An architect's rendering of Catholic Memorial's planned Center for Integrated and Applied Learning, which the Yawkey Foundations' grant will support. Pilot photo/courtesy Catholic Memorial
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West Roxbury -- Catholic Memorial, a college-preparatory school for boys in grades 7 to 12, announced Sept. 5 that they have received a $2.5 million grant from the Yawkey Foundations.
The grant will provide a significant boost for the school's capital campaign to build The Center for Integrated and Applied Learning, enhancing its strong liberal arts and progressive educational curriculum. The hands-on experiential learning approach was introduced to Catholic Memorial three years ago, and with the Yawkey grant, the expansion will provide a space which is specifically designed for these programs and will enhance types of innovation and problem solving which can be introduced to the students.
"Catholic Memorial is a school whose values and mission align with ours here at the Foundations," said James Healey, president and trustee of the Yawkey Foundations. "We are very pleased to support this innovative center to enhance learning so that the school can continue to provide innovative and challenging private school education to a diverse community of urban and suburban young men and to prioritize financial support for a large number of deserving students."
The Center for Integrated and Applied Learning will become the focal point of the current 12-acre campus. It will offer cutting edge studio classrooms and collaborative workspaces which encourage the learning and skills development that will prepare the students for success in college and the workplace. The flexible space will foster 21st century instruction for students to test concepts, engage in scientific discovery and artistic expression while utilizing 3-D printers, laser cutters, and the newest technology. The design will promote strong student-teacher relationships, enhance the close-knit community and offer a progressive approach to learning and problem-solving.
"Research demonstrates that boys thrive in hands-on, real-world relevant, and interdisciplinary educational settings," said Peter Folan, head of school and a national expert on single-sex and Catholic education. "The Center is designed to enhance the education of young men through project-based and applied learning, which fosters the skills necessary to succeed in the tech- heavy Fourth Industrial Revolution. We are extremely grateful to the Yawkey Foundations for this generous gift and their support in how we educate students from diverse backgrounds."
Catholic Memorial's student population is a mix of various ethnicities and socioeconomic levels, with 48 percent residing in Boston and 28 percent identifying as minorities. Over 60 percent of the students receive financial aid, currently budgeted at $3.3 million, which has always been a priority in the school's mission.
"This transformative gift is the springboard to raising the remaining funds necessary to make the Center for Integrated and Applied Learning a reality" said Jack Moynihan, vice president of advancement. "Over the years, the Yawkey Foundations continued support of our mission has had a profound effect on the lives of countless students and families, and we are deeply grateful."
The cost to renovate an existing building into a nucleus of 21st century education and teaching activities is $8.5 million. With the Yawkey gift, Catholic Memorial has now raised $5.3 million towards this project. In 2017, Catholic Memorial had its most successful fundraising year in the school's history.