The John and Daria Barry Foundation has given a $2 million grant to the Inner-City Scholarship Fund. The gift is the foundation’s largest single-year donation, and one that will greatly support programs, awards and scholarships in Catholic elementary schools in the Archdiocese of New York.
“Inner-City Scholarship Fund was one of the first organizations we wanted to support,” said Elizabeth Swanson, daughter of John and Daria Barry. “They have helped so many children grow, and we want to elevate the program with this contribution.
“My parents feel strongly that a good education is very important for children regardless of family income level. Inner-City Scholarship Fund helps children reach their potential.”
Funding of $1.2 million will support capital improvements at the Sacred Heart of Jesus campus of the School of the Blessed Sacrament in Manhattan, with a focus on enabling classrooms to support STEM education. It will include funding for a Makerspace area, a workshop where students can work on projects using computers, 3-D printers, audio and video capture and editing tools, as well as traditional arts and crafts supplies.
The STEM-centric classrooms will be named in honor of the Barry family.
“We learned about this opportunity in November; we’re very excited,” Caroline Sliney, principal of Blessed Sacrament, told CNY in a phone interview.
“Construction and renovation will begin in early 2019. We are very thankful to the Barry Foundation for their generosity.”
Inner-City said $100,000 will be earmarked for one year of academic coaching and professional development for teachers at Our Lady of Victory School in Mount Vernon, Guardian Angel School in Manhattan and an additional school to be determined.
The funding will support blended learning, which provides students with a variety of technology-enabled learning programs for independent and small-group instruction. Blended learning generates data for teachers on each student’s progress and helps students to have control over the pace of their learning.
The remaining $700,000 will provide need-based tuition assistance to qualified Catholic school families through Inner-City’s scholarship programs. Students receiving such support will be designated as Barry Scholars.
“The ($2 million) gift is for the school year 2018-19; construction on STEM labs/Makerspace will be done by September 2019,” said Daniel Mileno, Inner-City director of marketing and communications.
Since 2012, the John and Daria Barry Foundation has given financial support to veterans, education and environmental organizations. John Barry is the chief executive officer of Prospect Capital Management in Manhattan, where his wife, Daria is head of administration and managing director. They are the trustees of the foundation.
Susan George, executive director of Inner-City Scholarship Fund, said, “John and Daria have given the greatest gift of all this holiday season, the gift of education. I am extremely grateful to them for making a difference in the lives of our students, our teachers and our Catholic schools.”
Cardinal Terence Cooke and a group of prominent executives of various religious backgrounds founded Inner-City Scholarship Fund in 1971. The fund provides tuition assistance to more than 8,000 students at Catholic schools in the archdiocese.