By Sister Carol Gross, OP
May 22, 2015, Seccíon San José, Dominican Republic -- Espíritu Santo’s new school campus – featuring 22 additional classrooms, library and computer laboratory, dining room, offices and a clinic for the school nurse, and a special section for Kinder and pre-kinder classes – was inaugurated on May 19, 2015 by President Danilo Medina, of the Dominican Republic, in the Sección San José of Arroyo Hondo. Members of the school community and government officials participated in the special event.
The new buildings will allow students to have a full day of school. Previously, many students could only attend public school for three and a half hours per day. The new campus is part of a national project to improve education by constructing 10,000 new classrooms. More than 600 elementary school children will use the new classrooms, leaving the other 600-plus to continue classes in the older buildings. Additional classrooms for high school students are promised in the very near future.
Selected students and many parents and community members attended the hour-long inauguration. The prayer of blessing was offered by P. Jesús Zaglul, SJ, national director of Fe y Alegría, a Jesuit system of education for the poor which has a special agreement with the government to provide continuing education, community development and support to public schools in the system. Among the speakers were school officials, such as Adrian Dominican Associate Albania Mateo, principal of the elementary school, and an eighth-grade student.
The administrative team of the Espíritu Santo Fe y Alegría includes Sister Basilia De la Cruz, OP, and Sister Eneida Santiago, OP, who are responsible for the high school. The school celebrated 20 years of foundation last fall, remembering in a special way Sisters Maurine Barzantni, OP, and Renee Richie, OP, who had worked with the local community to found the school.