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Letter: Catholic schools provide valuable lessons

5:08 PM, Feb. 6, 2013  |  Comments

Catholic Schools Week was the week of Jan. 26 through Feb. 2. As a former student of a Catholic grade school, I felt compelled to share why our Catholic schools are important.

We see so much bad in the world today. I can't help but believe that there would be more good in the world if children were taught Christian values in their daily education. The Catholic schools in our communities do just that. Christian values are incorporated in every classroom. Our public schools do a good job of teaching students about respect and anti-bullying, but at the root of these fundamental ideals are Christian values.

A common misconception is that tuition at Catholic schools is unaffordable. However, the tuition at St.Mary/St. Michael School in Clarks Mills, for example, is only $1,175 per year. And most, if not all, Catholic schools are willing to help families who need financial assistance. We're easily willing to spend much more than that on the best entertainment system, the nicest car, vacations and so many other things. But what could be more valuable than giving a child the gift of a high-quality education in a Christian environment? That is truly money well spent.

The teachers at Catholic schools are not driven by pensions or benefits, because these extras are minimal. They are there because they love what they do and it shows in the academic success of the students.

Like public schools, accredited Catholic schools are held to high academic standards and they participate in annual standardized testing to ensure standards are upheld - and often exceeded. But at a Catholic school, not only is it OK to say "God," but children are encouraged to question their actions and ask, "What would Jesus do?"

As this year's slogan says, "Catholic schools raise the standards."

Michael Duenkel

Manitowoc

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