Sister Mary Ellen Carinato, SNDdeN
Cincinnati, OH

Sister Mary Ellen Carinato Solo picture

Sister Mary Ellen walking with her student

“I can read! Sister taught me.”

The kids are quick to grab their favorite spots. Some sit on pillows on the library floor. Others crawl onto rocking chairs. A couple more sit with tutors at study tables tucked into quiet hallway corners. It’s reading class at Corryville Catholic Elementary School in Cincinnati’s inner-city, and it has been Sister Mary Ellen Carinato’s passion for the past 13 years.

Sister Mary Ellen believes that virtually all children, even the poorest readers, can learn to read at grade level if they receive the proper help. And at Corryville Catholic, she provides that help, through a customized reading program designed specifically for each student – from pre-school through eighth grade. Sister is able to do this through a small stipend she receives from our Ministry Fund, which supports the work of our mission in areas where earning a living wage isn’t possible.

Each day, Sister Mary Ellen can be seen leading a parade of her youngest students down the hall and into the school library and reading lab. Then they get down to business, reading carefully selected books and taking computerized comprehension tests. Sister rewards good marks with coupons for pizza and snacks.

Corryville Catholic is known as a school where students graduate with a well-rounded education. Some are the first in their families to complete primary school. All go on to high school. But when they leave Corryville, the graduates of this school most always take with them a profound love of books and words. It’s a blessing from Sister Mary Ellen.