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Salute to Catholic Schools Celebrated Jan. 28-Feb. 3, 2007

Contact: Barbara Keebler, 202-337-6232; Brian Gray, 202-337-6232; both with National Catholic Educational Association

WASHINGTON, Jan. 30 /Christian Newswire/ -- The nation’s nearly 8,000 Catholic school students are celebrating Catholic Schools Week, Jan. 28 through Feb. 3. This year’s theme is “Catholic Schools: the Good News in Education.”

The theme was chosen because of its appeal to Catholic schools and for the strong message it sends to parents and supporters.

Catholic Schools Week is an activity of the National Marketing Campaign For Catholic Schools, a joint project of the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

NCEA President Dr. Karen M. Ristau said, “Catholic Schools do good work all year around. But on this week we want to focus everyone’s attention on the fact that Catholic schools are good news. In addition to learning reading, writing and arithmetic, students also learn responsibility—and how to become persons of character and integrity.”

Father William Davis, interim secretary for education at the USCCB, said, “High achievement rates, high retention rates, high moral values and high student and parent satisfaction are the distinctive marks of a Catholic school. That’s the good news and we want to share it.”

National Appreciation Day For Catholic Schools will be observed Wednesday, Jan. 31. The day was established to encourage supporters nationwide to showcase the great accomplishments and contributions of Catholic schools to our country. In Washington, a delegation of more than 150 Catholic school students, teachers and parents will visit Capitol Hill to meet with congressional leaders to promote Catholic schools. They will hand-deliver letters from chief administrators of Catholic education to their representatives and provide a background package on Catholic schools to every congressional office.

Schools in other parts of the country are encouraged to carry their message of good news to local and sate officials.

NCEA is the largest private, professional education association in the world. Founded in 1904, the association’s membership represents more than 200,000 educators serving 7.6 million students at all levels of Catholic education. USCCB is the national public policy organization of the bishops in the United States.

National Appreciation Day begins at 9 a.m. Wednesday in Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room SD-124, with remarks by Karen Ristau, Father William Davis and Father Daniel P. Coughlin, chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives. Photo ops are available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. as delegations make their visits.