By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The high cost of putting a child through Catholic school can often prohibit parents from choosing a religion-based education for their children.
But at one Catholic school in Bay Ridge, struggling parents are receiving help with tuition costs thanks to a program that provides financial assistance to families.
The St. Patrick School Trust donates funding for tuition assistance at Saint Patrick Catholic Academy (401 97th St.). The trust was established 20 years ago by parishioners of St. Patrick Catholic Church under the leadership of the Rev. Msgr. Patrick Fursey O’Toole, the church’s pastor at the time. St. Patrick School was converted into St. Patrick Catholic Academy last year, but the mission of the trust remains the same – to help the school help those in need, school officials said.
Three members of the trust’s board of directors, Anne Lauro, Peg Horan and Jim Flanigan, recently presented Principal Andrea D'Emic with an $11,600 check for the tuition assistance program. A donation is typically made by the trust to the school each year during the holiday season, according to Anne Strafaci, director of development at St. Patrick Catholic Academy.
In addition to providing tuition assistance, the funding is also used by the academy to purchase supplies and upgrade equipment as needed, Strafaci said. In the past, donations have contributed to the purchase of new computers for the academy, she said.