Students say ‘thanks’ for gift of Catholic schools

By Peter Finney Jr.

The message the Archdiocese of New Orleans hopes parents of prospective Catholic school students will hear during the coming year is “Have Faith in Catholic Schools.”

A pair of 30-second commercials promoting the academic excellence and faith formation provided by Catholic elementary and high schools will begin airing in September on the Hallmark Channel, Freeform (formerly ABC Family), the Food Network and HGTV, said Sarah McDonald, archdiocesan communications director.

“It’s meant to be a ‘thank-you’ letter from Catholic school students to their parents for sending them to Catholic school,” McDonald said.

A video thank-you

Twenty-five students from Catholic high schools participated July 25 in filming of the commercials in a classroom at De La Salle High School. Students stood in front of a “green screen” and offered their thanks for the gift of a Catholic education.

The headshots will be pieced together in the form of a video thank-you letter:

“Thanks Mom … thanks Dad … thanks Grandma and Grandpa. Sending me to Catholic school … was perfect for me. My school is safe … and like a family … a spiritual family. It is a sacred place … Our teachers really care … I’m closer to God … and confident in my beliefs. My ACT scores are … pretty good, too.

“I am challenged there … I am loved and respected there … I’m learning about the world … and an appreciation for diversity … Not everyone is Catholic … but we are all growing … and are committed to service. … I’m graduating … everyone in our class is … We’re ready for college … and prepared for life … I’m told my future earning potential is higher … because I went to Catholic school.

“You had faith … faith in Catholic schools … and I’m grateful for that. I’m Catholic … for life … Love, Your Son … Your Daughter … Me.”

“It’s meant to show what makes Catholic schools valuable,” McDonald said. “Those are things such as faith formation, academic rigor, safety and the overall values students get from being a part of Catholic schools.”

The commercials, produce by BrownRice Marketing, will air September through November and then resume in January, February and March, a time when schools are registering new students, McDonald said. The package also will include time on YouTube, Amazon Firebox and on the archdiocesan Facebook page.

The Office of Catholic Schools will debut its new website on Sept. 1.

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