Ambassador’s Fund for Catholic Education: Reserve Funds for Pandemic-Caused Needs
Wayne, Pa.
Grant: $165,000; Funded 2020-21


The Grant Review Committee met in May to evaluate more than 20 proposals in the second cycle of funding requests for the 2020-21 fiscal year. “What if” discussions prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic surfaced with nearly every application. What will happen in the new school year? What conditions would face everyone in the fall? What safety, health, and wellness issues might surface? Is there a role for the Fund and its resources?


From May through August, members of the Office of Catholic Education Elementary Schools Coronavirus Task Force shared questions they faced in framing an operating plan for the new school year. They ran the gamut on issues of safety, security, and health and wellness, not to mention actual teaching and learning. Unanimously recognizing the endless “what if” possibilities, and determining a pro-active role for the Fund, committee members recommended the creation of a reserve funds grant available for quick response to pressing COVID-related school needs.


The Fund grant committee agreed with the Task Force’s recommendation that sliding clear Plexiglas screens would produce an extra layer of protection for teachers and students as they returned to in-school education. In the first-ever collaboration with a corporate funder, the Ambassador’s Fund joined with Communications Test Design, Inc. (CTDI) in making this classroom asset a reality. Termed TSP-20, these teacher sliding partitions extend a protective shield beyond what’s produced by the individual masks. The Fund grant underwrote the cost of materials for close to 1,100 TSP-20 units that were designed, produced, and delivered by CTDI to 71 schools over a 10-day period …  to be ready and prepared for doors that opened at many schools on August 31.

“The teacher shields are being used in a variety of ways — from being placed at the teacher’s desk to moving around the classroom when helping students” … “they’re added protection for our teachers and students” … “Our teachers love having them!” … “Our families are confident in our ability to provide a safe and quality Catholic education because of the shields.”

Sample Principal & Parent Comments