When our girls were growing up, I was fortunate enough to be able to be a "stay at home mom." That doesn't mean I was idle by any means. I was basically a full time volunteer. I loved volunteering because I could still have control over my hours and "being there" for anything the girls needed. I chaired just about every fund raiser and event that needed chairing---too many to count. Between St. Therese in Kansas City and Overbrook here in Nashville, I was a room mom, teacher's aid, ran the health room, was president of the PTA, chaired many sales from popcorn to wrapping paper. I loved being able to drive on every field trip and getting to know so many other parents. Many of those parents are still my friends today. Which leads me to my next venture...
All three of our daughters went to St. Cecilia Academy. We have always been so happy and proud of the education they received there. We wanted no less for our granddaughters, Jordan and Morgan. In addition to their tuition, we agreed to provide for a couple of other girls who otherwise would not have been able to attend. As school expenses came up for Morgan and Jordan, I often wondered how those other girls afforded the "extras." It really bothered me to think that they might not be able to enjoy trips during "winterim" or afford senior photos, the yearbook or even have a dress for the prom. I had plans to find out, but never did (shame on me). Our tuition commitment came to an end this past June. But when it comes to the Dominican Sisters, your commitment never really ends. They don't let you go! And, you simply cannot say "no" to nuns!
This summer, when Butch and I met with the sisters, I finally asked these questions. What I found is that there are many situations---big and small that come up on a consistent basis. Usually, the teachers or one of the staff members just provides the funds needed or if it's too much, the student just can't participate. That lead me to suggest how we might help. We're calling it "The Lagniappe Fund." Lagniappe means a "little extra for good measure." I didn't want the fund to be anything that would make the recipients feel like it was for "poor" people. My vision for "The Lagniappe Fund" is for every SCA student to be able to enjoy the full experience.
Now, a little background. St. Cecilia Academy is an all girls school---the oldest, private school in Nashville. It was founded in 1860 as a boarding school for some of the confederate officers who wanted a safe place for their daughters during the Civil War. It has been run continuously by the Dominican sisters ever since. If you want to learn more you can go here.
A couple weeks ago, I met with Sister Catherine Marie and the director of Development to see how we might get this fund off the ground. I asked a lot of questions. I was so happy to learn that the SCA demographics include the highest percentage of minorities of any private school in Nashville---24% of the student population. $770,000 is given each year in the way of financial based scholarships to 36% of the students. Obviously, the school is doing their part. But many of those students cannot afford the "extras."
That's where we come in. Butch and I have provided the "seed" money for "The Lagniappe Fund." My plan is to keep it fully funded by calling on my friends (don't worry, just you Catholic ones) to help out. It's not going to be a full out fund raising campaign. There are so many needs---from very inexpensive (choir pearls $8.00, senior sweaters and saddle shoes) to larger expenses (laptops and winterim trip fees).* I will not be asking for "BIG" bucks. The sisters will be providing me with a quarterly list of the expenses. That's when I'll be calling (okay most likely emailing) for help. I will only call on you once a year. I will not be making any decisions regarding who gets what---the faculty knows the need. You and I will just be helping with the money to make it happen.
So what do you think? Are you with me? I hope so.
*Extra funds needed for: freshman overnight, freshman/senior week, senior/freshman week, choir alterations, festival auditions, athletic practice uniforms, athletic overnight travel, athletic summer camps, art supplies, March for Life, AP fees, calculator, VAP clothes, Leadership Workshops, books, class rings, senior pictures, school uniforms, forensics, Model UN fees, robotics, Mock Trial, Youth Legislation, dresses for prom and winter formal, athletic shoes and laptops.