Thanks to faithful donors to the Education Endowment, the Catholic Foundation offers two, yearly competitive grant cycles for the parishes, schools and diocesan offices of the Diocese of Erie. Grants are awarded in support of a variety of interests, including the purchase of technology upgrades for education.

Catholic schools pursuing technology upgrades were grateful recipients of grants from the Catholic Foundation. These grants made a significant impact on Catholic schools in 2021 as demand for upgraded technology in classrooms and urgent remote learning needs were fueled by the pandemic.

With the help of an Education grant from the Catholic Foundation Seton Catholic School in Meadville and Venango Region Catholic School (VRCS) in Oil City both purchased Chromebooks for their entire student body. Laura Blake, President of VCRS explains that “with Chromebooks every student has equal access to the same technology at school and at home.” Jamie Longo, Director of Advancement at Seton adds, “We are excited to use the Chromebooks for future research and projects and will continue to be proactive with how our students learn best.”

Seton Chromebook photo
Seton Catholic School students give their new Chromebooks a thumbs-up.

Outdated iPads were replaced for kindergarten through second grade students at Saint John Paul II Elementary School in Hermitage. Each classroom is now home to thirteen new iPads capable of accessing supplemental materials the teachers were excited to add to the curriculum. Bill Blum, Director of Finance, recognizes that “these grants would not be possible if not for donor support of the Education Endowment.”

Dell laptop computers were on the wish list for DuBois Central Catholic School. Katie Ellenberger, elementary technology teacher, was looking for a bridge for the 4th and 5th grade students from the Apple products used in the lower grades, to the hardware and software used in the middle and high school. With the Education grant, ten laptops were purchased, and curriculum was designed to concentrate on necessary laptop keyboard and touchpad skills. Sixth grade computer sciences teacher, Tara Kramer, explains, “When the students came to my class this year, they were ready to start on day one. They can open apps, navigate on their own and they have much improved typing skills.”

Mercyhurst Preparatory School in Erie added interactive touch screens with their grant. Technology department chair, Sean Baer, shares that “having this level of technology allowed the school to stay open during the entire 2020-21 school year, to be able to teach its students, both in-person and remote, and to provide a quality education.’’ He continues, “It has enhanced teaching and will continue to play an integral part in the classroom, pandemic or not. Now that this technology has become the norm for teachers and students alike, there is no going back to a classroom without such a powerful tool.”

Upgraded technology in Catholic schools leads to increased preparedness, equal and reliable access to technology, and enhanced learning environments. These upgrades are made possible through grants funded by the Catholic Foundation’s Education Endowment. Donations in any amount to the Education Endowment increase the Foundation’s capacity to award grants for creative and impactful projects and programs throughout northwest Pennsylvania today and for future generations and give the Foundation to ability to meet the ever-changing needs of our Catholic community.

Du Bois tech photo
DuBois Central Catholic students learn to use Photo Shop in Adobe on their Dell laptop computers.
Venango Region Catholic School students use their Chromebooks for a classroom assignment.

Be the Spark!

Education grants are made possible through the Education Endowment of the Catholic Foundation. Donations in any amount designated for the Education Endowment increase our capacity to award grants for impactful Catholic education needs throughout northwest Pennsylvania today and for future generations.

“These grants would not be possible if not for donor support of the Education Endowment.”
— Bill Blum, Director of Finance, Kennedy Catholic Family of Schools
More Stories