Blessed Trinity School’s theme song could be: ‘I’m a [BT] Believer’

| Jennifer Janikula for The Catholic Spirit | May 9, 2012 | 0 Comments

Eighth-grader Lesley Blanco is a BT Believer.

On a recent Monday evening, Blanco stood in front of a crowd of 90 people to explain why she believes in Blessed Trinity Catholic School. She expressed her gratitude for an “amazing adventure from K-8” and spoke about her favorite teacher, Jo Culnane, who she considers a role model and a friend at the Richfield school.

“Mrs. Culnane tells us that we are full of potential and that she knows we are going to be great. Those words mean so much coming from someone who lives her faith every day,” Blanco said. “Her faith and trust in God and in her students is a miracle.”

The special bond of faith and friendship that Lesley shares with her teacher exemplifies the unique benefits of Catholic education. As part of the “Aim Higher” campaign to promote Catholic schools, the archdiocese challenged administrators and parents to share stories, like Blanco’s, with their communities.

Telling the story

The result for Blessed Trinity is BT Believers — a group of parents, parishioners, students and alumni that believes in the benefits of Catholic education and is willing to promote Blessed Trinity to others.

The BT Believer kick-off event April 30 included more than 20 speakers packed into a single hour.

“We asked supporters to tell their Blessed Trinity story — why they came, why they stayed and why they love Blessed Trinity,” said Melissa Cavanaugh, BT director of communications.

The testimonials provided supporters with a broad perspective on the school’s mission. Speakers reflected on what makes Blessed Trinity “clearly Catholic, intentionally inclusive and academically excellent,” according to its mission statement.

“The mission statement really means different things to different people,” said Laurie Amell, parent of a BT fourth-grader.

Amell, a marketing professional by day, shared her skills by assisting Cavanaugh with the event.

“The testimonials reminded us that we have a fantastic community,” Amell said.  “We could see the passion in others — that they share our excitement about the school.”

Other speakers gave tips on how to spread the word about all of the great things happening at Blessed Trinity. Suggestions included:

  • erecting yard signs;
  • sharing BT stories;
  • providing contact information for potential students;
  • joining a BT speaker’s bureau; and
  • posting BT events on Facebook.

Standing out

“Our supporters believe in what we are doing and it has made a difference to their family,” said Patrick ­O’Keefe, Blessed Trinity principal. “They see the value of a Catholic education and want to reach out to others who could benefit.

With traditional public schools, charter schools, online schools and language immersion programs, today’s parents have many choices for their child’s education.

“Parents tend to rely on the recommendations of friends and family,” said Terry Braun, BT development director and alum­nus. The BT Believers want to make sure that the people in their community consider Blessed Trinity as an option.

O’Keefe added, “It’s one thing for me to promote the school, but the message has deeper resonance if people hear it from their friends and neighbors. . . . We need to work harder and smarter to tell the story and engage those who can help us continue the work that we do.”

To support the BT Believers in their mission, the attendees received a Believer’s kit that included T-shirts, bumper stickers, story cards and a Catholic education fact sheet.

The school intends to sponsor three BT Believer events each year.

How are you telling the story?

Is your school or parish spreading the word about the value of a Catholic education in new and innovative ways?

Are you energizing people in your community to be “brand ambassadors” who communicate the benefits of Catholic schools?

If you know about such an initiative, The Catholic Spirit would like to hear about it. Email a short description of what your school or parish is doing along with your name and contact information. We’ll draw on the information we receive for future stories about Catholic schools and the Aim Higher campaign. Email; please write Aim Higher in the subject line.

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Category: Local News