Bishop Hosts Innovation and Leadership Award Reception

February 1, 2018 | 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

In its historic first year of offering grants, Foundations in Education is pleased to announce 19 grant awards totaling $105,000 to benefit Catholic schools in the Diocese of Bridgeport. This competitive grant cycle is the first of its kind for Foundations in Education and Diocesan-wide Catholic schools alike.

Grant proposals from teachers and school administrators were received from September 15 – October 31, 2017. Schools were presented with the unique opportunity to request funding for projects promoting innovation in the classroom or training and leadership development.

“This is a historic moment for Foundations in Education,” explained Executive Director Holly Doherty-Lemoine. “We encouraged our schools to dare to dream and we were inspired by the many creative responses this first year.”

Foundations received thirty-five grant proposals from nineteen of the twenty-six Catholic schools in Fairfield County. The grant requests totaled $235,859, more than twice the available funding.

A grants committee carefully reviewed each proposal and submitted recommendations to Foundation’s Board of Trustees for approval. The committee is led by Dr. Julie McNamara, former President of Albertus Magnus College.

“I am honored to have witnessed the incredible enthusiasm from our Catholic school educators,” commented Dr. McNamara. “Their remarkable projects will ensure Catholic education remains on the cutting edge and will transform our students into our next generation of thinkers, leaders and entrepreneurs.”

An awards ceremony took place on Thursday, February 1st at the home of the Most Reverend Frank J. Caggiano, fifth Bishop of Bridgeport and Acting Chairperson of Foundations in Education. At this event, grant honorees shared the vision of their projects with Foundation’s board members, grant committee members and donors.

“I am delighted that we have reached this milestone of offering grants to our schools,” remarked Bishop Caggiano. “The funded projects hold great promise of being replicated among all our Catholic schools. The opportunities are incalculable and priceless.”

Thanks to the generosity of its donors, Foundations in Education continues its ongoing commitment to strengthening and transforming Catholic education.

“We have faculty with big ideas but there’s very little funding available out there for nonprofits to take the risk of piloting new innovative programs,” said Board Member Tom McInerney, who has supported the Foundation. “It’s important to support these initiatives – to nurture their ideas into fruition.”

The funding for this first round of grants was made possible through an event hosted by Lynn and Frank Mara of Greenwich, who joined Foundations in Education for the grant reception.

“We were really impressed by the inspiration of the teachers and the programs,” commented Lynn Mara. “It’s very rewarding to see the money raised used this way!”


2017-2018 Innovation and Leadership Grant Awards

All Saints Catholic School, Norwalk: Makerspace in School Library         $7,500

Greenwich Catholic School: Mobile Innovation Maker Cart $7,500

Holy Trinity Catholic Academy, Shelton: Generation Beyond STEM        $10,000

Immaculate High School, Danbury: Leading Edge in Graphic Design $6,500 and Distance Classroom: Bridging Middle School with High School $2,000

Notre Dame High School, Fairfield: Community Building with 3D Technology $12,000 and Performing Arts in Catholic Education $4,800

St. Catherine of Siena School, Trumbull: Google Expeditions for the Classroom – Virtual Field Trips $7,000

St. Gregory the Great School, Danbury: Level Up Village $10,000

St. Joseph School, Danbury: Citizen Science: Monitoring Local Waterways $2,500

St. Mark School, Stratford: Makerspace – Innovation Lab $5,000

St. Mary School, Bethel: Creative Connections Rainforest Artlink Art Exchange $1,025

St. Mary School, Ridgefield: From Egg to Chick – The Life Cycle Project $800 and Sprouting Seeds and Spreading Kindness $700

St. Rose of Lima School, Newtown: Good News Television Studio/News Program $5,000

St. Thomas Aquinas School, Fairfield: Little Bits STEM Makerspace $6,000

The Catholic Academy of Stamford: School Weather Lab $900

Trinity Catholic High School, Stamford: The Learning Academy at Trinity Catholic High School $10,500

All Schools in Diocese of Bridgeport: Advancement Professional Development $5,275