School Choice Scholarships holiday party set for Dec. 1

Nativity Academy at St. Boniface, 529 E. Liberty St., will host the School Choice Scholarships organization’s 9th Annual Family Holiday Party at 9:30 a.m. Dec. 1.

According to a news release from School Choice Scholarships, more than 500 families are expected to attend the event, which will feature performances by local musicians and food donated by Green B.E.A.N. Delivery, Fresh Market and ValuMarket.

Children attending will be paired with mentors from Iroquois High School so the children can choose a gift for their parents or grandparents from more than 700 donated gift items, the release said.

The event is part of School Choice’s Family Program, which attempts to ensure that the parents and families of the scholarship recipients become involved in their child’s education.

Diane M. Cowne, executive director of School Choice Scholarships, said in a telephone interview last week that the organization, founded in 1998 by local community leaders and philanthropists Tim Patterson, George Fischer and Ann Wells, has provided tuition scholarships to more than 4,000 local students.

“Fifty percent of our scholarships” are awarded to students in local Catholic schools, she said. “The scholarships are raised through private donations, and the Louisville community has been very generous in recognizing the need for quality education for children in low-income families,” said Cowne.

School Choice Scholarships provide financial assistance to students in private schools in both Jefferson and Oldham counties, she explained. “We have students receiving our scholarships in all but five or six Jefferson County Catholic schools,” she said.

“Private schools are, of course, very expensive,” she said, “and together with our donors and along with the Catholic Education Foundation (CEF) we make it possible for low income families to afford Catholic and other private schools.”

Cowne said she and Rosemary Bisig Smith, executive director of the CEF meet each year to determine how many students each organization can help with tuition assistance.

Since its founding in 1998, Cowne said, School Choice Scholarships has provided nearly $8 million in tuition assistance to local private school students.

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