In the Corryville neighborhood of Cincinnati there’s a school where the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur have worked since 1877 - Corryville Catholic Elementary.
Where on the surrounding streets less than one if four made it through eighth grade, 100 percent of Corryville Catholic students graduate.
Wherein the school itself 95 percent of families qualify for the school lunch program, students of these same families have since 2000 secured $4,222,402 in scholarships.
It doesn’t just happen. It’s made to happen.
Landis Soto, a Notre Dame Mission Volunteer, is one of three Mission Volunteers assigned to the school through AmeriCorps. It has, to date, with remote learning for some, masks and social distancing for others, not been the typical year.
Yet in the tradition of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur educational mission, school continues.
“This is what our students need,” says Landis, “so this is what we have to do.”
Landis arrives at 6:50 am to help serve breakfast to half the enrollment participating in in-person learning. Two other groups are participating remotely, one on a schedule coinciding with in-person learning, one through classes viewed later to allow for parents’ involvement.
But regardless, all students are part of the “Leader in Me’ initiative emphasizing personal responsibility. This method of teaching, says Landis, is proving particularly relevant in light of the adaptations forced by the pandemic.
“The staff is giving them the reason why for things, for masks and social distancing, all the changes. And once you treat them as people who understand, the more they take it upon themselves to really listen. They say, “Okay, let’s do this.”
Landis is herself a product of Catholic education, having graduated from Roger Bacon High School in Cincinnati and the Marianists’ University of Dayton.
“A lot of times in my life people have helped me, and a lot of them have been Sisters.” says Landis. “Having that exposure to people of religious tradition, those being moved to do good in the world, it made me look at the Sister of Notre Dame.
“I think about the Sisters going where they’re needed…”
Landis pauses, but her meaning is clear. She’s gone where she is needed, and it’s to Corryville Catholic.
Published in the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur Ohio Province 2020 Annual Report