New Partnership to Support Students with Special Needs

Thanks to a $22,000 grant from AllOne Charities, Holy Cross High School and the NEPA Center for Independent Living have formed a pilot partnership to ensure that special-needs students get the best hands-on educational experience possible.

Shown at the AllOne Charities check presentation to Catholic schools are, from left: Kristen Donohue, Superintendent of Catholic Schools; Jason Morrison, Diocesan Secretary of Catholic Education/Chief Executive Officer; John Cosgrove, Executive Director, AllOne Foundation & Charities; the Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton; and Sandra Snyder, Diocesan Grant Writer.

Four students in Holy Cross’s Individualized Instruction program will directly benefit from this grant by attending a specialized program at NEPA CIL that will help them develop the critical life and practical skills that will best position them for post-graduation success in the workplace. These students suffer from various health-related conditions and challenges.

“AllOne Charities is pleased to serve as a partner in the innovative and collaborative work between Holy Cross High School and the NEPA Center for Independent Living,” said John Cosgrove, executive director of AllOne Foundation & Charities. “There is so much more we can achieve together in improving the access to quality programming for our friends and neighbors with special needs.”

Diocesan Secretary for Catholic Education Jason Morrison recognized AllOne Charities’ commitment for enhancing access to special-needs programs for Catholic school students.

“We are grateful to AllOne Charities for the generous support of our students with exceptionalities,” he said. “This gift achieves our goal of ensuring that all students achieve their God-given potential and are prepared for life beyond the classroom.”

Diocesan Catholic schools currently offer four separate Individualized Instruction programs for students with special needs. At the elementary level, these students can attend Good Shepherd Academy in Kingston or All Saints Academy in Scranton, and at the secondary level they can attend Holy Redeemer High School in Wilkes-Barre or Holy Cross High School in Dunmore.

Partnerships such as these supplement the personal attention and support students are able to receive and ensure that those attending Catholic schools are receiving a complete range of services tailored to their unique needs.

“By holding students to high expectations, individuals acquire the academic, functional, and social skills necessary to live as active members of society and stewards of God’s creation,” said Doreen Dougherty, principal of Holy Redeemer High School. “Families gain an invaluable support system in close relationships formed with other families. Students grow to respect and appreciate the gifts God has given each of us.”