“This donation is nothing short of a miracle,” said Maggie MacCleary, veteran principal at Most Holy Trinity, expressing gratitude for the donation of Chromebooks for her students. “Having the devices has made a huge impact on how we as Catholic educators can continue to teach our students during this unusual time. Every student is online and learning!”

The V Encuentro Education and Evangelization Task Force was established by Bishop Olmsted in the fall of 2019 with a goal to support Catholic schools.  In July 2020, The Catholic Schools Office Interim Superintendent, Domonic Salce, asked the members of this Task Force to assist by obtaining technology for families in need in Phoenix’s Catholic diocesan schools.  The response by committee members was swift, understanding that without technology, students would be at a disadvantage for distance learning plans. CEA, who has a committee member on the task force, was tapped to help.

Catholic Education Arizona led the effort to obtain the necessary funding for 400 devices.  With the help of the Catholic Community Foundation, Team Logic, Grand Canyon University, and several other confidential donors, students at schools such as St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School in Phoenix, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School in Glendale, Queen of Peace Catholic School in Mesa, Most Holy Trinity Catholic School in Phoenix, St. Mary’s High School in Phoenix. St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School in Avondale, and St. Gregory Catholic School in Phoenix benefitted. In all, $112,500 was donated to purchase devices and hotspots, and GCU donated 30 laptops.

At Queen of Peace Catholic School in Mesa, Principal Renee Baeza stated, “The devices are impacting our youngest learners by fostering the irrevocable gift of education and interpersonal connections with our very exceptional educators and their classmates.”

Every Catholic school in the Diocese of Phoenix was required to begin the school year in a distance learning format.  Appropriate technology is one way to ensure the playing field is leveled for every child in every school.

“Without the generosity of CEA and the other organizations, the students at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, would not have the opportunity to learn from home,” shared Principal Cathy Lucero. “The families feel so blessed to have a Chromebook for their children to continue their education. May God bless everyone who supports Catholic Education. The Holy Spirit is truly present at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School in Glendale!”