Chicago, IL (PRWEB) September 10, 2008
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has continued its support of the Cristo Rey Network through a purchase of nearly 2,000 copies of 'More than a Dream', the 2008 book that chronicles the unlikely and inspiring startup of the original Cristo Rey school in Chicago, that will be used to help promote the Cristo Rey Network in the United States and around the world.
600 copies of the book will go to the Cristo Rey Network in Chicago, while the balance will be sent to the 22 Cristo Rey Network member schools around the United States. "These books are a great resource for us," said Rob Birdsell, President of the Cristo Rey Network. "We've got a great story here. It's a story of hope. It's a story of young people working hard to make their dreams come true. When we've told this story, we've seen it inspire communities to open Cristo Rey schools and we've seen it inspire young people to expand their hopes and dreams."
'More than a Dream' was published in February 2008 by Loyola Press, a Chicago based publishing company. The book provides an inspiring and often entertaining look at how and why the Chicago Province Jesuits opened Cristo Rey. The book also traces the impact of the school on the lives of four of Cristo Rey's earliest students: Leo Maldonado, Maritza Santibáñez-Luna, Joey Garcia, and Mayra Hernandez. 'More than a Dream' has sold over 10,000 copies and has been reviewed positively by the Chicago Tribune and numerous additional publications. The book's author, G.R. Kearney, helped found Cristo Rey's Jesuit Alumni Volunteer Program and spent two years at the school working as a volunteer teacher, coach, and bus driver. "One of my main goals with this book," Kearney said, "was to see it help the Cristo Rey schools. I'm thrilled about the Gates Foundation purchase, because I think it will help each of the schools use the book as a tool." For more information about 'More than a Dream', please visit http://www.morethanadreambook.com.
The Seattle, WA, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has, since 2003, been one of the largest and most important supporters of the Cristo Rey model and the Cristo Rey Network. The Foundation, which is focused on Global health & development as well as education and libraries in the United States, has donated over $15.9 million dollars to help finance the growth of the Cristo Rey Network from one school to 22. The Gates Foundation has consistently supported innovative schools that will help prepare young people, especially those from low-income families, for college and work. More information about the Gates Foundation is available at http://www.gatesfoundation.org.
The Cristo Rey Network is an association of 22 inner-city Catholic high schools that provide a college prep education to students who couldn't otherwise afford it through a unique corporate work-study model. The original Cristo Rey school opened in Chicago in 1996. It has since sparked a renaissance in inner-city Catholic education. Today there are 22 Cristo Rey Network schools serving over 5,000 students in the United States. In 2008, the graduation rate at Cristo Rey schools was 96%. The average family income at Cristo Rey schools nationwide was $33,700. 98% of the class of 2007 enrolled at two or four-year colleges. More information about the Cristo Rey Network is available at http://www.cristoreynetwork.org.
Cristo Rey Network
2244 South Wolcott, Suite 100
Chicago, IL 60608
ahall @ cristoreynetwork.org