St. Gregory Episcopal School Partners with Holy Family Lutheran School

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Two Faith-Based Schools in Chicago's Lawndale Community Extend Their Mission to Serve More Youth.

In 2008, Holy Family's facility was recognized by the Chicago Building Congress as Chicago's best real estate project under $10M.

Holy Family and St. Gregory will extend this mission: to provide a low-cost, faith-based quality elementary education to youth from the North Lawndale and surrounding communities—so that area youth flourish academically as well as in life.

On February 5, 2010, the St. Gregory Episcopal School Board overwhelmingly voted to partner with the Holy Family Lutheran School. This follows the unanimous decision made by the Holy Family Board one week earlier.

Bishops from both churches have affirmed the boards’ decisions.

The partnership of St. Gregory and Holy Family underscores the Lutheran Synod’s and the Episcopal Diocese’s commitment to the Call to Common Mission: to bear witness to all we are called to share in the name of Jesus. This historic agreement calls both churches to a deeper understanding of what it means to be Christ’s body for the world.

It is this calling that has brought the two schools together. As one, Holy Family and St. Gregory will extend this mission: to provide a low-cost, faith-based quality elementary education to youth from the North Lawndale and surrounding communities—so that area youth flourish academically as well as in life.

Fr. Ken Erickson, St. Gregory’s principal, states of the partnership: “Together we seek to have a lasting impact on the lives of the children of North Lawndale and the surrounding neighborhoods. What we care about most is the mission that we share—that respecting the dignity of every child begins with providing an excellent education.”

Holy Family President Susan Work also affirms the partnership: “It is a win-win situation that adds strength, opportunity, and a 2010 perspective to both schools. The winners are the children.”

The winning plays out in a variety of ways. Through joint resources, St. Gregory’s students will have access to Holy Family’s state-of-the-art facility, recognized by the Chicago Building Congress in 2008 as Chicago's best real estate project under $10M. This fully equipped facility delivers a complete learning experience: a playground, gym (which dual functions as an auditorium and cafeteria), library, art room, music room, science lab, computer lab, and generous learning space.

Additionally, Holy Family’s vision is to use the building in service of the community—24/7, year-round—offering before and after-school child care, after-school programming which focuses on the arts and sports, and an 8-week summer camp.

With the addition of St. Gregory students, enrollment could potentially increase 30 percent. Higher enrollment means: smaller class sizes with the addition of more paid staff, increased funds for special programming, more scholarship assistance, and additional volunteers.

Drawing on St. Gregory’s focus on educating at-risk boys, Holy Family and St. Gregory boards are joining together to consider special programming addressing the special education issues faced by at-risk boys as well as the reinstatement of St. Gregory’s boys’ choir.

According to Work, “St. Gregory students will be immersed in the life of Holy Family—and we will be one big Holy Family!”

For more information, visit http://www.holyfamilyministries.org/news.php

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Susan Work

Fr. Ken Erickson
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