January/February 2016: Rosary Cathedral Catholic School, Toledo, Ohio

by staff

Rosary Cathedral Catholic School (RCCS) is a K-8 diocesan school that operates as part of Central City Ministry of Toledo.

Rosary Cathedral Catholic School (RCCS) is a K-8 diocesan school that operates as part of Central City Ministry of Toledo. The school recently celebrated its 100th anniversary of educational and spiritual excellence. RCCS offers a strong academic and religious education to a diverse population while focusing on personal growth and compassion for others.

RCCS is located in the central city, where students often come from difficult home circumstances. The school’s vision involves meeting these challenges to educate all children and set them on successful paths to the future.

Teachers rely greatly on community support to provide special opportunities for the students at Rosary Cathedral. The school has partnerships with Mercy Health, Lourdes University, the local Catholic high schools, Mobile Meals of Toledo, and many other organizations that give back by supporting the students.

Some programs welcome individual volunteers who come into the school to assist the students directly. One of these programs, Adopt-A-Class, engages donors to be positive role models for students. The sponsors help pay tuition costs and interact with the children in their classes, join them on field trips, help with classroom projects, and offer academic support through reading and tutoring.

Father Tony Gallagher has been an Adopt-A-Class sponsor for about five years. He works with junior-high students, sharing character-building ideas and encouragement, answering religious questions, and helping students with challenges. “I regard RCCS as a vitally important ministry to children and families who otherwise would not have an opportunity for its life-giving, Catholic values-oriented education,” he explained. “I chose to work with junior high because those years are the most challenging.”

The Christ Child Society is a charitable organization dedicated to improving the lives of children in need, and volunteers from the Toledo chapter have been spending time with students at RCCS since 2008. They assist teachers with whatever the class needs. Volunteers decorate hallways, teach students organizational skills, or take projects home to complete for classroom use.

Corinne Welsh is a Christ Child Society volunteer who works with third-graders. She chose to help at Rosary Cathedral because she loves working with kids. “I think they really appreciate me being patient with them and giving them individual attention because teachers, parents, and other adults aren’t always able to do that,” she said. “I can tell by the look in their eyes that I am making some sort of impact.”
“Corinne is a huge role model for my students,” said third-grade teacher Sami Nye. “She makes it known that she cares about who they are, who they become, and where they are going in life. My students open up to her, which is a challenge for most of them since they struggle with trusting adults. Our school is a better place because of our volunteers, and our students are doing better in their studies because of these programs.”

“Volunteers enhance the lives of students by providing the ‘extras,’” added one parent. “They selflessly serve and are there to focus on individuals. They are very much needed.”

Very few volunteers at RCCS had any connection to the school before they offered to help. They simply believe in the mission and want to make a difference in the lives of children.


Source: Today’s Catholic Teacher, January/February 2016