Holy Family School Hosts Successful National School Choice Celebration
Holy Family School recently hosted a celebration of National School Choice Week. The faith-based, kindergarten through eighth grade school on Chicago’s west side was founded based upon the spirit of giving parents in low-income neighborhoods an alternative to under-performing schools. HFS was originally located in the Cabrini-Green neighborhood, but since that time the school has expanded in size and programming and has relocated to its current location at 3415 West Arthington.
At the gathering, where about 325 parents, students and staff joined in the celebration, several parents spoke about the choice they made in sending their children to a school of choice rather than a school to which they would otherwise be assigned. Marguerite Martin spoke about the way her daughter, a recent alum, has thrived. She stated, “Aiyana, who is now a freshman at the Chicago Academy For the Arts, benefited tremendously from the choice our family made. Aiyana---really our whole family---is proud and excited that she has moved forward to a challenging high school with a great work ethic and the skills needed to compete with students from all over Chicago. We wish all families had the option to choose the school they want.”
Fanisha Davis, a 1995 Holy Family alum who is now a financial manager at Hospira, addressed the assembly on how she has benefited from the choice her mother made in sending her to HFS. From Holy Family Mrs. Davis went on to Culver Academy, a boarding school, and then to Loyola and DePaul for an MBA.
Holy Family’s Board of Directors operates on the belief that every parent should have the right to send their children to whatever school they choose, regardless of family income or area of residence, and that the per-student allocation from taxes should follow the student to that school. Too many children—particularly children living in low-income neighborhoods—are stuck in chronically under-performing schools.
Dr. Susan Work, President and CEO of Holy Family Ministries—the group that operates the school from its office in Northfield—and the Board of Directors are ardent supporters of the Choice movement. The school has grown considerably since its founding in 1985 by Pastor Charles Infelt and his small but visionary Lutheran congregation in the Cabrini-Green public housing community, however its mission has consistently remained to provide a safe haven where children and adults learn, grow spiritually, find hope, and broaden life skills. The school and pre-school, with a current enrollment of 265 students from the west side of the city and programming to serve preschoolers, child care needs, and after-school enrichment, has an excellent track record of placing graduates at top performing high schools around the city and in some cases in top notch boarding schools.