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Mt. Carmel-Holy Rosary Needs Your Help

By Jose B. Rivera

A call for help from the principal of Mt. Carmel-Holy Rosary.

February 13, 2004

Dear Friend:

I am writing to you because my students and I believe in miracles.

Our school is Mt. Carmel-Holy Rosary School, an inner-city Catholic elementary school which serves students in grades Pre-K through 8. 59.4% of our students are Afro-American, 39.4% are Latino and 1.2% are Asian. 100% are eligible for free lunch. We are located in East Harlem on Pleasant Avenue between 119th and 120th Streets. Our building was originally a settlement house for immigrant Italian orphans before being used for education.

Our students, parents and staff are seeking a miracle for the following reason: On January 22, 2004, we learned that the Archdiocese of New York was closing our school because of our financial hardship. After an impassioned plea by the parents, the Archdiocese, on February 9, agreed to consider a plan to save the school and on February 12, we learned that if we raised $125,000 by March 5, our school would remain open.

This letter is part of an all-out effort to accomplish this goal. Why, when you have so many good causes brought to your attention, should you consider helping Mt. Carmel-Holy Rosary School? The first and most important reason is the children. They are a gutsy group of New York City children who have a great deal to offer and will achieve so much with the solid education that they are receiving at Mt. Carmel-Holy Rosary.

The second reason is that we are a school “on the rise.” As an achiever yourself, I think you can relate to this. During the year and a half that I have been Principal of Mt. Carmel-Holy Rosary, programs have been implemented in accelerated reading, mathematics achievement and technology integration. We have instituted a new student leadership program called Future Posssibilities, a Museum program in conjunction with the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and VITAL, a health program for early childhood students. A grant is funding a three-year free after-school program in the performing and visual arts. Another grant funded the renovation of several student restrooms and another grant proposal has been accepted for additional renovation. A donor funded a full-time school librarian and provided new computers and printers for our students. So you see, we are “on the move” and some people already believe in us.

Please consider helping us with a donation. Not only will it contribute to keeping our school open but it will “buy” us time to raise our enrollment for next year. Our March 5 deadline to raise $125,000 is daunting, but as I said at the beginning, my students and I believe in miracles. Maybe you will be part of one.

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter.


Suzanne Kaszynski

If you would like additional information, would like to visit or believe you can help us, please call me at 1-212-876-7555 or 1-212-876-7592. Our fax number is 1-212-876-0152. Our email address is .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

If you can help us with a donation, please send to:

Mt. Carmel-Holy Rosary School
371 Pleasant Avenue
New York, NY 10035

Thank you!

Note: The New York Archdiocese has given Mt. Carmel/Holy Rosary a one year extension. Great work by the school principal and parents. Not to mention the donations that made it all possible. Congratulations.

The research in effective school change tells us that in order for a school to flourish, it must develop a reputation of academic excellence and parental involvement, establish an identity in the community and have programs and opportunities that make it a viable, enjoyable place of learning. Mt. Carmel-Holy Rosary is already doing this. You are welcome to visit us and take a look.

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