As the article describes, the low enrollment rate of Latinos in Catholic schools is influenced by a number of reasons including geographic and financial factors. However, PEW Research Center has released a startling report that “in 2015 that half of all U.S. adults raised Catholic leave the faith at some time in their life,” but those who attended Catholic primary school “are more likely to remain Catholic as adults and more likely to consider a vocation to religious life or the priesthood, according to Georgetown’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate.” The benefits of Catholic education go further: children who attend Catholic schools are more likely to graduate high school with 86% of that population going on to attend a four-year college, according to a study by National Catholic Education Association.
How do we increase the Latino population of our schools? The article emphasizes church outreach:
“[The] church needs to foster a culture of Catholic education among Latino communities. Catholic school leaders must take it upon themselves to know their community demographics and cultivate relationships with community members…Since these steps will increase Latino enrollment, the church will need to build more Catholic schools, especially in the South and West.”
The TWIN-CS Network has worked toward this very model of inclusion. As members of the TWIN-CS community, we endeavor to create lasting relationships with our communities and encourage communities of care.
TWIN-CS members, please comment below if you have stories of community-building activities from your school!
-Melissa Hoppie, Graduate Student Researcher