiting from CAP.
In support of this effort, print advertisements, featuring Regis Philbin, have already appeared locally in Newsday, The Long Island Catholic and The New York Times. Television advertisements, also featuring Mr. Philbin, have aired on WABC, WCBS, WLNY, WNYW, WPIX, WWOR, TV55 and they continue to air on Telecare. These advertisements are driving viewers to the CAP website www.clickyes.com. Once on the website, alumni can look for their alma mater to re-engage with and make an instant donation to support Catholic education.
“As a former teacher and principal, I remember, with great fondness, the students who I came to know, and I look forward to connecting with them once again through this program,” said Sister Joanne. “The partnership is allowing us to remind our alumni of the outstanding work we do for the students attending our schools today.”
For more information about CAP or to reconnect with your alma mater, visit www.clickyes.com.
About The Catholic Church of Long Island
The Diocese of Rockville Centre (www.drvc.org) was formed in 1957 and covers 1,198 square miles in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. The diocese serves approximately 1.5 million Catholics (total population in both counties is approximately 3.4 million). There are 133 parishes in 115 towns. Last year over 17,000 baptisms, 19,000 confirmations, 17,000 first communions and 3,000 marriages took place in the diocese. There are approximately 20,000 students in Catholic elementary schools; 13,000 in secondary schools and 3,500 in higher institutions. There are 69 Catholic elementary and high schools and one Catholic college in the diocese. Catholic Health Services of Long Island consists of five hospitals, three nursing homes, a community-based home for those with special needs and a hospice. In 2008, Catholic Charities assisted more than 55,485 individuals who are poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged on Long Island. (12/08).
CONTACT: Sean P. Dolan
Director of Communications
(p) 516-678-5800, ext. 625