St. Michael School in Newark recently launched a fundraising campaign and enrollment drive. The goal of the Challenge for Our Children is to make the school financially strong through both intensive recruitment and by raising $500,000.
The money raised through the fund drive will be used to cover existing deficits and to create an endowment fund to ensure the school’s stability in the future, said Suzanne Tulloch, parent and public-relations and development coordinator for the school. As of June 11 $1,700 had already been pledged to the campaign, according to the school’s Web site.
There’s more to this campaign than dollars and cents, however.
Endowment is great, Tulloch observed, but said if a school doesn’t have students in the seats, the money doesn’t matter. Thus, school officials have embarked on an intense recruitment campaign. The school held several open houses in mid-June, including one for Spanish-speaking families, and also offered a $1,000 tuition discount for new students who enrolled by June 20.
"So many people from the school and the parish have come forward with great ideas and lots of help. … It takes everyone to make these campaigns successful," Principal Pauline DeCann wrote in the June 13 edition of "Tiger Tales," the school’s newsletter.
St. Michael is trying to avoid the twin problems of increasing costs and declining enrollment, which are plaguing schools throughout the Northeast and recently contributed to the closing of 13 diocesan-operated schools in Monroe County.
"We’re trying very hard to be proactive about this," Tulloch said. "We’re the only game in town. We’re the only alternative (to public schools) we have."
For more information, contact St. Michael School at 315-331-2297 or visit schools.dor.org/stmichaelnew.