Catholic School – First in State to Receive $500,000 Federal Grant

Symphony Advancement congratulates Messmer Catholic Schools on the award of a $500,000 Department of Education grant to provide after school programming to low income students in Milwaukee.

The LEADERS program is designed to supplement daytime instruction targeting transfer students and individuals with persistently low proficiency scores.  The extended day program includes tutoring, mentoring, recreational activities, student clubs and a robotics program.  Symphony Advancement assisted in the overall design of the program based on national best practices and managed the grant application process.

“Thanks to this award, Messmer will be able to offer up to 300 students the additional homework help, tutoring and support they need,” said Jeffrey Robb, Symphony Managing Director.

Messmer Catholic Schools is a pioneer in urban Catholic education.  The school officially closed in the 1990’s until parents and community members rallied showing their support, managing to reopen the school within days.  One alumnus actually mortgaged his home to ensure the school had sufficient operating cash.  Not long after reopening, Messmer became the first private religious school in the nation to accept parental vouchers.  Parental vouchers essentially offer parents a partial credit based on state tuition which parents can address to a school of their choice.  The program has been well received among low-income parents with limited educational options for their children.  Through the use of vouchers parents can elect to send their children to high performing private schools if they wish.

Opening it’s doors to serve low-income students Messmer enrollment steadily began increasing.  With one of the highest graduation rates in the state and ACT scores well above average Messmer continues to attract minority students seeking a high quality education.  Today Messmer operates three schools serving nearly 1700 students in grades K4 -12.

If your organization is interested in exploring federal funding opportunities including grants and financing please contact Symphony today.

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