Monday, April 16, 2007

New Bedford's Nativity Prep wins praise, approval.

Today's edition of my hometown paper has an enthusiastic article on New Bedford's Nativity Preparatory School, a tuition-free independent middle school serving boys from low-income families. Part of the Jesuit-inspired Nativity Network, Nativity Prep gives inner-city youth a chance to succeed with an academically rigorous curriculum and a demanding schedule that keeps students in school six days a week and includes a mandatory after-school study hall and extracurricular activities during evenings. Though not sponsored by the Society of Jesus, Nativity Prep explicitly acknowledges its debt to the Ignatian tradition and remains the closest thing to a Jesuit apostolate in New Bedford. (As an aside, I find the lack of a Jesuit presence in New Bedford unfortunate - smaller cities like New Bedford have all the same needs and problems that larger cities have, but owing to their size they don't get enough attention either from religious communities or from other groups seeking to better society.) Founded in 2000 and now serving 60 students in grades five through eight, has just passed an important milestone by receiving accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. I'm proud of the fine work that Nativity Prep is doing in the area where I'm from, and I wish the school continued growth and success. To learn more about Nativity Prep, I encourage you to check out their website. AMDG.

4 Comments:

At 4/19/2007 8:14 PM, Blogger Lisa said...

What great news, Joe!

Perhaps you can tell me, what is the difference between the Nativity Network and the Cristo Rey schools? I think that Nativity is Jesuit-sponsored and Cristo Rey is inter-community, but I'm not certain. :)

 
At 4/20/2007 3:17 PM, Blogger Joe said...

Lisa,

There's a number of differences between Nativity and Cristo Rey schools. Though both models target inner-city, economically disadvantaged students, Nativity schools are middle schools and Cristo Rey schools are high schools. Cristo Rey also includes a kind of 'work study' component where students spend one day out of the school week interning in a professional setting, typically a corporate office, bank or law firm. Though both models were started by Jesuits, neither is exclusive to the Society of Jesus - there are a number of Nativity and Cristo Rey model schools which have no Jesuit affiliation. In the public eye, Nativity and Cristo Rey schools are often perceived as Jesuit institutions, but not all of them actually are.

 
At 4/23/2007 7:44 PM, Blogger Lisa said...

Thanks so much, Joe! I really appreciate it. I'm very interested in the frameworks for both and have to learn more.

 
At 4/23/2007 11:55 PM, Blogger Joe said...

No problem - you can learn more about both from these websites, which explain the basics about each model and provide links to all the member schools:

www.nativitymiguelschools.org

www.cristoreynetwork.org

 

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