A Catholic elementary school in Williamsville is offering a round of new scholarships. WBFO’s senior reporter Eileen Buckley says the goal is to provide affordability to private school education.
An anonymous donor stepped forward at Saints Peter and Paul School in Williamsville providing a very generous donation. It will allow the school to offer ten scholarships.
“It just kind of happened serendipitously that we had this donor tell us -- announce that we can offer up to ten partial scholarships to the first ten kindergartens who qualify finically," explained Katie McIntrye, school board vice president and school parent.
The school has been working over the past year on a new strategic plan. One of the key themes is affordability to a private elementary school. These scholarships will run provide tuition assistance for a student from Kindergartener through 8th grade.
WBFO News asked if these new scholarships will open up more diversity at the school.
"We are a diverse school - especially considering our location - right in the heart of the village of Williamsville, but I think most people, when they come in to see our school, would be surprised to see how diverse our population is and we love that and we welcome that and we're so greatful that the scholarship is available because we do hope to reach out. The primary message of our marketing has been aimed at some of those pockets of areas where maybe the families have had this desire to send their child to the school and they may not even be Catholic, but if they're looking for that K-through-8 model, which is so beneficial - studies have shown how wonderful that model is for students," replied McIntrye.
The scholarships amounts will be based on a household size and income. Families could receive between $1,500 to $2,100 and if they are church parishioners at any church in the Diocese of Buffalo, it should cover a third to half of a child’s tuition, a bit less if they are not active at a parish.
136-students attend Saints Peter and Paul School and it boasts one of the largest preschool in the diocese of Buffalo.
"We believe so strongly in the Saints Peter and Paul mission - a dedication to core values and strong academics for children of all faiths - that we want EVERY child to have a chance to be part of our school. Our mission - our school - needs to be available and accessible to as many students as possible," noted Deborah Lester, SSPP principal.
The school is still accepting applications for kindergarten and the scholarships. Interested parents should contact principal Lester at (716) 632-6146 or firstname.lastname@example.org.