DLFF is a proud partner of St. Ephrem Catholic School. Our grantee spotlights allow us to highlight the wonderful work of our community partners and see what the impact of our support can accomplish.
We sat down with St. Ephrem Principal Sr. Shaun Thomas and asked her to reflect on the impact of DLFF’s support. As proud partners of St. Ephrem School, their initiative to expose students at all levels to the wonder of science, mathematics, and technology provides a multitude of benefits. The benefits of such exposure allow students to engage with a challenging scenario, question and investigate their prior ideas, explain their findings, apply it to new situations, and evaluate their knowledge and learning process. This thoughtful approach is what sets St. Ephrem School apart, and the strides the school continues to make would not be possible without Sr. Shaun’s innovative vision for a modern learning environment that has increased resources for students to expand their knowledge in challenging ways.
Tell us a story about the impact of DLFF’s support for St. Ephrem.
Our partnership with DLFF has transformed our school into a more relevant 21st Century iInstitution of learning. Through DLFF’s investment, we initially added STEM classes on a part-time basis, offered Advanced Math classes to selected students in grades 5 and 6, and expanded our technology program by making the position full-time.
In this current year, invited and encouraged by DLFF leadership, in place of working with a small number of Math students, STEM classes were revamped. One teacher works with students from Pre-K to grade 4 in a first-floor lab; a second teacher utilizes a second lab to meet with students in grades 5 to 8. In addition, we have now hired a Spanish teacher, part-time, who instructs students in grades 5 to 8. She also works with primary children when her schedule allows. None of this would be possible without the DLFF partnership with SEC.
Previously, each grade had STEM class every week. However, the limited amount of time this offered, especially in the middle and upper grades, made it challenging to work on or complete a project from start to finish. However, having a designated teacher raised the students' awareness of what STEM is and the potential it carries when applying skills in the fields of science, math, and technology, in particular.
Students were definitely excited about participating in STEM classes this past year! Every class was an opportunity for them to have hands-on experiences and to interact with each other. Parents were happy to hear about STEM from their children and are grateful to have this opportunity extended to their children! We participated in the Diocesan STEM Fair and our projects seemed to be on target with what was accomplished in similar classes in the schools represented.
Why is DLFF’s support important to St Ephrem?
Financial assistance to enhance, improve, and introduce programs is of incredible importance. However, the encouragement and excitement of being able to partner with people who LOVE Catholic education and believe in it with all their hearts is priceless.
What does the future of St. Ephrem look like with DLFF’s support?
The well-rounded course of studies we offer our students and families is supported by our strong Catholic identity. With DLFF’s support, both social as well as academic, and the synergy between our schools, the future of St. Ephrem School looks bright.
About St. Ephrem:
Located in Bensalem PA, rooted in the Gospel message of Jesus, St. Ephrem School equips students for spiritual and moral development, empowers their desire for academic excellence, and energizes their spirit of leadership to the community around and beyond them. To learn more, please visit https://saintephremschool.com/mission-statement
Mrs. Urooj Tauseef, Technology and STEM Teacher
Students in STEM Class
Mrs. Tauseef with students in STEM class